Saturday, December 31, 2011


"It's suspended there to remind us before we pop the champagne and celebrate the New Year, to stop and reflect on the year that has gone by. To remember both our triumphs and our missteps - our promises made, and broken. The times we opened ourselves up to great adventures - or closed ourselves down, for fear of getting hurt. Because that's what New Year's is all about: getting another chance. A chance to forgive, to do better, to do more, to give more, to love more. And stop worrying about 'what if' and start embracing what would be. So when that ball drops at midnight - and it will drop - let's remember to be nice to each other, kind to each other. And not just tonight but all year long." New Years Eve

With breathless laughter two girls stepped out in into the cold December night saying hello to a beautiful new January morning. Their forms silhouetted against a sky full of fireworks. Four feet pounded the payment with shouts and cheers of "Happy New Year" encircling them by the drunks pouring out of the bar across the street. Still laughing they rushed to the car as the sky continued to be filled with fireworks from different parts of the valley they called home.

The drive home was full of boisterous singing to songs from their teenage days and shouts of amazement as the fireworks continued in the sky as they sped down the highway. Declarations of plans for the future shot back and forth like arrows and words of affection for each other were also exchanged and the two girls speeding down the freeway became quiet and thoughtful.

I have a sneaking suspicion that those two girls, showered with optimism that only a new year can bring, will make it the best they have had yet.

For my sake and for theirs I hope that my suspicion is correct.

Happy New Year everybody.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Journey

This was me more than a year ago within the first week of starting the program I'm currently in. Today as I write this blog I have finished up the last of my finals in my 4th semester of school. This semester is my final semester of class work and I have learned all that my teachers can teach me.

I hardly know the girl in this picture anymore. She's familiar to me in a way that you might feel familiar to someone you went to high school with but barely conversed with. I feel a sort of affection for her naivety and overconfidence. I feel affection towards how little she knew about herself at the time and what she was capable of.

A year ago I was POSITIVE I could take the national exam and ace it because of my 5 solid years as a physical therapy aide.
A year ago I thought I would kick everyone's butts in practicals and that I was the best out of anyone in my program.
A year ago I thought that I would have to teach everyone else all the amazing I knew so that they could try and keep up with me.
And deep down inside..a year ago I thought I would never make it though this program. A year ago, I figured I would do what I always do when faced with school. Try hard the first few weeks, and then drop everything and fail out.

A year later I realize that even with a whole lot of studying and a pinch of luck, I'm might not pass the national exam.
A year later I realize that while I am better than some on my practicals, I will always have more to learn.
A year later I realize that my fellow students have more to teach me than I could ever hope to teach anyone else and at times I wouldn't be me who was waiting for them to keep up but the other way around.
A year later I've realized that if it's something I'm passionate about I can do whatever I put my mind to.

Around this time a year ago I was having my heart broken by someone not even remotely worth my tears. And while it put dating on the back burner for a while (a good thing I assure you, I didn't get a 3.7 for nothing last semester) it was a growing experience I would never want to change or give up for anything.

Earlier this year I also lost my job. A job at the time I would have lived and died for. I loved that job more than anything in the whole world. It was a job full of people I believed to be my friends. The place I felt was my second home stocked full of my second family. When I was unceremoniously kicked out of that job, I thought my whole world had fallen apart. I felt like there was no way to continue in the PT career, but within weeks I saw the gift that was losing my job. I was given the opportunity to explore one of my hobbies more fully, like I said earlier I got a 3.7 GPA, a first for me.

It's been a rough road with a lot of times where I thought I was going to have to hang it up and give up my goal. There were a lot of tears shed, a lot of disasters that I wasn't sure were going come out okay, but in the end, this journey has been something I will never forget and I value immensely.

There are a few people without whom I wouldn't be writing this reflective blog.

Cait: my study buddy, my cheerleader, my partner in crime, and my ride to school.
Ryan: My school older brother who kept me laughing, could always find my trigger points, and came up with good ways to remember things
Dr. N: My school mentor, the teacher who was always on my side, and the nerdy sounding board I needed when I thought I'd rip all my hair out
My Family: for their monetary help, their prayers, their encouragement and their unceasing belief that I can be amazing
Lady Underdown: my mentor and the first person in the biz who told me I could truly become a great clinician, without her pushing me to be better, I wouldn't have lasted in this program.
Rachel: my quizzer and guinea pig even though most of the time she had no idea what I was doing, saying, or trying to remember.

It's been a fantastic 16 months and on to the next 5 and a half!