Wednesday, May 24, 2017

On Accepting Change.

Have you ever had something happen and you think to yourself, “my entire life is about to change?”
 If we’re lucky (or, in some cases, unlucky), we have a lot of those moments – big moments that don’t feel all that monumental at the time, but looking back, they changed the course of our own little worlds.

For me, it was three weeks after I quit my job in sales and started serving again. On my first day of training, the head server brought me back to the “dish pit” and started explaining to me where the dirty silverware, plates, and cups go. The restaurant world was a place I was so sure I would never revisit. As I stepped into the stuffy, humid dish pit, I took in the stacks of messy appetizer plates and soaking forks, the seemingly endless rows of glass racks and garbage can full of uneaten leftovers. Even though I was making a big life change (and serving tables as a profession is nothing to be ashamed of whatsoever), I felt a bit deflated. But I thought to myself, “well, this is a change, but this is my life now.”
 I walked into my first post-bacc class about five months after quitting my job. It was 90+ degrees outside, I was rocking a 101 degree fever, and the air conditioning in my lecture hall was shot. I was wearing a backpack for the first time in years, and felt more like Franklin the Turtle than a returning student. I started learning about the International Phonetic Alphabet and the human ear. When my first exam rolled around, I turned down fun social plans to study. More than two years after taking my last exam, it’s safe to say the adjustment was a real struggle. But I thought to myself, “well, this is a change, but this is my life now.”
 Starting graduate school last fall, I had no idea what I was getting into. Short of my observation hours at a local elementary school and volunteering at the general hospital, I didn’t know the first thing about becoming an SLP. For the first time in my life, I was scared to make new friends. I’d found my clique of girls during my post-bacc, girls that were just starting their senior year of undergrad while I moved on to grad school a year ahead. For some reason, I didn't think I was going to fit in with my cohort. But I thought to myself, "well, this is a change, but this is my life now, and we're all in this together."

Yesterday, I submitted my applications for externships. In the coming weeks, I'll be contacted for interviews. In just a few months, I'll be removed from the comfort of my school's clinic, my core group of girlfriends, my routine of class-then-clinic-then-class-then-clinic. I'll be on my way to practicing on my own, and that is a scary thought...scary enough to get me worked up about the future, where I'm headed, and where I'll end up. It's easy for me to get caught up in worrying about the next move; sometimes, fear of the unknown is borderline paralyzing. But it's just a change, and I'll adjust, just like I always do.


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