Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Last night I had one of my infrequent cases of "I Can't Sleep"ness. I really like sleeping so it doesnt happen that often, but usually it follows some sort of dream about doctors and vets and schooling and careers and life choices.

And I lay awake for hours again thinking about the career that I have left behind. And I may have sorted out a few things so Im going to put them into words before I forget what I was thinking at 2 am.

Career left behind; yes more than likely Im never going back to being a Veterinarian. Its not a waste of schooling, just is what it is. But Im not sure I ever should have done it to begin with.

Sometime around when I was 11, someone said I should be a veterinarian. I like animals, I loved horses, I should be a vet. And it did catch on. Everyone said OH yes, she should be a vet. And so without any other plan in place, I was like "yeah, ok, I should be a vet". I mean, if enough people say it to a kid young and undecided enough, it soon makes sense and starts to be all that kid thinks about. Im trying really hard not to make too much of a deal about what my kids want to be.

SO through high school, everyone is all like "Teri's going to be a vet." And therefore it was really all I considered. I went through all the moves, going to AC, taking PreVet. I had almost convinced myself this wasnt my path, I didn't apply for Vet school, I stayed at AC for my entire degree, applied for a Masters as my "back up plan", and started thinking more of a future in genetics. And then someone important talked me into applying to vet school and actually helped me fill out the application. And I applied. And I went for the interview. And I got in. So Im going to Vet School. I mean, with all the people around me thinking I would, and all my classmates wanting exactly what I had gotten, how could I get it, and give it up? So I went through more actions, moving to PEI, going to Vet School. And everyone was so proud.

But I gotta say, my heart was never completely in it. I did ok in classes with minimal work, I didnt apply myself, I wanted more to my life than Vet School and studying and nothing else. Many of my classmates there studied every moment they were awake; I went away on weekends and relaxed at night. I never failed a class but I was never an overachiever there.

And I did get more. I got married and had Taylor while still in school. I was tired of waiting for something to be finished before getting something else.

Finished Vet school, and everyone was so proud. Passed boards and everyone was happy. I was the doctor. I got to put Doctor on my name. DVM followed. I went through more motions of getting a job and moving my family across the country because that was what one did. There isnt a tonne of jobs available in NS, and I didnt go to any of the trouble of sucking up and making all those connections during school that would have helped me get a job afterwards, and besides there is so much more to the world than the Maritimes.

Moved to Manitoba, and ignored the homesickness while starting that new job. And almost right away, I wasnt thrilled. I hated my employer. What a total COW. She was awful. Put on a great face, and then flipped and became someone unbearable. I hated being at work. I stayed away as much as possible.

I also hated being on call. It wasnt that I didnt want to work or didnt want to go out and save lives. But when I was on call I was nauseous the whole time. Dreading the phone call that only came when I was sleeping, and spending hours in the middle of the night rushing out to unexpected and often difficult cases.

And I hated being responsible for lives. I could handle putting sick animals down, I could handle cases that died despite what we did; I hated losing calves and cows unexpectedly or because maybe just maybe did I miss something? What if I were more experienced? Faster? Better? The life and death thing wasnt great for me. Small animal would have been worse; people asking What would I do? And being heartbroken when things didnt go ok. At least dairy and pig farmers were realistic. Ok ship it/put it down whatever. Horse people, now those were a different group. More sad sad people because I couldnt fix things. :(

And I wasnt always that great with body fluids. Hahahahaha I kinda dont have the greatest stomach, feeling woozy with blood if I wasnt the one performing surgery; throwing up with animal vomit, diarrhea, pus, rotting placentas, etc. Just felt sick almost all the time.

But I went through those motions of working and working.

Then my father got sick and died. I went home, and didnt go back to work. Because I was pregnant; because i decided life was too short to go back to work for that woman. SHe made my life hell. She was cruel and heartless when my father died. She was inhuman. And I wouldnt ever look at her again. Lest I might assault her. You just wouldnt believe.

So while waiting for Holly to be born I had loads of time to think. And I came to a conclusion; I was living someone else's life. I wasnt doing what I wanted; I was doing what everyone had expected of me. And Dad dying changed everything. I thought life was too short to be that unhappy. I came a little unhinged and I dont think Ive ever been the same. I had no desire to be doing what I was doing. Of course there are things I miss about it; I was pretty good at surgery and I actually never really got flustered by anything; pretty easy going. And I missed the farmers. But I didnt miss being on call; I didnt miss animals dying on my; I didnt miss the crappy people and crappy cases. I was sad about Dad dying but I was pretty content to spend time with Taylor after so much time spent going for days without seeing her because of being on call.

After Holly was born I did some horse vetting for awhile which was fun but I often felt resentful that i had to leave the kids and go out to do a call spur of the moment. I just didnt really want to do it anymore.

SO what I concluded is that while my past and education led me to where I am, which I like, I wont go back to living that way; someone else's life can be had by someone else.
Then, I could go to sleep.


herhtdm said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
nscropper said...

WOW ... it's amazing what goes through a persons mind when they are lying awake at night and can't sleep. Sigh .... I do this too and then wonder afterwards, why did you do that? lol
It sounds like you are making choices for yourself, for you, and that is a wonderful thing ... keep on doing that. :)

Rebecca said...

Wow. I love that you had the insight and courage to break out of the formula. That's living an authentic life. Sleep easy, dear.

martin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
散文 said...