Trust Yourself, Start Where You Stand
My dog changed my life, and I am grateful for it. The past few months I have been in the midst of that transition.
I left graduate school last fall. My first career of choice was failing to make me happy. I realized how little it aligned with the vision I have for myself and my future. I was living completely out of balance with my values. Of course, not everyone who is working on a Ph.D. in experimental physics is out of alignment with what they want. I’m sure my boyfriend is going to use his physics knowledge to build great things since he is always coming up with such fascinating ideas and he loves to spend time building in the lab. I admire him for these things, but for me, the passion had drained out of the physics path some time ago. I got into it for the wrong reasons and with the wrong expectations. I knew this in my heart for a long time, but it can be so hard to quit something you’ve worked so hard on – when society and almost everyone you have surrounded yourself with tells you to stick it out, it will get better. “Sure, it will be hard,” they say, “but it will be useful; it will be a good career. You will make money.” I am lucky to have had the support of the ones who are closest to me – my boyfriend and my family. My mom may be losing her memory, but she will still repeatedly tell me that I need to do whatever is best for me in my life, and that she wants me to be happy. So I got out, with their support, and the willful encouragement of that little black dog who set the whole thing in motion when he came into my life. Now I am building my life around dogs.
This is a hard-learned lesson – trust in yourself. Listen to your intuition. Get clear on what matters most to you and then do not compromise that. I don’t think I would have made it out without Rio. He reignited my long-lost passion and fascination with the sacred relationship between people and the animals who share our planet, our lives, and our hearts.
Now I want to share this passion with others. Not only do I want to be a dog trainer to train dogs, but also in order to help others make the necessary changes in themselves and their lives to become better trainers and companions for their own dogs and better citizens of the world. Together we can learn so much! I am not starting over. I am starting from where I am – with all the experiences of my life to draw upon. I am starting with the doggies.