March is slipping away like I can’t believe. I’m looking ahead to this crazy week filled with appointments, errands, writing deadlines, NO SCHOOL, a playdate, a visit, a grant application deadline, NO SCHOOL, a trip to pack for and arrangements to be made and I think this week is definitely not slowing down. Did I mention there’s NO SCHOOL right now which just throws my schedule off, just a wee bit.
This month has been significant for me since I made a decision in the fall. I will be not be renewing my license in speech-language pathology on March 31. I have been a practicing speech-language pathologist since 2005 (part time since the babies started coming) and have been working with children with special needs since 1998.
Ever since I started babysitting as a tween and volunteering in the Scouting movement with Beavers, I figured I would always work with children. It was easy. They were cute. Sometime in my first year of college I came across some information on speech-language pathology and thought, hey, this combines some things I like – language and helping people. Oh, and speech therapists work mostly with kids – this will be easy. So I closed my eyes and went for it and ignored the subtle messages I received over the next 7 years of schooling that this really wasn’t it for me. This wasn’t making me want to jump out of bed in the morning.
At the end of last summer, when I really started wrestling with this completely crazy idea that was just begging to burst out of me (the messages were not so subtle any more) I went for a long walk by myself. It was my first SOLO hour-long walk in eons and it was awesome. On that walk, I realized that one of the reasons I was having a hard time letting go of speech-language pathology was that in my mind there was such a huge disconnect between speech pathology and writing. It seemed like there was career A and career B and they didn’t converge and I had to make this huge leap from one to the other – and if I should slip or land incorrectly, I’d fall into a great abyss.
So, my mind was thinking this way but my body through its one foot in front of the other motion started showing me something else. Suddenly, it dawned on me that there’s a reason why the term “career path” exists. It really is a journey. There’s nothing disconnected about flowing from one line of work to another – it’s in fact, a much smoother stroll when you’re aligning your professional, spiritual and personal lives.
And on April 1, 2012, what’s really going to be different about me other than the fact that I won’t be working as a speech-language pathologist? I still care about language and helping people. I’m just expressing it in a way that goes with my grain. The friends I have been blessed with over the past several years that started out as clients or classmates have evolved into a strong support network for me – all of me, not just the speech therapist. So, really, in essence, I’m still walking my path – the view is just a little different!
Everyone’s journey and transition is different – if you have thoughts to share, please leave a comment below!