This one's been building rapidly, and it's too big to fit in my head anymore. I have to let it flop out, and take a look at it on paper. (Or screen rather.)
I think I want to be a doctor.
This is a baffling turn of events.
I'm an accountant, and one of our comforts in the profession is that if we do something wrong, no one dies. I'm the girl who has to avert her eyes at any potentially bloody scene in a movie. Even watching a man shaving in a movie makes me cringe, because I envision the razor slipping and slicing open his skin.
Let's talk sophomore year Biology. It was the only C I got in all four years of high school, and it was the last class I've taken that even resembled the course of study required for medicine. And when I took the class, I couldn't have been less interested in memorizing all those long scientific names, phylum-plankton-whatsis and all. You know what I'm talking about.
Also, the closest I've ever come to working in patient care is waitressing. (I know it's not even remotely close, which is the point, but think about this: both lines of work require you to respond to the physical needs of the wide spectrum of humanity, run around on your feet for 12 hour+ shifts and clean up gross messes after people. I have cleaned up puke, urine AND feces in the course of my various waitressing jobs, let alone the disgusting remnants of a pile of chewed up buffalo wings. Gross. But I loved waitressing. I really did.)
I've watched the first season Grey's Anatomy in its entirety this past weekend, and I'm not going to pretend that a made-up TV twenty-something medical drama that glorifies hospital realities hasn't been a factor is this newfound desire of mine. In fact, it's been the turning point. I was surprised that I haven't had to turn my eyes during the brain surgery or blot clots scenes. In fact, I was fascinated.
(Who is this person?? See thing about watching a man shave above. I don't know what is happening to me.)
But, I've been kind of thinking about this for awhile. I've spent a lot of time these past few years trying to figure out who I am. What do I like to do? What am I passionate about? 27 might be a little late to start asking these questions, but better late than never.
I decided to study accounting because it was a good steady job, one where I'd be able to make a decent living working regular hours, at almost any company. I was very young, I was getting married and I wanted to do something sensible, for what seemed like all the right reasons, but was really for all the wrong ones. And it took me about a year to figure out that getting married was an atrociously stupid decision.
In the wake of my divorce, I also realized that I didn't really like accounting, and I started to explore my options. I applied for the Peace Corps and almost got shipped to Eastern Europe. I applied to law school, got accepted to my target school (BC), deferred, and withdrew my acceptance. I've jumped around from job to job to job, restless and unhappy professionally, and the whole point of me coming to work for my father has been so that I can be in a place where I can utilize my professional accomplishments, but also have the flexibility to explore other areas in my life that I might want to develop.
And I've really thought long and hard about this. I thought it would be writing, and I've worked on essays and submitted writing samples to all sorts of places, and the only way I'm going to get better is to keep on working at it. But when I think about my strengths, and the jobs I've enjoyed most I come up with the following:
I like to work with my hands.
I stagnate sitting in front of a computer.
I like to be on my feet, and I like to be busy.
I thrive under pressure and I love to juggle tasks.
I focus and am at my best responding to crises.
I have a technical mind. Not an artsy one.
For the past couple of years I've been eyeing those people walking to work in their scrubs and wondering what a day at work looks like for them. On their feet, solving problems under pressure and helping people. Doing something meaningful. But it's just been an idea, floating in the back of my mind, that I've never really taken seriously.
I thought my leap from accounting would be to writing and knitting and maybe launching something crafty. I've looked into teacher education programs and I keep putting off doing anything because we'd like to start a family and we need to save money and how stupid would it be to start a new career and in the midst of it all have a baby, and then not only are we potentiallly saddled with additional school debt, but lose an income, and lose what I would have made while I was in school.
(Check out that run-on sentence. And I have delusions about becoming a writer.)
When I was 18 I had every opportunity in the world open to me, and I wish that I had taken the time to think about what I really wanted to do, and given myself a chance to figure it out. That was the time to be fuddling around and exploring and starting anew.
I've never worked in patient care. I don't have a single undergraduate prerequisite course under my belt that would prepare me for the MCAT or a Physician Assistant program. We're talking 2 or 3 years of working and taking classes at night to even get to the point of knowing if this is even possible, or if I'd even like it. And then potentially 2 or 3 years of school, then a residency.
I'm also painfully aware that I am a jack of all trades and a master of none. I love learning a little bit about everything, and then moving on to something else. In a month, I may have completely changed my mind. What does this say about me? Have I just not found the right thing, or am I the sort of person who will never find the right thing?
I have a plan. There's a pre-med Biology course offered by Harvard Extension school that begins in January. If this hankering is still around by then, I'm going to take the course. And then we'll see.
I like having a plan. It makes me feel like I'm handling this somehow.