My middle finger hurts

140Imagine my surprise today when I woke up this morning and noticed that my middle fingers, right in the joint area, were aching every time I bent them. This perplexed me because my work day massaging the day before wasn’t too intense and I only had one deep tissue massage. Every time I wake up and something I need to massage is not working (my hands, my fingers, my wrists, etc.) it always makes me panic for how I’m going to work around it.

I of course wondered why it was mainly my middle fingers which were hurting me the most. All I could think of was that I may have been flipping someone off in my sleep, that’s all I could come up with. And I had to be intensely flipping them off in my sleep, because the joints were sore and I haven’t had my fingers hurt like that in a while. Or, who knows, maybe I was doing deep tissue frictioning on my pillow in my sleep, you never know.

So, when I walked into work I was less than enthused with my current predicament. One of my coworkers asked me what was up and I was honest that for some odd reason my middle fingers were aching. She immediately concluded that I must be angry, especially since it was the middle fingers that were bothering me. I told her I had a good day the day before, and she luckily offered to help me out.

My coworker is like a witch doctor because she seriously has magic hands and can make a certain area feel better with her voodoo magic. I knew she would be the one to help me at least dull the pain so I sat down, had a cup of coffee, and let her use her fairy dust on me.

We sat there while she held where the area was that was sore on my one middle finger, and then the other, and voila! it was totally feeling better. She says it was really nothing that she did but I don’t know any other person who can tune in like her and make something stop aching by just the tiniest bit of work. I’m convinced she is a magical handed voodoo priestess, but of course, she won’t admit it… yet.

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.

Unwind me with a song or few

At my current job it is actually rather laid back, and I’ve ended up having to dial back my anxiety and learn to relax more. This doesn’t mean that I don’t need to unwind, take baths, and ice my body though. I’m still busy and business equates soreness with my profession, so I’m making sure to take extra care of my body.

This means hot baths on every busy day and even in prep for a busy day, going to sleep early, and listening to my favorite music artists to unwind me at the end of my night. I absolutely adore Jack Johnson because his voice is literally like a relaxing melody to listen to. I’m also a big fan of Coldplay as well if I want to relax, but Jack Johnson is my number one choice for going to sleep.

Now, if I want to listen to music getting ready for work I pick up beat, hyper music to wake me up and to generally get my body moving with some dancing to it.

It’s wonderful to busy again, it’s great to have a job doing my craft I love, yet it doesn’t mean I will try to go back to neglecting my body and thinking I will be fine. Getting enough sleep has been an absolute must for me, when normally I’d be going to sleep at 1am or 2am I definitely am not doing that lately. My muscles still need to be strengthened from not massaging and kind of babied because I haven’t massaged consistent clients for so long it seems.

Everyone has been very nice to me at my new work and absolutely love the space I get to work in. I just keep on telling myself to relax and be more laid back, because I always hype myself up too much.

My mind is a muddle

140First off, thank you everyone who commented and wished me luck with the interviews. I really feel like I have a great group of friends here who are also fellow bloggers. You guys have helped me especially when it came to my move, and with all of my lackluster job searching over the past few months. I know I’ve said this before, but your support and encouragement is always so appreciated.

I think it’s a good thing, yet still completely overwhelming, to go from nothing from so long to something. My husband is sweet, he keeps on telling me that he’s proud of me for not giving up after months of sending out resumes. He also tells me to only take a job that will keep me happy, and as I’ve said before he’s been so supportive since the move and helping me when I’ve felt less than confident.

My life when it comes to jobs is very spoiled, I admit it, but there’s been struggles within the jobs I’ve experienced. Being a dog groomer was exhausting, much more so than even being a massage therapist. I had a great team of women to work with though with my first ‘job’ and an amazing manager who I loved to work with. She was understanding, patient, and very kind to me. The other dog groomers were very fun to work with, and we would help each other out on busy days.

When I decided on massage school I was in a stuck part of my life. I needed to find a career, but I was unsure what I wanted. I needed a career where I was active in it, since I really enjoyed the running around and activity of being a dog groomer.

I ended up with another great group of women to work with, like in the pet salon, and what I learned from my job at the spa for four years taught me things I didn’t know about myself. My goal is to exceed in excellence, I need to keep on challenging myself with my career and what I’m doing. No matter how I feel, or what is going on in my life, I need to give an amazing service to every client. I want my clients to feel like not only that was a good service, it was great, and I delivered what they needed for that massage.

