Tag Archives: careers

New Beginnings

21 May

I’ve been weighing in my head for months how to write this post, and I think there’s no better way to write it than to just dive in.

I’m leaving veterinary medicine.

It weighs on me, because I have accumulated a number of vet tech readers, and I know a lot of the traffic I get to the site is about my experiences as a technician. And while I’m not quitting completely anytime soon, I’m going to begin transitioning out of it.

Why?

It’s difficult for me how to explain how I’ve arrived at this fork in the road, because many things that happened in the last 6-7 months that led me to this decision. If you’ll humor me, a list:

  1. PENN FOSTER ABANDONED ME- I’ve talked in the past about the benefits of the program, and I’ve since considered deleting that post. But after years of doing practicums and acing all the tests, I came to the final practicum which required me to do film x-rays. Most clinics are digital, so it took months for me to find a place. When I did, the program waterlogged me for months and didn’t approve my location until the clinic had transitioned to digital. The head veterinarian at my clinic, Dr. S, even called the deans of the vet tech program to try and fix the situation. “We have an intelligent, talented technician here,” I heard him say on the phone. “And we are going to lose her to another industry, and I don’t want that.” Penn Foster continued to not follow through on their promises to rectify this situation. So here I sit after years of work, unable to take my licensing exam and without the vet tech degree I worked so hard for. Dr. S’s compliments rang in my ears as I decided it wasn’t worth it to me to fight Penn Foster, that maybe the industry should lose me.
  2. I DATED A MIRROR IMAGE OF MYSELF- Last fall I was dating someone who had a penchant for moping. He wasn’t where he wanted to be in his life, which I understand. But I found a deep well of frustration at him for not doing something about it, about not chasing down avenues that would move him forward. I would nag him and found myself losing respect for him. But at some point, I saw my own hypocrisy. I am not where I want to be in my life, and I have a lot of things lacking. I tend to mope and whine about it. I don’t know how many times I’ve added to my to-do lists “Figure Life Out” half-joking, half-serious. So I took my own nagging to heart. I broke up with him and decided I had to set myself on a new path.
  3. I WEARIED OF MY NEW YORK LIFE- Around this time, newly single, I found myself sliding into old patterns. Online dating, staying out late drinking with friends, complaining about how poor I am. Like waking from a dream I realized these weren’t things I wanted to do. These things were not making me happy anymore, and it was time to tackle the biggest item on my to-do list. I decided I had no time and no interest in dating. I stopped spending time with friends whose lives revolved around bar tabs and nursing hangovers. I took three days off of work and camped out in my apartment and hashed out what I REALLY, TRULY, DEEPLY wanted to make happen in my life. What my experiences and what my talents can lend themselves to.  I researched careers. I talked to a variety of people. I looked into schooling length and costs. I spent countless weekends alone at my apartment with delivered Thai food sorting through all my data.
  4. I STARTED DIPPING MY TOES IN THE WATER OF SOMETHING NEW- And I realized that this wasn’t suffice; it was better to dive in. I’ve made a commitment to pursuing something different and yet somewhat similar. It’s terrifying. It’s uncertain. But I feel more alive and more excited about the years to come than I have in so long.

So I’ve started taking the necessary steps toward becoming a Physician Assistant. All the whys and wherefores are better left for posts to come. And like any transition in life, although I’m poised to do something great in the years to come, my heart stirs with a subtle melancholy at what I know I’ll leave behind.

IMG_3323

This is a one-month old rescue kitten found under a porch in Queens. After I gave it a deworming solution, put some ointment in its tiny infected eyes, it nuzzled its whiskers against my cheek in a kitten kiss.

OF COURSE I’M GOING TO MISS THAT.

The four years I’ve had as a veterinary technician have been so meaningful to me and led me to understand that I’m way better at science than I had ever realized. That I have a passion for medicine. That I have to be in a field where I alleviate suffering and improve quality of life. I have to be challenged and excited. I’ve loved being a veterinary technician, but I always felt it was a stepping stone to something else, and I’m ready for that next step.

Like I said before, I’m still a full-time technician for the next couple of months, and my “family” at the clinic are being nothing but supportive, offering to work around a school schedule and allow me to stay on part-time. So this isn’t the end yet. And I’ll be writing about each step of my PA journey. But for now, that’s all I wanted to get off my chest. On to the next thing.

What about writing?

4 Feb
image

This Dog loves me

This is a conversation I’ve had in a variety of ways and shapes over the last couple of months with a number of friends and family.

I was at a friend’s birthday party and another friend was telling me about a hip-hop karaoke event that he’d attended and asked me why I wasn’t there as karaoke is one of my most beloved past times.

“I just got my biology text book in the mail, so I’ve been all study, all the time,” I told him.
“Oh, so this is for vet school.”
“Well, no, it’s for vet tech school. I don’t think vet school was ever for me. I’m thinking maybe going into animal behavior or zoology one day.”
A concerned look sweeps across his face.
“But what about writing?”

Well, what about writing? I ask myself that question every day. I have Mondays off of work, so I spent my entire day poring over a Biology text book. I occasionally took breaks to cook, take a walk, read, and write. I also took some time to research possible careers in animal behavior and/or zoology. It’s all interesting. I know I could do it. But it all feels like such a farce. Like who am I kidding with this shit? I feel like a square peg, shoving myself into a round hole and hoping no one notices that my edges don’t quite match up.

I’m quite ashamed of my job history. It’s something I joke about, because it is funny. But in a greater sense, it shows how little commitment I have. It’s not just the job history, it’s the things I’ve pursued. Three years ago, I thought I was going to go back to school to be a teacher. I studied an LSAT book for a couple of weeks. I took a graphic designing class. I bought an introduction to linguistics book. Nothing fits.

While I know that a lot of people my age are at a loss as to what they want to do, I don’t want to be among them. My friend who had the birthday on Saturday is my age, and she has a successful career, a stunning apartment, a graduate degree. I suppose I thought things would fall into place for me by now.

But what about writing? It’s all I’ve really wanted to do. I just don’t know how to swallow my pride, my fear and do it. I simply don’t know how.