Many of you may have noticed that I haven’t been very active on Good Books and Good Wine lately. This is partially because I have been busy with work and life in general but also because I’ve been doing some personal soul searching. Why? Well, as some of you might know, I graduated from graduate school with my master’s degree in women’s studies in 2011, and decided to take a break and figure out exactly what I wanted to do with my life. At that point, I was just completely fried physically, mentally, and emotionally after spending the past 19 years in school (K-12 and then 6 years of college) and I was in desperate need of a break.
Flash forward to two years later…
For the past two years, I have been working part time as a personal care aide at an adult home for the elderly. I first started working there on a summer break from college in 2008. I’ve worked in almost all aspects of the home – kitchen, housekeeping, and personal care – and have found that personal care is by far my favorite. I love interacting with the residents, and being able to have a real relationship with all of them on an individual basis. Of course this isn’t always the easiest thing as there are multiple factors that can get in the way. Regardless, connecting with each of our residents on a one-on-one basis is always a highlight for me, and nothing makes my job worth more to me than hearing one of them saying “thank you” or “you’re such a wonderful person” or “I don’t know what I would do without you” or even”I love you.”
Unfortunately, as I mentioned, this job is only part-time. Sometimes (more times than not actually), I am able to pull full time hours however; one of the things I don’t get with these hours is the benefits. At first this didn’t matter to me as much because I was lucky enough to still be on my mother’s heath insurance but, when I turned 26 in August things began to change. I was no longer qualified to be on her heath insurance due to my age and thus, I have been without health insurance for over two months now. And sadly, nothing I do at my job seems to be getting me the ability to receive full time and benefits.
As you can see, I’ve kind of stuck in a rut, and I didn’t exactly know how to get out of it. And without really knowing it, I began to do a lot of soul searching. What was it I wanted to do with my life again? At first, I had decided I wanted to be some sort of therapist or counselor thus explaining my bachelor’s degree in psychology. And while in college, I came across some classes in women’s studies that I really liked, and decided I wanted to further my education in that and do something that also was pro-equal rights for all. Yet when I was all finished with my degree, I was too burnt out to fully discover what it was I wanted to do with this equal rights psychological persona that I had developed. I was admittedly probably a little scared too. But really what was I so scared of? Wasn’t it time to get over the fears and really do something with my life? Yes. Yes, it was.
So, slowly I started putting together a plan. What is it that I love doing, and could see myself doing for the next twenty years of my life at least? Almost immediately I knew it was helping the elderly. Okay I thought so what kind of jobs are out there where I could do this knowing I made a difference in their lives and still being realistic about it get paid well, and get benefits? Insert an internet search where I came up with job positions such an elderly advocate, resident services manager, and social worker for the elderly. Hello, jackpot! Except wait, did I have the credentials for these jobs? Yes, I had the college education and the work experience but, I still felt as if something were missing.
At first I couldn’t put my finger on what was missing but slowly it came to me. In all of my college education, I had only touched the surface of the information out there regarding the elderly population. Yes, I had the personal experience but, I just couldn’t help but feel as if I’m lacking the theoretical knowledge. So, began another internet search where I stumbled upon the University of Southern California Davis School of Gerontology website. From the moment, I first looked at this website I had the strongest feeling that this was the right move, and the more I looked into the program, I knew I had found the one that could help me reach my strongest potential.
*gasp* Could I really be considering going back to school? Could I really be considering online classes? I couldn’t believe it myself at first but it felt like the right move. It still feels like the right move. So, I gathered up all my resources, asked for my letters of recommendation, and applied to the program. This was honestly one of the most nerve racking things I’ve ever done. I was literally shaking when I submitted my application for review by the committee. And was it worth it? YES! I got accepted!
Starting in January 2014, I will be taking online classes at the University Of Southern California Davis School Of Gerontology for my master of the arts degree in Gerontology. This program will take me approximately 15 months to complete, and when I’m finished I will have my second master’s degree. I’m still having trouble processing that bit of information because it sounds so crazy but it will be true. I truly believe this is the right step for me, and that I will be able to help the elderly and be more pro-active in their lives when I am finished.
Don’t you all worry though; I still plan on trying to help April out here at Good Books and Good Wine as much as I can. She’s already told me not to worry about it but I really don’t want to go. Book blogging has been an adventure that I never really saw coming but that I am so grateful for and have absolutely loved. I’m so not ready to leave yet! And hopefully you all will be here to help me through this next chapter in my life…