Monday, February 28, 2011
Take A Chance on Change
I stoop down in front of the aisle to see what's missing. All I see is cheese: white cheddar, brie, fontina, bleu cheese, goat cheese, gouda, swiss, parmesan, asiago, the cheeses seem to go on and on. I look at the first of 40 or so racks of cheese that I will be putting on the shelf. It's havarti, and it looks delicious. My stomach rumbles. I look at my watch. The time says 6:10am. Better get working. I put my earbuds in my ears, turn on a compilation of music, and begin mentally studying for my molecular biology test that is in 4 days.
I woke up this morning at 4:45am to make sure I had time to prepare for work: make lunch, eat breakfast, fix hair, apply makeup (what little I wear), and dress properly (I work in a refrigerator, you know). My work "uniform" consists of running pants worn under my jeans, two pairs of socks, a long sleeve shirt, a turtleneck, my sweatshirt, and a pair of gloves. Two days a week, I work at Trader Joe's, a wonderful grocery store that specializes in unique, well-priced products. Two other days a week I'm in school, taking pre-requisites toward a radiology program. Last semester I took "Math For the Health Sciences" that consisted mostly of word problems relating to nursing, radiology, and radiation therapy. I studied very hard and did well. This semester I'm taking Molecular Biology, and I have to say that it is certainly harder, albeit interesting. I still write book reviews for the Children's Literature Comprehensive Database, and I am finalizing my edits on my manuscript. My kiddies have sports and dance at night and lots of homework. So most of my studying occurs after they go to bed or when I wake up at 4:00am. This is not easy, but if I can get past the pre-requisites, get into a residency program and complete it, the rewards will be great. I plan to do this.
My life is very different than it was just 7 months ago, which is largely why I haven't been blogging. Studying takes up most of my free time, but I'm going to work hard to blog again because there is SO much to talk about.
Previously I worked one, 12-hour Saturday a week, managing weddings. As much as I LOVED this job, I knew that there would not be an opportunity to expand the position. I was interested in pursuing a career that required a specialization, where I could work more hours, and where there was a true need. My husband suggested that I look into the medical professions. I laughed at first thinking that I could never do this, I mean, my background is in the arts. How could I possibly be successful pursuing something that involved tons of science? After doing the research for almost a year, I decided to pursue the career of a radiologic technician (the person who takes your x-rays). There is a need for these types of jobs, there is opportunity to grow and broaden (mammography and sonography is possible with additional courses). I don't laugh anymore at this option. I'm actually really excited by the prospect of working in a hospital. Yes, it's true that I have two other degrees- a Bachelor of Design in Architecture from the University of Florida and a Master's of Science in Marketing from Johns Hopkins University. Yet finding work in either of these professions has proven to be difficult, and I discovered two things in the last few years leading up to when I turned 40 last year:
1) IF I AM UNHAPPY WITH WHERE I AM AS FAR AS VOCATION, IT'S UP TO ME TO CHANGE THIS
2) IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL (never)
I have to remind myself that it is possible to do it all, and there are a lot of people that have told me that I either can't do it or I'm wasting my time, but I know they are wrong. Who knows? Maybe they are jealous that I am pursuing something that will lead to something greater than what I have now. A lot of moms I know are fumbling around trying to figure out who to become now that their children are of school age (I get it. I was there for a few years myself). I have to be focused and very structured with my time, and I am very lucky that my husband supports me, even encourages me. Again, in the end, I will be helping him and the family financially, which benefits all of us in the long run. It's hard to keep that in mind sometimes. I do get frustrated and tired sometimes, but I know I'm making the right decision.
Are you going through this as well? I know there are others out there that want to change their lives, or have changed their lives by going back to school, or have changed their lives by changing careers. What do you think? What's your take on all of this?