career change update

It’s been almost 6 months since I changed my job, my career, my mission. Well I guess I changed my mission when I started planning this blog last year but the complete conversion happened in February when I quit my old job as a designer.

So I started to not really like my last job at 6 months but at this new job, it’s a different story. I’m currently a Veterinary Assistant and I get to help animals all day long. It’s rewarding to say the least.

The doctors have already found homes for 14 kittens (from the Goochland Animal Shelter) this spring! There’s 2 more left if anybody wants one. 🙂

Don’t get me wrong, some days I get tired of washing windows, sweeping floors, and getting beat up by crabby cats BUT it’s all worth it. Like my blog title says, I get to ‘help someone or something in need’.

My little lady, Belle when she was sick with Pneumonia. She’s all better now!

This past Saturday I had to work. I spent 2.5 out of the 4 hour workday standing next to the operating table with a 17 year old cat in possible heart failure. I had to monitor her vitals while keeping the oxygen flowing at her face to help with her crazy rapid breathing. Along with the medical aspect, I also made sure she was as comfortable as she could be. I stroked her soft fur and let her know she wasn’t alone. She was too weak to move much but I could hear her purring away.

They planned on taking her to the emergency (24 hour) vet clinic once we closed at 12. I won’t know until I get to work today if she survived or not but I’m so glad I got to help and comfort her for those few hours.

That cat is just one of the many reasons I know that my leap of faith was a good one.

Oh and have you ever watched a knee surgery on a goat? Freakin’ awesome.

Are you at your ideal job?

P.S. My Etsy shop? I’ve moved the opening date to Labor Day weekend. I got a bit overwhelmed this month for sure!! I’ve got some good pieces done though! I can’t wait to get the shop open.

second chance

I meant to write yesterday per my Monday, Tuesday, Thursday schedule but a little something (or someone) got in the way this week.

Let me start by telling you about my new job. I’ve been working as a Veterinary Assistant for about a month now and I love it. Along with simple tasks like a ton of cleaning and stocking, I get to play work with animals all day, help with labs, bloodwork, prescriptions, x-rays, ultrasounds and probably some other stuff that I can’t think of right now. Remember my blog’s tagline about helping others? At this job I get to help (yay!) and learn about fun medical stuff that I’ve always been interested in. I believe I’ve found a winner.

No need to jump the gun but we’ve already had talks of me going back to school to become a Veterinary Technician! Of course I’m still it that ‘honeymoon’ phase with my new job so I’ll give it some time before I plan my next move.

My new career is already much more fulfilling than my old one so I’m making progress!

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Back to that ‘little something’ that I mentioned at the beginning of the post.

On Tuesday I got to witness just how much Veterinarians can help animals. I was assisting my doctor in an appointment for a possible euthanasia. This was my first euthanasia so I expected a very sick, old dog with very sad parents. That’s not what we found.

Between a lot of laughter and jokes, the owners complained about how the dog would always cry, couldn’t walk well and often had accidents in the house. Oh and that she possibly had cancer. They then said that they were moving and couldn’t deal with having to stop every couple hours (on the drive to the new state) to let the dog go to the bathroom <- I found this comment odd since it’s not a reason to kill a dog. The whole situation just didn’t sit right with me.

After the parents left the room and we were alone with the dog, the doctor decided to put her on the floor to see if she could walk. She had already been eating treats out of my hand during the appointment, (not looking like a dog near death) so he wanted to test her out. The dog walked slow since she was 14 but pretty well!! It was crazy to see her move easily since her owners said she usually had a tough time.

The doctor decided that he just couldn’t go through with it. There was no eminent reason to put her down. In the end the owners gave the dog over to the clinic and in turn we saved her life!

Enter Belle, formerly known as Taco. (Get it?? The name wasn’t my idea but I think it’s pretty great.)

