Why isn’t this a career?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnyone who has been reading this blog for a while may know about my profession which had started out as a job, and over the years evolved into a passion. This would be my profession as a massage therapist, which I did on a whim because it was one of the few careers I could enter without having to do math. I’ve never been one to dream of being something as a little kid, I never played the game of, “when I grow up I wanna be…

So many people who entered the same class as me ended up dropping out. How many, you might ask? Well, more than half the class dropped out and there were so few of us that we were told if anyone else dropped out our class couldn’t graduate.

My classmates that did complete the class and graduated didn’t get their massage licenses. From what I know and the times we checked up there wasn’t anyone who was practicing… Except for me.

I must admit getting a job in this career as a new therapist was one of the toughest things I went through. Completing massage school was equaling difficult, as noted by my fellow classmates quitting the program. I haven’t come across many therapists who consistently do this as a job fulltime. On that same note I haven’t come across massage therapists in this profession full-time for several years. It seems to be that thing you do on the side with another part-time job.

I know why this seems to be the case, massage is physically taxing, but in addition to that it is mentally exhausting at times. I’ve noticed since my move the clientele have been much more relaxed, calmer, and very polite to work with. It is a totally different clientele, and I really did love my clientele where I came from, but they are just so different. Performing deep tissue massage is now more of a rarity than a necessity, and my body is feeling so much better because of this.

lilypadGiving massage is my relaxation time, my quiet time, you could even say my time to mediate and clear my head of thoughts that keep on circulating in my head. I never imagined this career wold evolve into something I love, but I do truly enjoy it. There are many other people in my career who see this as a stepping stone, a sort of means to an end, for them to work toward the ‘dream‘ career they’ve been waiting for.

My family doesn’t believe I should look at my job as a career, something I will do for years and years. My mother wants me to get my bachelor degree… In what I have no clue and refuse to throw so much money out there without a clue of what I’m going after. My brother thinks this career is too taxing on me as well and has asked me what will I do for a job when I injure myself? My husband used to agree with them in the beginning when I’d come home exhausted physically and mentally. Luckily, he supports me with my decision and my passion in this career.

I have sometimes entertained the thought of what other passions I’d love to do as a career: marine biology, teaching in science, anything to do with science, insects, animals, becoming a vet, physical therapist, a massage instructor, and even the idea of becoming a nurse. There are options when I think about other stuff that holds my interest and I have always loved the excuse to learn more.

I have been doing this career for four years, and you’d think it’d get mundane and tedious, yet when I come to work I’m looking forward to it. I’d like to learn more styles of massage, different ways of doing it, and it’s just so much fun to see someone feeling better because of my work.

“You’re going to make me cry”

I have this client of mine who has been seeing me since we originally opened our one location and since I’ve been working as a massage therapist. I’m close to some of my clients, but with her, I feel a lot closer than I normally would be with clients. She also had the cutest reaction to me being engaged when I told her. She looked at me dumbfounded and exclaimed, “Sarah! You massage me naked every two weeks why didn’t you ever tell me you were engaged? I’m hurt!” I laughed and explained to her with not knowing my wedding date, and a few other things, I wanted to keep it hush, hush, for a while.

I like her, she’s got a rough exterior and she has a tough outer shell to keep people away from her but deep down she is a nice person who gets stepped on so she tries to be tougher than she is. I can understand this, and appreciate this, because I play the same game. I’ve been hurt before, I’m too nice, and care too much about people, so I get hurt a lot.I have been a sensitive child and adult since before I could remember. She was the first client ever to write me a little card for our three-year ‘anniversary‘ since we’d been seeing each other.

I gave her a Christmas card and told her the exact same thing she said when she came in with a card. “Just go with it!” She takes a lot of pressure and stuff but I’ve realized with having this guy come in every week who takes the most pressure out of my life that she isn’t as bad as that. I try to listen to my body with her massages and make sure I’m not doing a technique too hard where I might injure myself and I’m happy with her legs and arms she can’t take the same pressure on her back.

