Well, it’s going great! For those who don’t know, I applied and was accepted into the Radiography program last spring at our local community college. It’s a 6-semester full-time program and when I graduate I will be able to sit for the ARRT exam to be a registered Radiologic Technologist. I came to the conclusion the last few years that I will never be a full-time photographer. I just don’t have it in me to fight my way to the top of an unstable industry, and I wanted to move on to something more fulfilling. I will always be an entrepreneur at heart, and I use many of those skills every day. I am keeping My Little Advocate and my Placenta Encapsulation services active in order to help pay tuition, but I’ve cut my photography work down to minimal sessions.
This semester has been quite an adjustment for me. I’ve spent the past 9+ years as a stay at home mom and entrepreneur. That’s a long time! I grew comfortable with my routine and the control I had making my own schedule. I know my ‘job’ and how to do it well. I knew it would be challenging to give up all that control and comfort, but change is good.
One of my biggest fears when going back to school has been the fear of failure. One of my biggest flaws is that I either never start something, or quit if I’m not easily good at something. For some reason, I have always struggled with the important reality that no one is instantly perfect or an expert. Everything requires practice, learning, and patience. My first degree is in art and I remember feeling like I was trying as best as I could to interpret art, yet I would still receive B’s and C’s on my papers. I just didn’t get it. Art is very much about looking past what you see and digging deeper — this Type-A girl does not do well with that! I was so afraid that I would try incredibly hard and still not do well. Thankfully, Radiography is science and not art!
My second biggest fear was that I would get bored, or not like it after a while. I have been very indecisive with my career path. I never knew what I wanted to do with my life, and nothing every jumped out at me aside from photography. What if I finished with school and didn’t like the job?? What if I couldn’t handle the lack of control when I have to plan my life around my work schedule? I can’t just sit back and do ‘nothing’ with my life (career wise) just because I’m not one of the few people that knew what they wanted to do since they were young.
I can say, without a doubt, I choose the right path. I LOVE what we’re learning about in class, and I’m actually doing great without having to spend every waking second behind a book. My fear of working my butt off and still not doing well has been put to rest! My fear of not liking it has also been put to rest. My current challenge is the adjustment that comes with starting from scratch as a grown adult. I *know* photography and I have been doing it a long time. Learning something new is tough, and I’m one of those people who wants to know it all right away and be good at it all right away. I hate messing up, forgetting things, or skipping steps because I’m still learning. I’m working on that part, and am learning to appreciate all the things I learn from the different techs I work with.
I am loving clinicals at the VA, and it has only made me more excited about the future. Being an introverted entrepreneur has really taken its toll on me. My businesses haven’t pushed me to get out and be around other adults on a regular daily basis. I avoid social gatherings or anything with people I don’t know well. I have always felt like ‘small talk’ is hard and awkward, but I actually find it quite natural when talking with a patient. I’m much better one-on-one or with very small groups of people than I am in a large social setting, so patient communication isn’t as intimidating as I anticipated. I love spending time with other adults that aren’t just fellow moms. As a stay-at-home parent I really only met or hung out with other parents, and sometimes the only thing we had in common was that we were parents. It’s refreshing to be around adults from all walks of life, not just those with kids. Being a mom isn’t my only identity or worth, so it’s nice to feel like I can offer other qualities as a person.
My biggest challenge has actually been letting go of control when it comes to the kids. I’ve been fortunate this semester to have a wonder family that can watch the boys before school, but it’s been tough telling go of that control and trusting others to step in and help. We’ve never had to use daycare before, but my schedule changes often, so the control freak in me needs backup plans to my backup plan. I am learning to stress-less and realize that some things are out of my hands. If a kid gets sick, I will have to miss class or clinicals just like if I were sick. I can’t do it all, but I am thankful for those who are here to help!
If you made it to the end of this, you are probably family! I’ll end it with some photography, because I will always be a photographer – I’m just moving over to bone photography.
A sad look into what a nerd I am.. I bound my slides for each class into notebooks with the syllabus as the cover page. Oh yeah, I use 32lb paper to make it extra fancy. I ended up buying a laser printer this year too, because ink is expensive (and the printers are sloooow). If you’re interested in how I made this, I got the spines, covers and backs, paper, and paper hole punch all on amazon (click for links), and I print double sided at 120% so there’s less wasted space.
This is my workspace. I usually use the recliner chair and the desk is just to hold stuff. The desk is a wall desk so it’s perfect for the little space we have. I had some racks from hobby lobby that I now use to store my books when they aren’t in my backpack. And Skelly, for studying bones and positioning.