“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18
There are some in this life that find their purpose early; they feel it when they are young; they know it in their bones. These individuals grow up being guided by parents, teachers and friends. Their world is surrounded by models of success. They in turn, model what they see and become what they have dreamed. This is not one of those stories; yet. I had never really thought of myself as very much and surely my upbringing sought to confirm that identity that I once believed true. I was born to addict parents, who while I’m sure loved me, had no idea how to place the well being of anything or anyone above their craving for drugs. Their addiction became the backdrop for which my dreams were cultivated. And so; while I had large dreams, the execution for such grand plans have always been lack luster, to say the least. I have witnessed; in both my forefathers and myself, a long history of incompletion. I have seen both of my parents lose themselves, and all they were, to something such as a substance and a lifestyle that did not serve them. I have seen myself fail at times. But I have also seen myself rise on many an occasion, and I believe that this is my time to rise up to meet the road ahead.
Upon first enrolling in the university, I was living a life that was quite foreign to me. Sharing my first apartment with my first long term partner, was a new experience in itself. Shortly after moving in, I was unexpectedly in need of spinal surgery; a surgery that had left me paralyzed from the waist down. I was 23 at the time. While still in the recovery process, I had decided that all the time I was “sitting” could be put to some good use. Rehabilitation from a spinal cord injury is an exhausting process in so many ways, but tearing most at your sense of patience. There is a large amount of physical work that goes on, but also a lot of waiting. So, I made a decision to start at Colorado Tech without really knowing why I wanted to return to school; what was my purpose? What was my plan? From a very young age, I had always found the human body a wondrous creation and concluded that medicine may be a good path for me. I had wanted to become a surgeon. I felt that since my physical capabilities were no longer up to par with what that career would demand, I decided to enter into the criminal justice program with hopes of going into forensic science. I have never, at any point, been interested with the criminal justice field or law for that matter but I didn’t think about those things at the time. I just chose a major that I thought would suit my needs and current capabilities without taking into consideration my wants, my dreams, or the possibility of my body healing far beyond my expectations. Then, as my body became stronger, so did my resolve to truly become the person that I had seen in a distant dream. Unfortunately as my legs allowed me to stand again, my relationship came tumbling down around me, and once again I was surrounded by the chaos I had always come to know. I decided to withdraw from the university to prevent myself from failing scholastically and until I could further clarify what my true desires were and where this healing process would lead.
As I healed, I once again found myself in a childlike state of wonder and amazement at the workings of the human body and a passion for medicine was re-ignited. I was drawn to look further into the many fields within medicine which I could pursue. I came across an interview with a PA student and a spark occurred. I began to research as much as I possibly could about the profession and I found it to be quite fitting. From the academic aspect to the working toward a reformation in healthcare; the position seemed to be made for the many facets of my interests and talents while still allowing me to pursue my artistic and musical abilities as well. The final outcome of practicing in this profession also seemed suited to my needs. While I will always have a attending physician, I will still be able to practice with autonomy. I will be able to treat, diagnose, interpret lab results, and perform minor surgeries within what ever specialty I choose. I will be able to keep my options open and because I must re-certify ever 2 years or so; I will always be the eternal student. This prospect is something that I find rather inviting as opposed to intimidating. I will be on a constant path of education,which is how I have come to view my life as a whole. I have put together a plan that includes a financial work up, schools that I would like to attend, scholarships that I can apply for once in school and a solid support system. For the first time in my life I feel as though I know exactly where I was, where I am and where I want to go. So with a clear purpose in hand and a new confidence in my heart, I have decided to embark of that vision.