Monday, June 7, 2010

Exhausting Inspiration

I went to a family reunion (extended family through my maternal grandmother) over the weekend. That level and intensity of socialization can be kind of exhausting for my very introverted psyche, and I'm still feeling pretty fried. I did see a lot of people I haven't seen in a very long time, virtually all of whom had never met my wife before and the only thing I would take back about the weekend is the gas used and mileage accumulated on the roughly eight hour round trip drive (because I'm sick of spending money on my car).

I found a lot of inspiration and reaffirmation for my desire to pursue large animal medicine through this trip. The simple, passive act of driving past cattle, horses, sheep and even donkeys at pasture always brought some excitement to me. Just seeing the animals. It helped reinforce for me that, yes, I do want to work with these creatures.

I had a lot of good conversations with people about veterinary medicine. As I've mentioned in the past my grandfather was a large animal veterinarian, and a lot of those present from his and my parents generation remembered him pretty well and had even more to share with me on the subject than I had expected. The most notable conversation relating to the topic of my pursuit of further education and career change, for me, actually had nothing directly to do with Veterinary school, or practice, or my grandfather. The conversation that is really sticking with me was a conversation with an aunt, Mary, my Mother's sister-in-law, which kind of sowed some counter-anxiety seeds in me with respect to the very real possibility that Kristin and I will have to spend our time in professional school (Vet School for me and Med School for her) in different locations. This is a subject I've been resisting thinking about so hearing what Mary had to say was pretty important for me I think. We were discussing the fact that there are really only three places in the US where Kristin and I could live and go to school together. Mary talked about her sister and brother-in-law who were not able to live together for ten years due to educational and career conflicts. TEN years. Granted they didn't have kids (neither do Kristin and I except for our wonderful cats), but the point I took away from Mary's story was that it worked out. At the end of it all they still loved each other, and when they were finally able to live in the same place together the did, and have ever since. Would it be difficult? Definitely, but hearing my aunt talk about her sister and bro-in-law left me feeling far less intimidated about the possibility of such a scenario. I wouldn't want to have to do it for a full decade, but if I had to be away from Kristin for most of four+ years so that we could see our respective career goals through I would do it. At least communications technology continues to become more advanced so that makes such prospects easier (or maybe harder. I don't know really. Different discussion for a different time). Okay, I think I've engaged in sufficient reflection on my weekend in Iowa as it relates to the blog. Back to exploring financial options and housing changes for the hopeful return to school.

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