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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The One About My Blogging Absence

Well, hello there, I’ve missed you guys, I really have; but this little break I have taken was very much needed. I know I don’t necessarily owe you an explanation for my blog absence, it is my blog after all and I can come and go as I please. But I do like to be open and honest here and I do hope that maybe the things I am/have been dealing with can or will help someone else. While most of my struggles have been personal I do think that there is some comfort in knowing you aren’t alone. All of that being said, I’m not necessarily looking for sympathy here either, far from it; I realize I am a very blessed person and I KNOW I am blessed beyond measure. And I also know that God has my life in His hands and will always provide me with what I need and when I need it. I trust in Him with all my heart and that truly is what has gotten me to the other side of this trying time. Also, bear with me because this could be a long post.

This summer has been very hard and trying, and tiring for that matter. I wrote early on about how adjusting to marriage was hard for me. However, I feel like I’ve taken most of it in stride. I love my husband very much and I am willing to go through the growing pains of building a new life together. Learning to adjust to new schedules, new routines, new places, all of those are things that if I’m being honest are difficult for me but are things that I know I can make it through. The things that I had not anticipated that made that transition infinitely worse though were our jobs. Over the summer both of us were experiencing things related to our job that was making our home life a bit difficult.

For Alex it was the hours he was having to devote to a project at work. I am so proud of Alex and how hard working he is, I support his career and his attention to his job. I knew going into our marriage that he would be starting law school this fall (which he did two weeks ago) and I knew that my evenings with him would be reduced to Friday nights only. This is something that I knew going in and something that while it’s not my ideal form of marriage it is something that I am ok with – Alex is pursuing a dream of his, he is doing something to better our future and he is doing something I knew from day one of meeting him that he was planning to do. I am OKAY with this temporary arrangement so he can be successful. However, I did not count on coming home from our honeymoon and his evenings being over taken with work every single night and a lot on the weekends. He didn’t plan on that either, which made our transition to marriage just a little bit harder.

Another thing we did not account for was my job and the stress that it has brought me over the past several months, and honestly, this is where the real issues have been and the real source of my problems and the cause for my need to back away from things and just figure things out. Three years ago I was blessed with my first corporate America job; I really didn’t have much experience, I was just out of college and someone gave me a chance. I started out in an administrative position and within a year I was promoted and able to work with patients. I have been working in Alzheimer’s research for the past three years, the last 2 I have been seeing patients daily and doing the neuropsych testing for our research studies. I liked my job and have never really had many complaints. Of course in research there are always the ups and downs of funding and working for the state has its perks and also some downside to it as well, but mostly I was content. However, I also knew this was not a CAREER job for me…

So let me back up a little bit – my degree is in Kinesiology and my plan and passion has always been to eventually work my way into some sort of career doing rehab and therapy. Physical therapy has also been a dream of mine and a very likely career. But if you have read my blog for a while now you know that three years ago I went through a terrible divorce, I needed a job right away and ended up in research. Again, I’ve been very thankful for that. But I have always desired to pursue therapy. PT school has kind of been a distant dream; I lack a few sciences classes to apply as well as experience. However, Physical Therapy Assistant school seemed like a decent option. So about a year and a half ago I went to visit a school in my area that has a PTA program and I got some information and started doing some research. It took me a little while to even decide that this was something I wanted to pursue but I finally decided that I’m not getting any younger, nor am I really going anywhere in my current career.

So this past winter I jumped through all the hoops of applying for PTA school – I wrote a research paper, filled out the forever long applications, turned in school transcripts (that was a pain, I had attended 3 colleges and had 2 different names!!). It was a long and stressful process but I finally got my application in. But then there were problems…. One of the colleges I had attended was out of state and that was where I took my math class and apparently Texas has certain rules on math classes and such, which honestly I think are RIDICULOUS! So long story short I found out at the beginning of May that I did not get into the PTA program that I wanted to get in to. Thankfully at that time I had the wedding to distract me so I just said it wasn’t meant to be and moved on.

But then we got home from the honeymoon and I had time to reflect and think about my future. I knew that in a few short months Alex would be going to school and doing something to further his education and better himself for his career and I would still be stuck at a job that while it was ok I wasn’t passionate about. I want to pursue MY dreams of therapy and I also know that in the near future I want to have a family as well. I just felt the pressure of TIME hanging over me. I felt like it was now or never to pursue my therapy dreams. I didn’t want to be in school and have kids. But I also didn’t want to wait for the next 10+ years to pursue my dreams. I also don’t necessarily desire to be a full-time stay at home mom either. I just felt so overwhelmed with the “WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH MY LIFE?” question.

