Monday, August 4, 2014
A Big, Scary, and Exciting Life Change
When I was younger, I really didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I mean, I really wanted to be a Radio City Rockette - but alas, I'm too short. (Have you seen my high kick though? It's really good).
For over the past 5 years, I've been working in Pharmaceutical Advertising at an agency in San Francisco. Kind of ironic right? I am a Nutrition Consultant who practices from a holistic standpoint, and yet, every day, I am working to figure out how to convince consumers to pick a certain drug. Don't get me wrong, I understand that pharmaceutical drugs have their time and place, but I really am truly passionate about preventative health. And of course I believe that starts with proper nutrition!
Two weeks ago, I gave my two weeks notice.
I'm starting a new adventure, one that I can finally talk about on here. I'm going back to school for my Dietetics Degree at San Francisco State University. Earlier this year, I completed my Nutrition Consultant Certification at Bauman College in Berkeley. My time at Bauman further confirmed my desire to practice in the field of Nutrition full-time and make it my career. So I decided, last Fall, that I wanted to go full-throttle in, and become a Registered Dietitian. From an education standpoint, it means, studying a lot more anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and nutrition, as well as completing a ton of clinical hours with patients. From a business perspective, it means I'll have a larger scope of practice for my nutrition counseling and more career choices as I'll be a licensed health practitioner.
[I cannot write this post without pointing out that a traditional Dietetics Program teaches a curriculum that has been sanctioned by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This curriculum is very different from Bauman College, however, the pros of getting my RD license outweighed the cons. This article, 3 Reasons You Should Get Your RD Degree, Even If You Can't Stand Conventional Nutrition Advice, by Laura Schoenfeld, RD, MPH, sums up the reasoning behind my decision, perfectly.]
When I initially explored this career change four years ago, I told myself that I wasn't smart enough to complete the Chemistry and Microbiology pre-requisites needed to even apply to the program. I also feared the financial instability that comes with being a student and putting yourself through school. I've had a steady paycheck since 2007. For years, I read stories about people that made these somewhat radical career/life changes, and I thought, "I'll never be able to do that or afford to do that."
But then, over the past few years, I started to admit and accept that I really did not like my job. And I didn't believe in what I was doing. And that I was really passionate about nutrition. And so I enrolled in the Bauman College program. And it further confirmed that I wanted to pursue nutrition 100% all day every day.
I finally realized that life is too damn short to be doing something you really don't want to be doing. And I was lucky enough to know what I wanted to do, I was just too scared to make that jump for a long time because I viewed it as too risky.
But I've (finally) jumped. I quit my job. I registered for my Fall classes. I feel free and frightened at the same time. I haven't figured out all the details that come along with this change, but I am confident I can make my life work still.
I will thrive.
To all my friends and family who have been beyond supportive for the past five years as I went back and forth on this decision, thank you so much. Your encouraging words and belief in my ability to succeed on this path has been invaluable throughout this transition. And, a very special thanks to Lisa, my very holistic Dietitian (RD, MS), who is one of the smartest and most intuitive people I've ever met, and who inspires and challenges me in the best ways.
I can't wait to further my education, share my journey on the blog, and continue to serve my clients, friends, and family better.
Here is to risks worth taking.