She is currently sitting beside me on MY couch in MY home. Yep, we’re testing her out… and she’s a chihuahua! Baha. Her small size is why she can be 14 and still have a few years on her.

We’re going to keep her for a week to see if she meshes well with the family. At the moment I feel that it might be better for her to be with a family where there’s someone at home with her all the time. We’re a very active family so maybe an older couple would be a better match for a slower-paced dog? I’m trying to keep an open mind though! Either way, the clinic that I work at will make sure she finds a good home. I love my job.

It appears that her previous owners spoiled her rotten and maybe even carried her everywhere which is common for such a small breed. I say this because she sometimes sounds like a dying piglet when she’s left alone (all night!) or wants to be picked up. It’s not pleasant. I think they would come to her aid every time she made a peep so she has learned that crying is the best way to get what she wants. Not in this house though! She’ll learn in time… I hope.

Oh and all the issues her old owners talked about? None have been true except for the crying. It was amazing to find that her bloodwork came back negative – no cancer, no diabetes, no nothing. The little lady has a pretty bad heart murmur and really bad teeth (AND BREATH, yikes) but that’s it! She hasn’t had any accidents and during her second night here she only woke up twice to scream cry. Not to shabby for a dog that was supposed to be euthanized. Every time i see her walk or sometimes RUN, I shake my head in disbelief at how someone would even consider putting down their dog of 14 years even though it was fine. So sad.

I feel like this post is one big opinionated vent but I have to tell you, my best friend was in a situation where it was best for her to re-home her dog and it worked out wonderfully! The dog is now in a loving home and both of them are happy. I think that’s the best way to go in these types of situations.

Yay for second chances!!

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Oh and if you’re wondering, we will still be fostering a dog even if Belle joins the family. 🙂

And even though I now have a direction towards a more fulfilling career, my husband and I will still be volunteering at various places because we enjoy the experience and helping others.

Do you plan on volunteering this weekend?

i heart art

I lucked out BIG time. My last day at my current job is this Friday because I got a NEW one already!

Since this is a major change in my life, I thought I’d talk a little about the past – how I got to my current career and how I’ll be continuing certain aspects of it.

A reflection, if you will.

Growing up I was often creating. I even entered my art into contests at the ripe old age of 10! Hardcore. I tried everything from cross-stitch to pastels and loved it all. Note: my mom STILL has a few kitchen cabinets packed with all things arts and crafts. Let’s hope the grandchildren (no, I’m not pregnant) will be able to use up those supplies!

odd, old school art projects

I took a fun art class in high school and then one in college that really pushed me towards art as my focus. Well, that’s not exactly true. I majored in chemistry but that’s another story we don’t need to get into! I guess what those art classes did was just confirm passion and maybe (subconsciously) open my eyes a little to my options.

After leaving chemistry and then computer science in college, I settled on graphic design. I chose design because I loved computers and I loved art. Do a little math to add the two together and ta-da, you’ve got graphic design.

In school I was in heaven. Three hours of an afternoon sculpture class? Yes please! Three hours of a graphic design class? Yes please! Three hours of a 7:00 am drawing class with a naked human contorting in front of you? Eh, not so much. I have to say, it’s a good thing my husband never took a class like that. I would have never met him because he’d be dead after giggling for three hours straight. 🙂

college projects - painting, design, & photography

Now I have a design job and you’d think it’d be ideal but I’ve come to realize that I enjoy creating art specifically and not design (as much). It’s more personal and you can do whatever you want!

I should have come to this conclusion a while ago because I have a massive collection of personal paintings, prints, and photographs at my house. These are the culmination of many years of random urges to do art any day of the week. Family members can attest to me forcing them into doing projects with me. Right Mom? Sister? Husband?

So since I’m changing careers to a completely different field, I thought I’d continue my art and open an Etsy shop! Makes sense right? Now (hopefully) all of the pieces will end up in loving homes and not in a giant heap on my living room floor! I’m a genius.

texture, texture, and more texture

This won’t happen over night since I’ll be creating/selling a new series or two and I’d like to build up the inventory but it’s exciting nonetheless!

