Dreams change and plans aren't forever
Becoming a Dog Trainer was never something I ever thought about wanting to be as a child. I had always loved animals (especially canines, in fact, the very first thing I ever saved my money for was an AKC dog breed book. I read parts of that book every day), but a Dog Trainer? Never crossed my mind, I guess I didn't even think that was a job. Field Zoologist, yes please, that job was exciting with the idea of working with animals in their natural habitat, the science, and the exploration. But, that wasn't in the cards while I was younger. Artist, that was something I thought was more achievable and something I also enjoyed a lot as a child. How cool would it be to work in animation specifically? I loved watching cartoons, and anime - let's be real, I still love it. I'm not going to lie, I can't wait to watch cartoons and anime with my son. Going to conventions, and dressing my son up in his favorite characters, because there's nothing wrong with imagination, that's all cosplaying is. Being someone else for an hour. Cosplaying helps a lot of people get out of their shell, helps them be creative, and simply put have fun. Life should be fun, it shouldn't be people telling you what you can and can't do all the time. Of course, there's a time and place for that (like traffic lights), but if you enjoy something innocent like watching cartoons, or dressing up like an anime character, who's that hurting? No one. Though, I do believe in moderation still, you shouldn't be only watching netflix all day.
As I became an adult though, I realized that art school was way more expensive than I thought as a kid. So, I became a Pharmacy Technician to pay for art school. That was a practical job, a job an adult would have. What was I thinking? I hated this job for one, and for two now I just took on debt to make more debt? My family never went to college, weren't big goal setters while I was young, and though they said I could do everything, the actual doing anything seemed unreal, for a lot of reasons. This realization led to wasted years and being lost. I began to settle and gave up on dreams altogether.
I think this is common in adults, we dream big when we're young, and then as time goes on we realize life is hard. We were never told as a child that life was hard? A few of us may have seen our parents struggle with different aspects of the world, and even been a part of having to pick up the pieces. But, that was their fault, not life, not how our life would be. How wrong that thought process was.
The settling times went by, and I got sick. A surgery later gave me (cliché) a bit of an eye-opener. I still didn't believe fully in myself, this isn't a hallmark movie. But, I did realize that I needed to do something I wanted to do, for myself. So, I began volunteering at the local Zoo. No intentions of anything, just to be around animals. This was a commitment outside of my full-time job, I had to get up extra early on my days off to ride the Max (local transport, since - you guessed it - I didn't have a reliable car) to make it to the Zoo, for whatever the day entailed. I didn't mind, that was one thing about living in Oregon, the transit can get you anywhere you wanted to be - as long as you woke up a few hours earlier to get there, and didn't mind being within touching distance from strangers.
I loved the Zoo. Some more time went by, and life got messy again. At this point, I ended up moving to Arizona, which was something I needed way more than I realized at the time. That's when the animal life really hit off. I began volunteering at an animal sanctuary, then was offered a job. It was about an hour's drive from where I lived (yes, I had a car at this point haha), which I of course accepted. Then I applied on a whim (not thinking I'd get it), for a job at a Veterinarian's. I did get it! This was closer to home, so I accepted and worked there as a kennel technician - then a Veterinarian Technician for some time, before moving to a better Animal Hospital. This one felt like home. I could go on forever about them, I still talk to them and still love them. This was the first job I ever felt right about. Then the day came for me to move again, it was for a better living opportunity, and I cried. A lot.
Once I made it to Kansas, the house was beautiful, and I was back in the land of green. I missed that. It was an adjustment though, and I didn't have the same support as I did in Arizona. I also knew I couldn't go back to an Animal Hospital, I just knew it wouldn't be the same. So, what was I going to do? I dilly-dallied longer than I want to admit before I landed a job as a Dog Trainer. Working at the Vet office, and having my own dogs finally becoming that #dogmom, I was big into canine learning theory and knew this was something I could do.
I ended up loving it way more than I thought I would, it's one thing teaching your dogs, but a whole 'nother thing teaching someone to teach their dogs. There you have it, in a weird way I ended up working with animals, in a job I never thought I'd have, becoming a business owner (that some of my family still don't understand). I did more than I thought I could do when I was younger and becoming a "settler", of course, I wish I could talk to my younger self and push things differently, to get places faster. But, then I wouldn't have the journey. I wouldn't have the knowledge, and the experience to give to my son. I'm not saying that he won't ever have a moment in his life where he has a period of settling (it's natural to have periods of comfort, where we aren't pushing for the next thing), but I want him to know that he can be anything he wants to be, but it'll take work, a lot of work. It'll be hard sometimes, but he can do it. I will be there for his journey, every step of the way, and I will never stop believing in him.
Never stop dreaming my friends.
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