Monday, June 17, 2013


well it's been a VERY eventful few weeks here.  never mind our flooding.  that was easy.  we know when the water is coming up or going down & we know how to prepare.  but my latest?  hmmmm
for the past 2+ years i have been very honest (and vocal) about how burned out i am in my current job.  i absolutely loathe working in IT.  and i am not alone i'm finding out.  i reached my peak about a year and a half ago when something happened at work that really sent me over the edge - i posted about it & retracted it because there was nothing constructive in least i didn't think so then.
i realized much later that it was the push i needed to start finding my way out of my current job.  a year later, i was still struggling, but i was trying.  it took a while, but i realized i was asking myself the wrong question for the longest time:  what is it you really want to do?  that just added another layer of frustration because now i was not only unhappy in my job, but i couldn't not answer this question that i thought would make it all better.  somewhere along the way, i realized the question really was "what do you like?"  never mind the "to do", just what do you like.  that changed everything.
2 things happened:  i changed my approach to searching for the next job and Cookie was diagnosed with brain cancer.  i won't rehash the brain cancer stuff because it's all out there already, but it did really make me sit down & think about how much i like animals, dogs in particular.  i started googling "careers working with dogs".  aside from joining the circus (which i'm pretty sure i already live in), certain options kept presenting themselves:  vet, vet tech, groomer, trainer, dog sitter.  so i started researching those.
meanwhile, back at the farm, i began what i like to call my "man on the street career research project".  i would ask anyone & everyone about their jobs.  the Culligan guy?  yep!  the girls at my vet?  check!  the ladies at the nursing home?  check!  random people in check out lines!  really, i did!  and if i heard about a job someone did & couldn't ask them?  i googled it!  my philosophy was that old standby:  throw enough darts, you're bound to hit something.  i had some weird epiphany last March.  sitting in my cube at work, i broke.  i said out loud to all my co-workers "i'm done!  i will not spend the rest of my life staring at the corner of a cubicle!" and i meant it.
i believe in signs too!  always have.  weird things happen for a weird reasons.  i remember my graduate adviser was soooo disappointed in me when i mentioned this in front of her years ago.  "How can you study what you study & believe in signs, fate, etc."  my answer:  i just do!  and this year has been just that.  my favorite, our trip to Jackson Hole, WY and my dog sledding tour.  our guide Courtney and i had a conversation about how she made the leap, leaving her job in healthcare to be a guide.  i was captivated.  i so admire people that can take a leap of faith to get out of the normal routine & make their own path.  i told her at the end of our tour that this was the year i was going to take that leap of faith.  i was going to jump.
and jump i did!  i gave notice almost 2 weeks ago.  Wed will be my last day working in a corp environment.  and what am i leaving for?  dog groomer!  that's right!  i'm gonna go work for the 4-legged variety.  and i could not be happier right now.  i've worked in a local shop the last 2 Fri & Sat's & have enjoyed it.  it will be challenging, but i'm not scared at all.  and that people is a very big deal for me.  but i get it now. every person i have ever talked to that has done something like this said the same thing: you just reach critical mass. a point where you know if you don't jump off that cliff, you never will.  and i could literally feel each of those moments when i took that one step closer & the final one when i jumped.  and it felt great!
will i make a lot of money?  probably not! will i make any money? i sure hope so!  but am i scared?  not a bit!  i don't know when i've been so excited to embark on something.  i have certainly had better, more lucrative offers in the last year+, but none of them felt right in my gut.  this did the entire time.  so, like a marriage, for better or worse, here goes!


Amy said...

Hi there! I love following your blogs. As a mom to Mack the boxer, I especially love seeing your Cookie and Baxter posts. :) Congrats on your big leap! Your post really spoke to me. I'm in the beginning stages of the same journey. I keep asking "What do I want to be when I grow up?" but I can't answer that question, and it's very frustrating! Thanks for sharing your story. It gives me hope that I'll be able to "jump" soon! Good luck!!

Cookie said...

thanks Amy! it was a 2 year journey for me & although a lot is still unknown & i realize this experiment could fail, i knew i would regret more asking myself "what if" some day down the line. i think it's more important to try & fail than to always wonder. i don't always follow that, but this time i could not do otherwise. good luck in your journey, and you will jump when the time is right! just like i did!

be sure to check out the boxers sister site ( where they have their own opinions!

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