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.

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Hit the Reset Button and I’m ready!

I feel like Sundays are the perfect day for re-setting my body and the perfect break to a crazy weekend. It’s like hitting a little red button that tells me everything is okay, and the perfect little buffer to keep on doing this career. I’ve been working on this day for the past few weeks so I have to admit that even though the money I’ve made picking up this day makes me salvate, I recognize it’s a good day to have off.

And, I must admit, making extra money gets me to salvate enough that I’m probably drooling a bit. But, having this day off does give my body, arms, hands, and back a chance to breathe and not hate me as much.

My weekend had me at 90% booked for the day so I was working hard for my money! Luckily, my clients I had were about medium to firm pressure which is just like perfection for me. Not too light that I can’t find where their tension is, the pain, and I can’t work things out, but not so hard that I’m mainly sweating my butt off. I feel like I can relax with them in the massage and at the end of it especially I can just stop thinking, stop wondering what’s next, and massage with a clear head. If the pressure is extremely tense it’s hard for me to breathe and I can’t relax if I can’t breathe during a massage. I mainly tense up, hold my breath, and switch to my elbow if my hands start aching.

It’s not as easy as it sounds with switching to my elbow. I seem to have a very pointy elbow and generally reserve it for deep tissue massages (mainly guys) who I can’t deliver the pressure with thumbs, fists, and fingers alone. I should be using it more often, but have always felt uncomfortable with transitioning to it. I don’t know why I have such a complex against it, yet I do.

Nothing quite compares to the moment where my head clears at the end and I’m just massaging.

I’m not thinking about my lunch, I’m not thinking about my next client, I’m just breathing deeply and feeling and trying to connect with where they have tension. It’s a moment where I listen to my body to see where the strain is, adjust it, and keep going to stay my most relaxed. I’m also not watching the clock, yet at the same time I’m in tune to it. This is where five minutes of the massage will feel like just one minute, and you can kind of get lost in the moment of what you’re doing.