0906111858bThere is that need now to have someplace which challenges me, with great coworkers, and hopefully someplace where continuing Ed is a must. You can’t be expected to get better at this career if you’ve stopped learning. That’s the beauty of massage, the only end to continuing education is if you give up on it.

I’ve been so lucky, and in the same thought, this has been my reason to be rather scared of job searching. This is because of my happiness I’ve had at my jobs, and that happiness hasn’t been found without struggle, pain, and frustration. It’s always been the people who work with me though who get me fired up about coming to work, and of course, my clients. My clients are my number one priority when I’m massaging, and I never seem to be able to duplicate the same massage every time.

It’s like my cooking, I never keep track of what I’m doing, yet, the food comes out really great. That’s why I think I don’t even get bored with my own technique, because I’m always modifying it according to my client.

How do you even give your 2 weeks notice?

To tell you the truth, I don’t even know how I’m going to do this. I have only quit one other job in my life and it was after 2 years, nearly 3 years working there. This, is so much more difficult than that because I truly don’t want to leave my work. I love my work, I love my co-workers, I love my room I work on, I love my clients I see and that are my repeats, I am very happy at the career I’m at and where I have been working for going on 3 years.

They’ve been very kind to me and I’ve just started to get my feet wet in training and being a coach. I held my own class which went so well and I loved every minute of it as long as I wasn’t planning and being nervous about it beforehand. They’ve always been so understanding when I’ve needed time off, or I’ve gotten sick, or my stupid ankle has gone out yet again.

They are a great company and though they aren’t perfect all the time, neither am I. I really do love them and I’m very passionate for not only where I work, but just all of my co-workers who are my fellow employees. I’ve been so sad, heartbroken really, to think about the coming probability of leaving and what I’m going to say to them.

I don’t know what to say to them, I don’t know how I’m going to say this.
The mere thought of leaving makes me cry. I’ve cried in my sleep thinking about it, cried at home, cried in the car, I’ve ended up crying even when I tell myself not to. And, I don’t want to become a blubbering fool, but I’m unfortunately aware of the fact I will become that fool once I start talking about it. You’d think moving away from my family would be difficult, and it is, and I’m sure it’ll only hit me that thousands of miles separate us when I finally am moved down there. But, I know I will try to see my family as often as I can. And, the main family member I’m afraid I won’t see as much as I’d like is my brother because of his work and wanting to multi-task with doing things when he comes down to see me.

This was my first job out of massage school and they took me on as a new therapist and when I had the least amount of confidence in my career. The place I work at feels like a second family, and I feel like I’m going to be leaving my second family.

I know this is the best thing for my fiancée, and it has to be the best thing for me too. He loves his new job and now has people underneath him and is a true manager. I’ve never moved so far away in my life and I’m terrified, and I think what I’m most afraid of all is finding another job where I’m as passionate about where I work at. I can’t compromise and take any place, because I need to love what I do, where I work at, so I can be the best employee I can be. I want to push myself to the limits and keep on growing in what I do and I can’t do that if I don’t enjoy where I work at.

It’s hard to find but great to keep

I felt like the biggest idiot ever today. Why? Because I forgot about our meeting that we had for our massage department and the manager told me that she missed me at the meeting. And, I totally forgot that it was today, early in the morning, and just came in today like there was no meeting. I absolutely hate disappointing people and it goes for double that when it comes to my professional life.

I did share with that same manager, who is the owner of the place, what has been going on lately.

You know, with my mom having skin cancer and I started to tear up and kept the tears in my eyeballs. My voice broke though as I was telling her and I told her that I’d let her know as we found out more but I might have to take off a Monday if we can’t schedule it on a Thursday.

Which she said, Sarah, of course you can have the time off to be with your mom in the surgery if it falls on your work day. Which kind of helped me to feel better that I don’t have to stress whether they may or may not be able to give me the time off to be with her. My father is the dope, and ditto for my brother, I tend to know how to handle hospital situations and I’m a very good patient caretaker. Plus, my brother is so much farther than us, and has a new job, so it’d be difficult for him.

It’s just good to have my manager understand what I’m being put through (some of it, not the whole moving and everything, that’s a new level of stress, a different one I won’t be talking about) and that she will let me have the time off if I need it.

I like getting dirty… is that okay?

