July 7, 2009

Moving the Ladder to Another Wall

Two days ago, I was hailed upon to help out a little kitty that my friends Mick & Lucy found. It was a fiesty little creature with lots of pet potential....except that it's hind end was literally rotting off, seething with maggots. I suggested that it definitely needed to go to the AA Small Animal Emergency Clinic (where I used to work in college)(they moved to a bigger, more beautiful, high class spot!), and while we waited, I realized the kitty didn't have enough skin to cover the wound even if we had tried to clean it out, and that euthanasia was probably in it's future (sad outcome...it was really a cutie, and M & L had put lots of love already into the little thing). Dr. Dawes came in and confirmed my suspicions.
It was the first time since I left AASAES that I had gone back, and the first time I had seen Dr. Dawes. She asked if I were still in vet school. I told her the abbreviated sad story and she told me not to give up, that she'd be happy to write me a recommendation, that I'd be welcome to come work at the clinic again. She was so kind (as she always is/was), and I got a lump in my throat. If I didn't still want to be a vet, this whole thing would seem easier. Every time I think I'm over it, something happens to get me confused and lingering on the possibility of becoming a vet again. I have dreams of going back to school, of giving everything up to finish. People I haven't seen in years encourage me to keep trying--and of course, I have to take those suggestions with a grain of salt because they aren't aware of the avenues I've already tried unsuccessfully. I know they are just trying to help but sometimes it is counterproductive to suggest continued effort on a dead end because my wishful thinking kicks in and their encouragements trick me into thinking 'maybe there IS just one more avenue I haven't tried yet' which is ultimately damaging to my psyche and path.
I went home very happy to have been able to help out friends, grateful they trusted my medical opinion and caring nature, but also confused and weary about my own past/future. Dinner with Ben was drab because we've discussed these issues a million times over and I just didn't feel like saying them over again, even though they were replaying in my head. I was ready for bed, but Ben suggested we watch a NOVA or National Geographic video on Hulu as we often do (free! haven't rented a movie since december...). So we watched this short 6 minute video (follow video: water: state of the earth) and a few other videos about overfishing, and, amazingly, that's all I needed to feel 100% confident that my decision to pursue environmental policy instead of veterinary medicine is the right decision for me. Acting as an ambassador for the environment feels inspired to me, and hopeful. I feel excited and passionate again.
I saw someone last night who said to me "if you're climbing a ladder on the wrong wall, you're just getting closer to where you don't want to be". I laughed. I went to vet school to become an educated environmentalist, that's what I've always said. I think I could have reached my goals that way, but it was clearly the hard way around. Most of my peers were there to take care of sick kitties, poor producing cows, and lame horses. I think I would have loved a job that involved some of that, but the more direct route to become an educated environmentalist is still available to me.
* moving the ladder to another wall *


Mick said...

you are a treasure

Mindy said...

You are a caring, insightful person. I have no doubt that whatever path you choose is one where you will make you mark and make the world a better place. You are simply amazing.

Mandy Byron said...

I love environmental policy and did my Masters in it and have unfortunately strayed, but I think it is a very valuable/important career path and that you would be amazing at it! I can put in a good word for you at Third Rock if you want, or, if you all want to travel around and see Europe, I can get information to you on the intern program I did...