I have lots of big changes and projects on my plate. It’ll be interesting to see how I juggle it all but I’m up for the challenge. I’m on my way to a fulfilling career and life. Stay tuned!

blogging – month 1 & resolutions update

This post is a little recap of my blogging adventure and a status report on my resolutions. Don’t you just love a good list or two? I sure do!

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When I was in school I always thought of writing as a horrible burden. Producing a mere two pages of text was the WORST. Writing, I thought, was done well by my dad (Dad, you need to start a blog ASAP) and my sister.  Not by me!

Lo and behold, after a month of writing on this blog I like it! And some other people happen to like it too! Dang.

I’ve learned a good amount already. Here are some thoughts:

  1. Winging it either produces an awesome post or a long drawn out writing process. There is no in between for me.
  2. I should definitely be planning out posts because winging it keeps me up until the wee hours of the night (10 – 11 pm) and then the next day I struggle to live.
  3. I need to start using a thesaurus because I majorly overuse words like awesome, super, and excited.
  4. Blogging is helping me connect with new people like I had hoped and I’m so glad!
  5. It is now confirmed that changing careers is the right decision.
  6. More writing = better writing.
I am really looking forward to how this all progresses. I haven’t even touched my DIY, recipe, and ‘green’ projects yet. It’s going to be good!

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On to my second topic.

I wanted to do an update on my resolutions so that I can see where I stand. I need some regrouping for sure. Here’s the list of the resolutions for you to check out of you haven’t seen them already.

The update:

  1. Yoga – I’ve really only been stretching which isn’t doing enough for my 10k training (I often have IT band problems if I don’t do yoga). I’ll be planning out my blog posts and workouts better so I can keep up with my yoga classes.
  2. Food going bad – Up until this week I’ve failed at this one which is sad but as long as I stay on track I should be good.
  3. New recipes – Again, up until this week I hadn’t tried a new recipe. I finally did on Monday though! I’ll be writing about it soon. I really want to post once a week with each new recipe that I try. Maybe that’ll give me more motivation to actually do it.
  4. Volunteer – Psh. You know I’m doing this one! I’m keeping up with the volunteering once a week at different places either until I run out of places to go or things to say. Some places I’ll go to again and again but some I won’t. Either way they all have been great experiences so far!
  5. Write – Success again! As mentioned at the beginning of this post, things are going well with my writing and I’ll definitely be keeping it up. Organization is key though.

And that’s it! I’ve succeeded in some and semi-failed in others. That’s not too shabby for my first month. I’ll be writing a monthly recap of my resolutions to make sure I stay on track. If I’m doing all five of these challenges I really think I’ll be able to stay balanced and healthy.

Wait, you can’t have a post without an image! For Katie’s viewing pleasure – a picture of the girls after one of Roary’s dramatic fits that was talked about here:

roary & olivia

🙂

introversion, intuition, feeling, judging

As you know, this blog is the first step in my search for a new, more fulfilling career. Yesterday was my second step. I put in my four weeks notice at work. GASP!

I have no job lined up yet but I just had to do it. It’s really tough to take a leap of faith but if I hadn’t done it yesterday then I probably would have stuck around for a couple more months or even longer. That wouldn’t be good – not for me or my husband’s happiness.

I personally love change but the unknown is scary AND having to tell my bosses what I was doing made me want to barf. Seriously all morning before the meeting all I could think to myself and type to my great friend Katie was ‘Barf!’ or ‘I want to Barf!’. It pains me to bring stress or trouble to other people’s lives so even though this decision is going to make me happier and healthier I was still worrying about the workload I’d leave and the people that would have to take it on. I want to help not hurt. This, I think, is a good example of my personality and brings me to a little research I did.

