One of the reasons why I chose to attend my graduate school is its mission. Simply put, it had me at community and transformation. I find great comfort in each of these words, having been previously immersed in the nonprofit world. In the thick of this adventure these words have been my North Star.
The ride to Texas was wild, to say the least. My partner and I packed a trailer of all our belongings, and set out for the long, open road around this time in 2013. When we first arrived my cousin was gracious enough to let us stay with her for over six months. In that time I knocked out my first two quarters as a grad student. We moved into a tiny (over-priced) one-bedroom apartment on the south side of the city to be closer to campus. Then we moved again about a year after that into a larger (still over-priced) apartment with a study. Y’all moving is rough, and I don’t plan to do it again until we leave Austin.
Everything about being a grad student has felt so new. I’ve learned so much about myself, my learning style, and how to keep myself focused on both short and long terms goals. As a scholar, I am most proud of my graduate level coursework. I’ve really blossomed during this time, and as far as learning goes, I don’t see an end in sight. Femme-geek for life!
It’s wild to think about, but by this time next year I will have one summer quarter left. Then we’ll move on to new adventures. I’m nerding out hard about that fact. I’m excited for what new knowledge the year will bring, as well as the journey back home to the Midwest. We’re planning a few fun stops along the way, which I am stoked to share with you here on the blog.
For me, the big picture is rooted in those two potent words that have been such loyal comrades. I ask myself everyday, “How can I support my community in the processes of transformative healing?”. If my experiences have taught me anything, it’s that solidarity can build bridges. Whether it’s through the healing arts, community leadership, or blogging, sharing your wisdom and passion with others is one of the deepest expressions of care. I am beyond thankful to be a student of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. I am even more honored for the opportunity to share its magic with the world.
Thank you for reading along with the series. If you have questions about changing careers, going back to school in your 30’s, or related topics, feel free to leave a comment
*On Finding Focus is a three-part Feature story about my journey from nonprofit to natural medicine. You can read the first two essays in this series here, and here. If you like this feature, you may also enjoy reading more in Life and Wellness.