My client came in and she told me that she’s moving away. And, I’m not going to lie, I felt like I was going to cry. I started to think about her leaving, and then me leaving, and it was hard not to get emotional. We started the massage and she was saying how she’d miss me and when she decided she was moving she thought about me as her massage therapist as one of the reasons it wouldn’t be so easy. Well, I thought of her with my move and how devastated and mad she’d be that it’d be going. I guess it’s easier now with us both leaving but I can’t tell her until I actually have to tell my work. It’s just I have to keep it secret from any clients, co-workers, and any one I work with.

My client has gone through a lot. She’s going to be moving because she’s getting a divorce from her husband, she has an adopted son who has been verbally and physically abusive to her, and there’s even more than that. She’s come in my room and cried and she is a tough little cookie. I hugged her on that day, even though I don’t hug, because my heart broke for her and I knew it was just her being at her breaking point.

She’s a little rough around the edges, but with getting to know her after three years I’ve gotten really close to her. I told her I just want what makes her happy and I think this is a good start for her … I’m just going to miss her.

Hormones are a dangerous thing

Hormones make you want to crawl into a hole...

I have the cutest, sweetest, client who comes to see me and she used to see me more often but their financial fund kind of dried up. She’s just one of those people who you meet and you’re kind of like “You can’t be for real… I never knew someone like you could exist!” Just as sweet as marshmallow fluff,  and so we’ve gotten to know a little about each other over time. She’s one of those few clients I discuss a little of my life with her, and she does the same with me. The last time I was really concerned about her because she came in my room and started crying, and it truly did kind of break my heart.

When she told me why, it really broke and then tore my heart still beating onto the ground.

She and her husband are trying to have a baby. But, unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it is sounds. She has the same thing that I have: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I was diagnosed with it just when I was a teenager, I’ve been on birth control pills ever since. It’s where there are a ring of cysts encircling the ovaries. When they found out about it I had a cyst the size of my ovary, or bigger, that I continued to have for 2 years. Being put on birth control pills was rough, I went through different brands that made me physically sick and the patch which made me want to scratch my skin off and like it was burning my skin at the same time. I’ve gone off birth control (of course, before dating anyone) with no success. I can’t be regulated without it, I’ve tried and failed.

My client tried to get pregnant the natural way, but had to resort to hormone injections. And, they were just making it too much for her to handle that day. It makes you feel pregnant with all of the side effects and just really is like, what I would think, being dosed with steroids.

I want her to get pregnant so badly. I know she wants it so terribly, and I find it so heartbreaking. She’s only a client of mine, but since the last time I saw her I was worrying about her. She was so funny when she came in, she said she was craving Mexican food and Mexican music. She told me she thought maybe, possibly, she might just be pregnant. And I want her to be. I wish I could make it happen because you can see it in her face, and even feel it in her body she has been working so hard to make this work. My client would be such a wonderful mother since she is so sweet, and I could see her spoiling her little boy/girl like crazy.

My client even asked me, since she was really thinking maybe, possibly, she might be pregnant if the massage might hurt it. If I was early in my career I would scared to do it, because I don’t want to do anything to mess it up. But, massage can be done in any period of the pregnancy, and I’ve had tons of experience doing it from the first, second, and third trimester. We talked about her family this time, and her husband’s family, who she loves, is going to drive up from god knows where to get bring her craving for Mexican food home to her.

It’s such a fine line to tread… I want to ask her if she is pregnant the next time I see her, but I will be so heartbroken again if it’s not true. I’m going to let her take the initiative, she knows I’m so rooting for her. If she comes back and says she’s pregnant, I don’t care if I’m in a Spa, I am going to leap for joy, make a ruckus, and I’m hugging her. It would definitely make my day to find that out! I feel like she’s meant to be a mother, and she’d make a wonderful one.