What do you do?
I am a massage therapist and a combined decongestive therapist. So I specialize in the treatment of lymphedema.
How long have you been in this field for?
I’m in my sixth year of being a massage therapist.
What inspired you to pursue this career?
I never dreamt of being a massage therapist, but as I was ending my career in marketing and communications, I thought I could be a massage therapist and it wouldn’t be too bad and it would be less corporate stuff. It was really after I graduated that I started loving it. School wasn’t too enjoyable—it was a lot of stress and a lot of studying and my kid was one—but once I started practicing, I really really loved it. I never thought I would love it as much as I do.
What was the biggest hurdle in attaining your career goals?
Going back to school was a big one. I was 39 years old and my daughter was one. There was a ton of studying and I couldn’t study in the evenings, so I would get up at five in the morning to study pathology and all that fun stuff before going to school full-time. Going from two salaries to one salary was a big one too.
What do you like most about your job?
I love many things about my job. One of the things is touch. When I touch people it grounds me—so that’s kind of a selfish reason why I love it [laughs]. Another reason is that I love meeting so many people. I have six-year-old patients and my oldest patient is 92 years old. And they come from all different countries and all walks of life and all sorts of professions. It’s just really interesting. Another thing I think is amazing is that when you put your bare hands on somebody [while massaging], there’s a kind of deep form of communication that—like the first time I meet a person, we have talks like we’ve been friends forever. It always amazes me when that happens, but it does happen every day.
What do you find most challenging about your job?
One of the most challenging things is never knowing what to expect. I don’t know what next week is going to look like. But I’ve come to accept that challenge as a blessing. So whenever my schedule is slow that’s great because then I have time to do exciting things, like accounting! I’ve learned to take it as it comes and not get worried and just accept it as it is. But it took me a couple of years to get there.
If you weren’t a massage therapist, what would you be?
If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would still be doing the same thing. If I won $10 million, I would be doing what I’m doing. It really makes me happy.
Name one hobby you have that’s not related to your work.
Lot of the things I do is focused on working. There are many things I like outside of work—like I like horseback riding, but since I’m a massage therapist, I’ve cut down because I know I need my hands and my legs. So i don’t do anything that would put that in jeopardy. I’m careful. One other thing is that I love heavy metal and I don’t look like I do! It’s not a hobby, but I’ve loved heavy metal since I was a teenager.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
The very first thing I do is walk towards my Nespresso machine. I love my morning coffee.
And last thing you do at night?
The last thing I do at night is cuddle up on the couch with the dogs and watch Netflix. And then tell my husband I love him, then go to bed.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you enjoy your job.
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