When I was first asked what I wanted to be, I said a doctor. Not an animal doctor like now, but a people doctor. I wanted to work for my pediatrician because she was nice to me and had lollipops. I wanted to drive my pink battery-operated ride-around Barbie jeep to work because it was fast and cool and I didn’t mind that one person had to get out and push it up the hill because, after all, it was battery–operated. We would drive that thing around the backyard as kids, my first ever friends Anthony, Caroline, Colin, and I. When it rained, we’d get stuck in the mud. When it snowed, we’d push it up the hill pulling our sled. And when there was a bee inside it, we’d send Anthony first because he was a small human tank and didn’t understand pain.
The second thing I ever wanted to be was an author. As you can probably tell, I’m no professional, but I loved poetry as a kid and even got published in a few children’s books. I read everything I could touch and wrote almost every day. I’d write poetry, short stories, and songs – which brings me to my third job I ever wanted.
My mom made me play piano when I was a kid. I wouldn’t say that I hated every single second of it, but there was a lot of crying involved. When given the opportunity to play the violin, I all but kicked the piano trying to get to my new strings. There were few things I loved more than my violin. Having taken piano, I knew how to read notes which really helped move me along. I played in the school orchestra, took private lessons, competed in solos, small ensembles, and full orchestras. I was really good. I didn’t mind playing for seven hours some nights, from as soon as I got home until I went to bed only stopping to eat some food (vegetables, I was vegetarian for 12 years of my life). I don’t play much now; I live in a quiet apartment and it’s a loud instrument. I’d give anything to be that good again.
I’d also like to be as good at speaking Spanish as I once was. Yes, I took nine years of Spanish, starting in the after-school programs in third grade all the way through to graduation. I went to Spain and Italy with my senior class and it opened my eyes to an entire new world. Unfortunately, there were no upper-level Spanish classes at Delaware Valley University, and if you don’t use it, you don’t retain much of it over time. I still enjoy reading a Spanish book or watching a movie from time to time, though.
There’s a lot more to me than vet school – sometimes it’s hard to remember that. I love nature and being outside. I love exercising. I love to play my violin, spend time with friends, bake, read books, watch movies, enjoy other cultures, ride horses, and write. I need to make time for these other things, especially when vet school is taking its tolls on me. I need to remember why I’m here and how to enjoy it. Everything is hard – hell, we had to push the jeep up that hill.