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Thread: Contemplating a Major Life Change...help?

  1. #1
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    Default Contemplating a Major Life Change...help?

    Alright..I just really want to kind of get this off of my chest and talk to someone besides my boyfriend about this.

    I hate college. I seriously do. I excelled in high school and did really well, and enjoyed it. I didn't really have any problems with high school aside from social problems, but I think every awkward kid experiences that at some point.

    I'm 20 years old now. I've now done three years at a local community college. I was planning on going to be a Veterinarian..all my life I've wanted to work with animals. Well, I started taking the pre-vet classes and I did okay..it's just, I really didn't like them. And I discovered I don't like college. I decided there was no way in hell I could handle 8 years of school with as much as I disliked it. I then decided, oh, I'll switch to nursing. My grandma's a nurse, my mom's a nurse, I really like things in the medical field..it'll work. I've been planning on doing nursing for a year now. I've been extremely hesitant the whole time. I'm just finishing up a few more courses and then I have everything I need to transfer to the nursing program at a local university.

    I took a CNA (certified nursing assistant) class over the summer and did a week of clinicals in a nursing home. In order to get into the nursing program, you have to be a certified CNA and have worked at least 40 hours in a CNA position. I did fine in the class and passed. However, I put it off and didn't go get certified. I should have done it right away..but I had a medical test I had had scheduled for months that day when the testing was first available. Needless to say, it's been over a month and a half and I'm not certified. Because..a)I don't have the money. I've drained my savings with car payments and bills. I've been unemployed. b)I'm scared to, because you have to deal with people who aren't even sick and needing your help acting like they are and judging you, and c)I..don't want to do this type of work. I flat out do NOT like it.

    I some what had an epiphany.

    Some background info as well that's a huge part of this. I have major depression. Extremely bad depression to the point where if I miss my medication, I feel like committing suicide. I try my best to be happy but it's just so hard sometimes. I go to therapy, I take medication. I don't take as much medication as I need, because quite frankly..we can't afford it. The anti depressant I'm on is not cheap. =/ We're talking $70 a month WITH insurance..I have good insurance. Without insurance it's over $100. That's a lot of money just to try and make myself feel happy. I'm honestly in a huge rut right now because I don't like where my life is going. My boyfriend, Tim, keeps me sane. I just love him to bits. So does Delilah. Being around animals makes me so happy and I just feel amazing when I'm around them..and not sad. I'm extremely sad with how my life is going now.

    I've always loved grooming dogs. As a little kid, I would go to people's houses and wash their dogs for $5. It was fun, haha..and I was known as the little girl who loved dogs. I've always been just a huge animal lover. My first word wasn't mommy or daddy..it was "kitty." LOL. I groom dogs now for fun in my basement. I charge ridiculously low prices (like $20 for something that'd cost $60 or more at the salon) and do get some business. I'm not professionally trained. But honestly, I'm pretty good..I have pictures if anyone wants to see..they're on my facebook. I LOVE doing it. I love the finished product. I love the before and after. It makes me feel so good. I feel accomplished. I love working with the dogs. In short, grooming makes me happy.

    I've mulled around in my mind the idea of being a dog groomer for several years since I hate college so much. Sure, it makes less money than a nurse. But I'm a simple person, I don't need things that are extravagant. Once I get established, I'll have decent money. And eventually when I'm older, I'd love to have my own salon. I know several women who own their own salons, and they easily have more money than my mother who is a nurse. I have made a huge list of pros and cons, I can type those up if anyone wants. I'm trying to keep this a bit short..it's getting long.

    My mother will be FURIOUS. She wants me to go to school for like 10 years and become some surgeon and make money up the whazzoo. She was ticked when I went from veterinary to nurse. She doesn't really like her job. She's going back to school right now to be a physician's assistant (PA) so she can make more money. She's a lot more centered on money than I am. I don't spend money, I'm very frugal. I don't like buying the highest end stuff. I'd rather donate money to rescues in stuff..and in fact I do, even though I don't have anything to my name. I brought the idea up to her once about being a dog groomer, and she told me that was ridiculous, I wouldn't make anything, and that I was far too intelligent to do a "stupid job." She has pushed me into EVERYTHING my whole life. Made me do gymnastics and dance as a kid..which I hated. I wanted to be in 4H to show dogs and she wouldn't let me because that was "redneck" and "whitetrash." I've never gotten to do any of the things I want to do with animals because she didn't approve. Animals are seriously my life. I WANT to work with them and be around them because they make me HAPPY. They make me not want to crawl in a hole and die. But she won't see that. She thinks I'm ridiculous.

