I understand that my first post (here) may have been a bit vague. What is “it” that I want to do? Fair warning now: this is a bit longer than my first post. I don’t plan on most of my posts being this long. I’m writing this for myself as much as for anyone who wants to read it. I need to see it written down so that I can move on.
Let’s back up a few (or many) years. I have wanted to be in the healthcare field for most of my life. When I was in high school, I thought I wanted to be a doctor. I was even a participant in the 2000 National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine in Washington, DC. It was an amazing experience and I learned much about what I would need to do to be a doctor. Ironically, it was because of this experience that I decided being a doctor wasn’t for me. I didn’t want to go to school forever, rack up huge loans to pay for school, and then only be able to spend a small amount of time with patients.
When I realized I didn’t want to be a doctor, I felt lost. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life, so I went to college and majored in something I was good at: math (more specifically, statistics). Not knowing what to do with my major, I took a job at a marketing consulting company upon graduating. Many of our clients were in the pharmaceutical industry and over a few years of working there, I realized I was much more interested in the medicine than the marketing. I knew I had to get back to the medical field using skills I already had, so I was excited to get a research position at the number one children’s hospital in the country. My plan was to then go to nursing school to become a nurse practitioner.
It is this position that forever changed my life. I discovered something I loved and was incredibly good at: clinical research. I spent three wonderful years in various research positions in the cardiology department. During this time I got engaged, got married, lost a dear uncle, and we bought our first house. There was so much going on, I didn’t have time to think about school. I blamed a lot of it on the three-hour round-trip commute. After three years, the commute became too much to justify so I knew it was time to look for a new job.
I had incredible luck again as a position in research was open at a local community hospital’s cancer center and I would be working directly with the Clinical Research Nurse. I jumped at the chance to learn a new field of medicine and work directly with a nurse. Additionally, and most importantly, I would now finally have time to go back to school, now that my round-trip commute would be less than an hour!
Fast forward two years to now. I am incredibly happy in my current position, but it’s not what I want to do the rest of my life. I am still not in nursing school. I have gone back and forth over the years about whether I truly want to be a nurse and regrettably, done nothing about it. I’ve done plenty of things in that time, such as further my current career, but my dream life, the life I want to build, has not completely started yet. I think I’ve been struggling with this decision because most of what I want to do isn’t necessarily nursing, but I know that having that RN after my name will give me clout.
I don’t know if it’s because I turned 30 this past year or, more importantly, that our trip to Europe this past summer opened my eyes to all the possible other lifestyles we could have, but I have finally realized that what I want to do is be a type of health coach. I want to help people change their lives through food, exercise, and other whole living techniques. I believe that these are the foundations of health.
I am nearly finished with my application for part-time nursing school. This would (hopefully) start fall 2014. In the meantime, I should take some of the co-requisite courses (Anatomy & Physiology I & II, Microbiology) to get them out of the way. I may also look into getting a nutritionist and/or personal training certification, either now or in the future. The idea is still hazy, but I am sure it will continue to form as I learn what I want to really do and whether people want me to help them do it.
This is also why I started this blog. I want to be able to reach out to people now, to share knowledge I’ve gained over the years through personal and professional experience and research about simple, everyday things we can do to improve our physical, mental, and spiritual health and avoid disease. I would also love to learn from all of you out there as I am certainly no authority. So, what do you say? Let’s do this!