Thursday, June 15, 2006

Ruminations at the Close of my Second Semester

I cannot BELIEVE how fast the last nine months have flown by.

My official final exam scores:

100% on my Massage Practical
96% on my written test on Pathology for Massage Therapists (I didn't study AT ALL and I'm amazed I did this well!)
100% on my Anatomy test
103% on my Kinesiology Test (Extra Credit!)


I've completed all my required clinic shifts and performed one Community Service - I joined a group of my fellow students giving free 10-minute massages to tired bikers and walkers at the end of the walk/run/ride for the American Cancer Society.

If I were in the New Jersey program, I'd be done... but no, I had to get licensed for New York. So I have four more months of classes and clinics. No big deal. The irritating people in my class are all graduating and hopefully I will NEVER have to see them or hear their voices again.

I will miss some of them though. There was talk last night about a get-together in a month or so, after everyone gets back from our respective vacations, but I'm not really holding my breath. I might try and see one or two people for lunch or something, but I know how these things go, and I highly doubt I'll see any of these folks again. That's kind of sad.

Then again, who knows? Maybe we'll run into each other in a professional capacity. One of my classmates has already opened a spa and invited me to work there. So we'll see. And this is one of the cool people.

I went out for dinner last night with five of my classmates and my Anatomy teacher. We had a lot of mexican appetizers and too many margaritas, but we also got to really talk. My teacher told me I have a gift, and that it's my destiny to become a doctor. I have heard this before and I laugh it off. I have SO many reasons why I'm not interested in Medical School. For one, I like to sleep too much. But this guy was adamant. "One of these days," he said, "When you have a stethoscope hanging around your neck, in Namibia, you'll think of me!"

Namibia! Talk about liberal Florence Nightingale fantasies. Who wouldn't love to join Doctors Without Borders? There are SO many places in the world where a person could help make a difference...

OH STOP. I want to have babies! I want a condo and yearly vacations to warm places! I want to make a record! I'm JUST A MASSAGE THERAPIST.

If only I had had teachers like him when I was in college, when I was 20, and had my whole youth ahead of me. All those years I spent floundering... If only someone like him had taken an interest in me then.

Nowadays, it's really almost a cruel tease. I know I'm smart. I know I could probably still do almost anything with my life. But I don't feel that something as big as Medical School.. I honestly feel like it's too late. I'm going to be 35 this year and I'm desperately in love with my fiancee and the life we're talking about building together. I've been in student loan debt for ten years. I'm going to be for another few years. I've had too many lean years - I'm DYING for some fat ones. I hate that it's taken me this long to feel like my life is really getting started.

This line of thought is going in a really dangerous place.

I'm kind of angry at my teacher for being so encouraging. I'm really happy, dammit. At least, I'm as happy as I think I can be. I know I have to make choices in my life. It's only the rarest of people who don't have to choose between family and career. I just can't lose that frightening thought that, for the rest of my life, I'm going to wonder what I might have been capable of. I have no idea how far my potential lies. I have no idea what it would take to reach it.

What if I had gone to more auditions?

Everyone says it's not too late. But you don't live in South Nyack, and you aren't planning a wedding. Not to mention still being 20 gand in student loan debt, and some other debt to boot.

I guess I've had it with hearing people tell me what I could do, and then walk away from me, leaving me to do it all by myself.

Not too long ago, I attended a sort of group therapy session with a bunch of women who were all going through transitions. (At the time, mine was divorce.) I told the story of my professional life to the group, how close I had come to so many things, then one little thing just never happened. "You keep slipping through the cracks," the therapist said. Nobody else could think of anything to say to me. "That sucks," said the woman who owns two designer boutiques.

All I see when I look at Medical School is a long, steep road with one of the highest tolls in the country... that's split with more cracks than terrazo flooring.

I'm just too tired to take any more of those risks.

I think, maybe, that's what sucks most of all.


Judy said...

Yay! You're two thirds done!

Frank said...

Congrats on the successful end of your year. Reminder: you're getting married and are happy about it.