Fifteen years ago after attending Auburn University I realized that it wasn’t the route that I wanted to take and that I needed a new plan. I decided to move home and attend a small massage therapy school in St. Augustine, FL.
I felt like this was a good career for me because honestly I wanted to travel and massage therapy could take me anywhere. It was something that I had a little bit of interest in and I felt like it was a good match for me. I pictured myself in more of a spa setting with clients who wanted a relaxing massage. At 19, I wasn’t really thinking too far in the future.
School started and I loved it. To be excited about going to school and learning was a great feeling and something that I had lost at Auburn. I truly felt like I had found my niche. Becoming educated about the body, massage and how we could use this to heal people fascinated me and I was doing quite well.
While attending massage school I met my future husband and became pregnant. Now a career in massage therapy had become less about traveling the world and more about how it would fit into my new life. We felt like this career would allow a great deal of flexibility because being home with our son was equally as important to us. About halfway through my education in massage therapy, the school I was attending dropped its night program due to low enrollment and was only going to continue to offer full-time day classes.
Unfortunately, that was not an option for me. I was angry, upset, and felt completely stripped of my plan for my future. I was not sure what to do and there were not really any other options for continuing my education in my area. Then, our son, Riley, was born and going to back to school fell to the wayside.
Our family became my focus. I have been a stay-at-home mom for many years and have picked up odd jobs through that time to help supplement our growing family, but I knew when all of our children were in school and it was something that my husband and I could afford I would go back to school.
So, here I am enrolled and about to begin classes in a Massage Therapy program in a town close by. My excitement for the career hasn’t changed, but I think the path that I would like to take the knowledge that I gain has. A few years ago I injured my knee and I was determined to get better on my own through physical therapy and massage. In the end, even after all my hard work I wound up having to have surgery.
Massage helped immensely with my discomfort both before and after surgery. I remember calling my massage therapist and thanking her for a sort of freedom from that discomfort. My hope is to eventually receive that same responsiveness from people and feel a sense of achievement through knowing that I have provided them with a similar sort of relief. I always knew that massage could provide this sort of healing for people, but until I experienced it on my own did I have a true understanding of its power.
I truly believe in myself and massage therapy and know this is the path for me. I still feel like it will offer the same flexibility that I was looking for years ago, but now it means so much more. I like to believe that things really do happen for a reason and maybe when I lost the opportunity years ago I didn’t fully appreciate what massage therapy really is and what it can do for people.
The path that I have been on up to this point has helped me see that. Going back to school is a great opportunity for me but it has become more than that. It’s about finishing something that I started, something I was excited and passionate about and wanting to share it with others and then getting to grow within it.
It is hard for me to say that I should be chosen over someone else for this scholarship, but I know this is something that I have to do and now I know I am supposed to do it. I have waited a long time to have this opportunity again and winning this scholarship would not only help lighten the financial burden on my family and me, but it would become a part of the journey that I started so long ago with an end finally in sight.