I remember one of my first interviews that I had. I’m rather… well, introverted at times and when I was younger it was even more so. When I first started interviewing they’d ask me, “Where do you want to work?” and I’d just answer back, “Ummm… wherever I’m not with people.” That’s how I got into the whole dog grooming thing. It was the only job you were off by yourself, doing your thing, but it turned out to be quite a lot of people work. You’d answer phones while holding onto the dog you were still working on so they wouldn’t leap off and choke themselves.

Certain dogs like to try to commit suicide at the groomer. I swear that is the point of it, because they will leap so many times off of that table when it’s at its highest, you drag them back, and then they wind up falling off the side all over again.

For my first interview (and the one I got hired on) there was a man and a woman interviewing.

I should not interview with men. In retrospect, I was a little too much with it.

Guy: This job requires you to get dirty a lot. (dog grooming, that is).

Me: I like getting dirty. I’m just a dirty girl.

Guy: Part of the uniform is wearing a smock.

Me: Do I have to wear anything underneath it?  (seriously… I said this).

I might have said a few other flirtatious things too. I thought he was kind of cute, and the woman there wasn’t exactly asking the questions so I was mainly just answering the questions he asked. I can’t believe I got hired for the job, looking back, with my horrible interview skills and my goofy answers to the questions. I showed up on my first day at work on the wrong day wearing the wrong clothes. My soon-to-be manager looked at me like I had two heads.

I don’t blame her, it was my mistake, and later on we laughed out about it. She’s still to this day one of my favorite managers I’ve ever had. I was definitely spoiled by her, and couldn’t ask for a better experience for having a manager. She was very understanding, never raised her voice at me, and always tried to get two sides of the situation. My first manager ever was kind, funny, and she was great to work with. If I thought I could survive dog grooming I would have stuck with it, but it’s more exhausting than massage… and that is saying a lot.

My interview skills have improved and I’ve learned it’s all about knowing about the game and how to play it so you win. It was still hard, even as I got better and more confident in myself, to get those second interviews. Plus, we have to give a free massage as part of the ‘technical’ within a review. They’ll almost always call you back so you can give a free massage to someone. And doing free massages leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Oh, and what was your worst interview? 

So, what will you bring to the table?

The man had his interview today, he was up against 3 others who are going for the same job. Which, I say are better odds than like 20-50 people who can be the job situation lots of times because it’s hard getting a job out there. But, his is within the company and he’s a little less anxious and nervous, though now probably worked up about our move if he gets it.

I can’t stand interviews. I feel like I don’t interview very well. I have an odd personality and this cannot be restrained even when I try to interview. Plus, I’m a little too honest of a person so this can affect the whole giving them what they want to hear thing that you have to do within interviews. Every spa is like its own culture and luckily I stepped into where I work as soon as they opened so that I could be a part of the bricks that make up the place. Instead of being like the furniture they put in later, I could know where, what, when, and get in on the cliques just as they were forming.

Though, I’m still not a click person really. More of a loner than anything, but at least I know the inside jokes and if anyone wants to find anything in the place they mainly go to me because I know it like the back of my hand.

He really wants the job that will be having us move.

I’m not sure if I’d be ready to move, but I guess we will find out. It’s all just scary.

I need to be strong because you need it

I was told by one of my co-workers that she was going to see the doctor about something. And, she got her results today. It was pretty much one of the worst case scenarios, she has a tumor, and it’s in her brain, and I kind of thought of everything else it could have been. But, when I saw her today and she was off work yesterday I knew it couldn’t be good. The thing is I really do like her, so finding this out hit me like a ton of bricks. I had this horrified expression on my face which must have been so bad that she told me to stop before she cried even more.

So, I sucked it up and sucked the tears back into the ducts. I kidded around while inside I was spinning. I’m needing to be strong for everyone, for my fiancée, for my family, for my career, for the unforeseeable future that may be coming. Yet, for this day, that strength meter was pretty much tipped a little too much and I felt like I was fighting the need to break down all day. The day didn’t help because instead of being busy, I wasn’t, so I couldn’t hide in my room, massage, and not come out until the end of my shift where I can just go home and then process through it.

She’s someone I’m close to, as close as you can get to me. I’m holding everyone at a distance and keeping that up for a while. This is my battle to fight and not anyone else’s, but I let her know if she needs me to step in or lean on or anything that I’m there for my co-worker. There’s not much I can do, except let her know that the support is there.

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.