Aug. 19th, 2016 08:10 pm
benevolentspectre: (Default)
[personal profile] benevolentspectre
My last day of work is tomorrow.

I've made it somewhat of a habit to wax poetic about this job on every "last day" I have, but this time is strangely different. This time, I don't feel like it's a true ending.

I don't know what it was about leaving all of the other four times that made me feel as if it was over. At least 2 of those four I had a guarantee that I'd be going back in the future, yet it was still sadder than it is now. Now that it really is an ending.

I've been told I have a full invitation to come back during my vacations, but the reality is that they are overstaffed as it is. I know there isn't going to be a place for me, and besides, I'll probably want to use my breaks spending time with my parents. It'll be hard enough being away from them for months on end while I'm in school.

I can't stay with my parents while I'm working this job.

Why then doesn't it feel like an ending? Maybe it's merely because I'll be going to school. The ending is so close to a beginning that the beginning is drowning everything else out.

Maybe it's because it's been made so clear to me that even if I never work here again, all my coworkers (save one) want to get updates from me on how and what I'm doing. It's not an ending, because I hope not to cut off all communication with my leaving.

My relationship with this job is a strange one. The circumstances surrounding me getting it were so perfect, so life-changing, so lucky that I have to wonder where I'd even be in life if it had not happened.

I'd known from a young age that I wanted to be a vet. From that young age, I never wavered in that goal, never second-guessed. Well, at least until 2 years ago when I started shadowing more seriously. Shadowing at an emergency clinic nearly turned me off to the profession. It was so different from the experiences I'd had up until then, and those experiences consisted almost entirely of shadowing my own grandfather at a private practice. It made me wonder if my grandpa's practice of one-of-a-kind. What if he was just old-fashioned and I was entering a profession that was vastly outpacing where I hoped to be? What if I was entering a profession that would require me to care more about money than the welfare of the animals?

I almost didn't shadow at my current workplace. I didn't want to deal with living away from my parents, didn't want to deal with having to contact people I didn't even know and risk embarrassment. But I panicked. I panicked thinking there was no way I'd be able to get all the shadowing hours I needed without that particular opportunity, and so I called them.

Even the initial phone call had been terrifying. The receptionist doesn't take any shit, and I was almost afraid my phone call wouldn't get past her. But it did.

I shadowed at my current job two days after shadowing at the emergency clinic. I was down, concerned, wondering for the first time in my life if maybe I needed to start considering an alternate career path. But then I spent a week shadowing one of the kindest, most selfless men I have ever met, and all my worries were wiped away.

It came at a time where I was questioning and removed any doubts I had. If anything had been different--if the manager had been as hard to get along with as everyone claimed he was (literally everyone hated him, but I loved working with him. I miss him now that he has retired, honestly), if the vet hadn't been so easy-going, if the technician hadn't been laid back and excited to teach...I might still have had doubts.

I do still have doubts, but they're now more about my own abilities rather than about the profession. I wonder if I'm good enough to succeed rather than if it's something I even want to do in the first place.

Things are different there now. There's a different technician, one that--if he had been working during that week of shadowing--would've increased my doubts. The original manager is gone now, replaced by two women related, in various ways, to the vet. I miss him, but both of these women have helped me just as much as he did. That receptionist who used to be so terrifying is still around, but now so is another girl who is precisely my age. It's strange not being the "baby" of the clinic anymore, but I love working with her all the same. If she weren't there, I wouldn't even have been hired back this summer, though I won't get into why that is. It isn't important.

I've had a chance to work with the relief vet, who is nearly the polar opposite of that kind, selfless vet who is normally there. It brought on new challenges, but built my confidence in new ways as well.

Two years ago, I was whining to my parents about how I was too nervous to give this clinic a call, too nervous to have to live out-of-state for even the smallest amount of time, too nervous too nervous too nervous.

Two years ago I was panicking about never getting enough experience to be admitted to vet school.

Two years ago I put aside the nerves, put aside the panic, and took a chance.

It was probably the greatest and most important decision I ever made.
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