    I have dreams of opening up my own dog grooming facility with agility and obedience classes. I want to show bulldogs. I want to have extra time for my photography and have a side business with that as well. I can't do any of this with nursing. I honestly feel like I will have a happier life if I do dog grooming. If I try and fail, I can go back to school.

    Am I being reasonable? Or is this ludicrous? How do I talk to my mom? My boyfriend and I are going to talk to my dad tomorrow, he'll be more level headed. (my parents are divorced) Then talk to my mom in a few days, once we figure out how to tackle this. I'm just so sick of her running my life. It's not fair. It's my life, I should be allowed to make my own decisions. If I fail, I fail. But at least I tried. I'll go back to school if I fail. Yes, I'm intelligent. But being a dog groomer wouldn't make me unintelligent.

    Help..I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place.


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    Default Re: Contemplating a Major Life Change...help?

    I feel like I haven't had any chance to do what I want to in my life.

    Because of her making terrible decisions in husbands, I was forced to grow up early. He beat me, sexually abused me, etc. That's probably why I'm so damn messed up in the head. She doesn't know about any of this stuff..only my therapist does. I told my mom that this guy was bad news, she didn't listen. The guy was terrible and beat her too. She tried to get out and leave but he wouldn't let us, he'd just beat her more and cause more problems. The only reason we got out was because eventually my mom tried to commit suicide and landed in the hospital. They got divorced after that.

    I love my mom. But she's so overbearing and I'm so sick of her controlling my life. My childhood got screwed up. I didn't get to do what I wanted to do. I don't want the rest of my life to be controlled by "what my mom will think." My therapist has told me I need to do what I WANT TO DO. She said I put too much emphasis on other people's approval.


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    Default Re: Contemplating a Major Life Change...help?

    I love listening to Alan Watts, and here is his career advice, although I'll admit that it's easier said than done, but still interesting and makes sense.

    Career Advice from Alan Watts - YouTube

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    Default Re: Contemplating a Major Life Change...help?

    I'll check that out tomorrow, have to go to bed now. Thanks!


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    Default Re: Contemplating a Major Life Change...help?

    Lauren, I have an overbearing mother too. You will just have to do what makes YOU happy. She will probably not talk to you for awhile but she will come around. Maybe you should tell her what happened with her husband eventually.

    I cant stress enough Make yourself happy first, everything else will fall into place.

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    Default Re: Contemplating a Major Life Change...help?

    I agree, you need to do what is best for you. Who cares if your mom gets mad she has to live with her own decisions just like you will. You can always go back to school, very true! Life is too short to be miserable that is for sure. If working with animals is your passion then why not give it a try? They have the mobile groomers which I think would be cool to do, better than being in a building I think. Money probably would be little in this economy BUT if you can make it the way things are now you will be good down the road. You are young, have no kids, house etc to hold you down so you may never get a chance to do what matters if you wait. BUT money is important to be able to maintain the things you love also. You do not have to go to school to make a good living. I know this is not what most parents tell their kids cuz they dream of their kids becoming something huge. If you were to get into a big company you could be trained within to do something using your mind without college and make good money even. Just throwing the idea out there in case it is something you havent thought of. Say verizon or local utilities would pay great and train you for whatever you need. I know our local utilities pay great benefits etc and they hire from within so if you start as an operator or something basic, the pay would be good and they would pick you for a job inside the company before the outsider. Or at least that is how it works with our utilities. There are many career choices you could make and not go to school. Go with your gut and do something that really makes you excited. This is the time in your life when you can.

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    Default Re: Contemplating a Major Life Change...help?

    On a lesser degree I am dealing with this issue myself and I am starting to come to the conclusion that I need to do whatever makes me happy. I'm the only one living my life so what I want and what I think should be the most important thing.

    "Looking at a bulldog is said to cure the worse of the blues, living with one, serves to prevent them!" -Author unknown

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    Default Re: Contemplating a Major Life Change...help?

