Sunday, November 23, 2008

how i became the homeless parrot redux

for beloved parrot - a repost of a previous explanation of how i became the homeless parrot (on my original part 2 blog, which i took down several months ago)

someone asked me the other day what the title of my blog means. and while i'm a total fan of individual interpretations...being a lover of novels and poetry and music and such...i thought i'd explain. however, if my explanation doesn't jibe with yours, then by all means, continue to believe what you originally thought. everything has different levels of meaning, eh?

while an undergraduate, i decided veterinary medicine was what i wanted to do with my life. to that end, i took courses designed for med/vet students. however, during my junior year, i became concerned that veterinary medicine was a selfish career choice. it would take 4 years post-graduation and eat into the time during which i could be having children and building a family -something i'd always wanted to do. vet school would also be an enormous financial and emotional burden. i decided - after lengthy consideration - vet school wasn't for me. i finished a degree in biology, but i was short a few pre-reqs for vet school (organic II and biochem, physics, notably).

after graduation, i spent a year completely lost. floating along, trying to decide where my life would lead me. nothing made me happy. i applied to various graduate programs - microbiology, evolutionary biology, even the masters in teaching. but nothing felt right. i was intensely unhappy during that year - dissatisfied with my lack of direction. after graduation, i worked as a riding instructor at a YMCA camp for a summer (which i absolutely loved) and then as a veterinary technician (which i loved, too). i moved on from that to a job in a human medical office that offered health insurance and which i absolutely and totally hated and actually wound up walking out on. i made it 6 months there before moving on to a job in the business office of a physical therapy center.

one day, i went with a friend to pick up my landlord's sick horse from the vet school. i stepped inside the building and was overwhelmed by a sudden sense of absolute belonging. of coming home. of being exactly where i was supposed to be. i cannot begin to describe it. if i believed in the divine, then i would believe that the moment was a sign from above. when i left, i knew that i had to do it. there was nothing else.

i enrolled in organic II and physics at a local community college and spent the next year working on finishing my pre-reqs and going through the rigorous process of applying to veterinary school. most candidates apply to multiple schools. i put all my eggs in one basket, mainly because hubby was already enrolled in his graduate program, and hoped against hope that i would be one of the few selected. and here i am, near the end of this leg of my journey. sometimes it all seems too surreal to be true, as if this is my dreaming life and my waking life is false.

i suppose a more appropriate name for this blog would be the homed parrot. but before i found vet school, my soul was homeless. and now i've found that thing which makes me happier than anything else. for all the toil, the sorrow, the burden, the hours and hours of work and studying, the damage it's done to my mental stability and that of my husband, i know that i am where i belong. there is nothing else that would have sufficed. my only sadness is that one day i will be too old to be a veterinarian anymore.


Elizabeth said...

I have a friend whose feels the same about being a Vet. Check out her work.
She is one awesome person...

Beloved Parrot said...

That's a beautiful explanation of the blog's name.

Thank you.

Is the parrot on your blog one of yours? He/she doesn't look awfully happy at the moment of the photo.

Beloved Parrot said...

Or that he's/she's had one of those "thorough" baths some parrots have of dunking their head only in water and thinking that'll do it!

The Homeless Parrot said...

yes, that is one of my parrots. he was actually quite happy at that point, flashing his eyes and regurgitating for me.

the african grey next to my profile is also mine. i also have a green cheeked conure.