So I went back to the PTA school several weeks ago, I wanted to find out what I could do differently for the following year. I wasn’t going to give up and I knew I needed to speak with someone so that I didn’t encounter the same issues as this past year. I’m actually really glad I took the time to go out there but I also left that meeting feeling very defeated. This next year they would be changing a lot of their requirements and ironically enough my silly little math class would no longer be an issue but there would be other things that would keep me from being accepted at this time and I would have to go back and take several classes this fall JUST to even be considered for the spring. At this point my heart just wasn’t in it.

All the while my job is becoming even more stressful. There are internal problems, problems with the department and problems with a few coworkers as well. I would come home from work every single day and just cry. I hated it. I was so close to handing in my notice multiple times, things were that bad. I’m not one to walk away from responsibilities and I’m not one to just quit but things were bad here, really, really bad.

So I started looking for a new job. Part of the requirements for PT school and now PTA school is they want to see that you have experience working in a therapy setting and while my current job gives me patient and clinic experience it was only going to get me so far. The only thing that would really be beneficial to me would be to find a job as a Physical Therapy Technician. So that’s what I started looking for. Let me tell you those jobs are HARD to find, very hard! I’ve actually looked many times before and have never gotten anywhere on my searches. For starters there just aren’t many of those positions available anymore, due to cut-backs in many places the job of a technician is just something that most places try to do without. The job of a technician is basically an assistant type job, an apprenticeship is you will. You do whatever the therapist needs you to do, some days that may be filing paperwork, some days that may be setting up certain equipment for whatever patient you see that day and some days that may actually be assisting with the actual visit of the patient. It’s a time for you to learn the ins and outs of therapy without actually prescribing or administering the therapy yourself. So for someone looking to gain access and experience in the therapy field it’s ideal! But like I said, hard to come by.

Well back in July a friend of a friend said that they knew of a clinic that was hiring so I very eagerly passed on my resume. This clinic was actually part of a big hospital system here and one that I really wanted to be a part of. I got an interview and went and was so excited about the possibility of this job. But after waiting several weeks I found out that I didn’t get the job. I was crushed. Meanwhile I had filled out several more applications at this particular hospital for other therapy tech jobs (and some non-therapy jobs as well, I needed OUT of my current job), there were actually a few listings for technicians at the time and on one particular day I filled out 4 applications for tech jobs – it was like I was in heaven because seriously, those jobs don’t become available all that often!!

Well then I got an email back from one of them letting me know that my resume had been selected as a possible candidate and would I be available for a phone interview, I immediately emailed back. I did the phone interview and while I thought it went well it left me a bit bummed about what the actually position would be. But then I got called for an interview so I decided to go anyways.
I was still unsure of the actual position but I realized that this clinic (which was part of the hospital system that I want to work for) was only 3 miles from our house, 3 MILES! (Right now I drive 24 miles to work or ride an hour long train ride) The clinic is actually a pediatric out-patient therapy center and peds is something that I am quite passionate about, another plus! Then I show up to the interview and start listening to the clinic manager talk about the position and everything I would get experience doing and I knew instantly that this job would be more than just a dream come true for me. I left that interview excited and optimistic but I also knew she had a few more interviews before I would know anything.

Meanwhile my current job sent me on a trip to Chicago for training on a new drug study that we would be doing. I actually really enjoyed the trip and will try to get some pictures up soon. But I was still stressed out not knowing if I would hear anything or not. I waited 10 days before I finally gave the clinic manager a call and I left a message. I waited all day for her to call me back but she didn’t.

Then the next day I got a call from the job recruiter and she offered me the job!!!!! I wish I could express the joy and relief I felt at that moment. She offered me the position of Therapy Technician for a pediatric facility. I will be taking a pay cut for this job but honestly, I just don’t care, I’m so excited and so ready to do something I’m passionate about! So, all of that being said, this Friday is my last day at my current job! It’s very surreal to see my very first real world job come to an end but I know it’s time for me to move on.