I needed reassurance for this big career change so I explored online and found this personality test. The test gives you results based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. So I am a INFJ – introversion, intuition, feeling, judging.

16 personality types

With a little more googling I found these shenanigans about my personality type (found here):
INFJs, making up an estimated 1% of all people, are the most rare type (males even more so). They are introspective, caring, sensitive, gentle and complex people that strive for peace and derive satisfaction from helping others. INFJs are highly intuitive, empathetic and dedicated listeners. These traits tend to act as a “tell me what’s wrong” sign on their forehead, hence the nicknames Confidant, Counselor or Empath. INFJs are intensely private and deeply committed to their beliefs.

What’s my conclusion from all this? I’m destined to be the next Mother Teresa! OR I definitely should be helping someone or something because that’s what makes me sing!

I should just believe in my gut and trust that I am making the right decision but man did this test make me feel better about my choices. If any of you are looking to change careers and aren’t exactly sure what you might like to do I would definitely check out the websites I linked to above. If you’re curious here are a couple careers I found for my personality. Very interesting!

  • Clergy / Religious Work
  • Teachers
  • Medical Doctors / Dentists
  • Alternative Health Care Practitioners, i.e. Chiropractor, Reflexologist
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Counselors and Social Workers
  • Musicians and Artists
  • Photographers
  • Child Care / Early Childhood Development

These results are funny because many of the careers on this list I’ve already considered or done.

Here’s to heading in the right direction!

the job hunt

How in the world do I convince people that I truly want to change careers? My gut is telling me this is what I need to do is that not good enough?

Yesterday afternoon I had a job interview for a great non-profit. I was super excited because I really thought I was going to get it – I even have the same alma mater as the interviewer, that’s always a plus! But it didn’t go very well or at least I’m pretty sure it didn’t. The woman wasn’t convinced that a person with a Masters in Fine Arts would truly want to completely change careers, get paid way less, and work part-time. But I DO, I REALLY do! I even explained how I was going to keep making art on the side while working at her company. That way I still get to help people and create – my two loves. Alas, I couldn’t say anything to wipe the disappointed (?) look on her face.

Depressing. I came home after my 10 minute interview and then sat on my pretty bay window and cried while the dogs stared at me. I was just so excited to get out of a job that pains me and be free to pursue my other passions. I know I know, this sounds SUPER dramatic but I’ve been wanting out of this job for a while now so to be so close yet so far is a total bummer. Ah, the ups and downs of the hunt.

I’m going somewhere with this venting don’t you worry.

After stuffing my face and getting over my sad self I felt a little better. And after a semi-good nights sleep I felt MUCH better. It’s a brand new day. There are new jobs to hunt and more connections to be made. I applied to another job today and decided on which volunteer opportunity I’ll be taking part in this weekend. Everyone loves a plan!

I just need to stay focused on my goals and stick with the plan. If I waiver one day I can jump back on route the next. Eventually it’ll all work out the way it should. That sounds convincing, right??

A little interpretation of this post for your viewing pleasure:

the beginning

This blog is called Hippie Itch. The name came to me one random night when I couldn’t sleep and realized that I needed to fulfill my ‘hippie’ appetite. This includes a little this and a little that – going ‘green’, DIY projects, volunteering, maybe more?

I plan to volunteer at a variety of places and document my adventures here. I’m hoping this will help me really get a feel for what I might like to do with my life since my current career is unfulfilling (and not ‘hippie’). Next Saturday is my first event. I’m heading to BARK (Bandit’s Adoption and Rescue of K-9’s) Farm to volunteer. I can’t wait to see what happens!

This morning I started off 2012 with a 5k. It was awesome! At points I felt strong, weak, woozy, exhausted, excited, and proud. I’m thinking my new journey is going to be similar. I love me some change but changing careers after all that schooling? Yikes. All I know is I want to help someone or something. I want to do something that matters. I want to be proud of my contributions.

I hope you can join me in my adventures towards a more fulfilling life!