I can’t give too many details on my new job other than I will be working with children! I will be the only technician at this clinic working with 8 speech pathologist, 7 occupational therapist and 5 physical therapist, that’s a lot of people to assist!! But that also means I have a LOT to learn and a lot to gain! I will be working 3 miles from home! And I will also only be working 4 days a week! I feel so truly blessed with this opportunity and at times I felt like maybe God just wanted me to stay here at my current job, but now I can truly see His will in the next few years of my future.

Now that I have this job my plan is to take my time and LEARN; I plan to wait until Alex finishes law school (4 years from now) before I pursue the rest of my education, and I’m actually very ok with that. This job allows me time to learn different types of therapy. It allows me some flexibility to pursue some of my other passions and goals, like to complete an ultra marathon and an Ironman before I’m 31 (there, I said it!). And it also allows me to gain experience so that in a few years I can have a better application for PT School or OT school. And most of all, this job allows me to do something I am passionate about!

So while I never intended to take such a break from blogging I needed that time. I needed to figure some things out. I needed to give myself a break. Most days I was just going through them hour by hour, it was that rough. Some days I got a run in, some days I ate healthy and some days I was doing good just to get myself out the door and show up to work.

I’m a little behind on marathon training and with a new schedule coming I’m having to be flexible and it’s going to take a few weeks to iron out my new schedule but I still have quite a few races and I am still running, but that’s another post for another day, this post is already long enough as it is! So there you have it, the last few whirlwind months in a nutshell. They were hard and trying but I know I am stronger for them. I never doubted God has a plan for me but it was definitely a period of life where I had to be carried. I struggled a lot but I also prayed a lot. I had quite a few tears but I also spent a lot of time in God’s word. I clung to Romans 12:1-2 many times:

“Therefore I urge your brothers, in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good pleasing and perfect will.”


Many days I wanted to be angry and upset and just give up, but I knew that I had to use this time to still be respectful. I had to respect myself and my husband. I had to respect my current job and coworkers and I had to not let myself be conformed to this world. I feel blessed to be here ready to start a new job next Monday and I am very excited for the opportunity that is in front of me.

7 comments:

Kim Turner said...

WOW!!! So much in this post! Mostly - congrats on the new job - I'm so glad that you are going to get to do something that you feel passionate about. We have told our boys from the time they were young - it's never about money - it's about finding what you enjoy and doing that!!! I hope you love the new job!!! And, hang in there - the first year of marriage is hard no matter what the circumstances and having the job stress and your husband starting law school just add to it - in a few years this year will just be a good memory!!!

Leigh said...

We all need blogging breaks once and a while...I just took one and it was fabulous! Congratulations on your new job! So excited for you and can't wait to see how it goes :)

armyamy said...

You have had a lot on your plate! Just getting married is excuse enough to sit back and take a breather. Pile on all the stuff with your husband's job and the start of law school and your job. I know what it's like to be in a job where you aren't happy or completely passionate. It sounds like (after a lot of work and hustle on your part) you are on the track to where you want to be. Congratulations on the new job!

Misty Robertson said...

I'm Misty, one of the runners who ran the last few miles of Rough Creek with you today! You wanna hear something crazy?? I'm a PTA! I do home health now, but I started out in Pediatric Outpatient. I wish you the best of luck and congrats on the new job! If you have any questions feel free to ask!

meghan said...

Thanks for the update, Lauren! It's good to hear from you. Congratulations on the new job. I'm glad it's giving you a sense of relief and feeling like you're growing. Feeling like you're stuck in a dead end anywhere in life is frustrating. Congratulations also on PT school and that decisions. I know having a husband in school is hard. Tim is doing his MBA and I feel like I never see him. It frustrates me, and while I know it's for a good end goal, it makes it hard for me because I really miss spending time with him. I just have to keep waiting for the end result, because I know the work is fulfilling him. He's really proud when he gets a good grade back. It sounds like you and I can relate in that regard. I hope the new job and pursuing your own dreams will help!

Curly Pink Runner said...

SO glad to see a post from you!!! I've missed you!!
First of all --- HUGE hugs to you girl! I have cried more days this year than I can even count (and I NEVER cry), so I can totally empathize with you! But, at the same time-- I also rejoice with you because God IS good, HE does have a plan and we can totally trust Him!

I am SOOOO excited for you to begin this new job! There is nothing more exciting and invigorating than pursuing our dreams! Go get it girl!!! Happy, happy, happy for you!

Mrs. Kee said...

So proud of you and all the new things going on in your life!