    Its OK to be worried about upsetting your mom, BUT you have your own life to think of now, its your future not hers and your happiness at stake. Your bf obviously supports you so let him help you tell your mom and get it over with as soon as possible so that you can all move on. It sounds like you have thought long and hard about this and I can hear the excitement in your post when you talk about working with animals. We will always be hear to listen to you so don't ever hesitate to voice your ideas out loud.
    Good luck talking to your mom and to your dad

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    Default Re: Contemplating a Major Life Change...help?

    Oh Lauren, right out of High School, I did what was expected. I started college at Wisconsin and after 3 years go no where with my motivation, knowing of what I truly wanted to do and my grades suffered. I quit. I then evaluated what I would enjoy and what I did enjoy. I then went into Dentistry. I started at a community College for Assisting and loved it. Not a huge amont of money, but I loved it. It was the perfect job for me, working with people, working on a science based job and still okay money (since I got educated and cerified) Once I got divorced I decided to further my career. I could not afford my home, two kids and Dental School (although I tried to make it work) so I settled for Dental Hygiene. My rewards were still caring for patients, more education and self worth and a much better salary, more than a Dentist starting off with loads of student loans.

    Now all along I lived on what my mom would want, what she would say. I was in the process of a divorce for over 3 months before I ever had the nerve to tell her. I was so worried about disapointing her. Well I am not sure what gave me the revolution of standing my ground. Maybe the focus that I had two children in a horrible abusive family situation, My kids came first! So I made my moves from then on.

    The only difference is if you still live with your mom, she has a little bit of influence since she is paying your way. Are there courses for grooming? Can you maybe start with a shop first to get more experiance and more money? Do what makes you happy and what can make it work if she would expect you to help with the bills if you quit school. Think about what the worst case scenerio would be...whould she kick you out? charge you rent? Yell and then get over it? You will have to live your life for quite a while, you need to take care of yourself. Caution, if you quit school, do you loose Medical Insurance?

    My son and his girlfriend remind me so very very much of you and Tim. Criss has the same medical issues, Pierce has Tim's personality (at least what I see on FB) They are both in a tight circle of true friends because of their likes and Social issues during High School. I tell them alway remember, They are unique but that is what makes them oh so very very special, especially to those that take the time to know them. This goes for you too. Surround yourself with good.

    Always with me

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    Default Re: Contemplating a Major Life Change...help?

    So….I’m community college prof. and I see countless students your age who clearly don’t want to be there. They get ok grades, but there’s no spark. They’re just phoning it in because mom or dad are pressuring them to “do something, anything.” In my opinion, that pressure is unfair. It’s sounds like you love learning. Why does it have to be in a classroom? You want to try starting a business doing things that you love. How could a parent not want that for her kids? Nothing worth doing is easy, and your Mom may give you a lot of grief, and make you feel bad, but if you’re following your gut, it’s all worth it.

    Most young adults change careers three or four times before landing where they want to be. What you’re doing is part of the process. Do your research, and then get busy doing what feels right!

    The founder/owner of Apple Computers, a college drop out, just passed away: here’s a speech he gave about following your heart:
    Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech 2005 - YouTube

    good luck!
    PS: Caesar Milan's first job was as a dog groomer. He's doing pretty well, right?!

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    Default Re: Contemplating a Major Life Change...help?

    That happened to me when I was "going thru the motions" during my first 2 years in College...
    I ended up in the Army and stationed overseas. When I got out 3 years later I had the Army's college fund in my pocket which helped pay for the remainder of my eduaction at which point I had a stronger desire to study......

    Im not saying that you should stop your education and join the armed forces.

    Im just saying that stepping back and re evaluting where you want to be in 5-10 years will help you
    decide what path to take...
    Last edited by Jack Daniels; 10-07-2011 at 11:37 AM.

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    Default Re: Contemplating a Major Life Change...help?

    Lauren..... I'm going to speak about what you want to do..grooming! Guess what? My sister lives in Grand Forks North Dakota..she has her own business..much like what you are thinking about. She started as a grooming business and sold minimal amounts of pet products. She moved to a bigger city..where she is now..went to a very prestigious training school in Texas..and expanded her business to grooming..boarding and training. Look up her website..it's called Wag N Train..Now..I'm going to tell you her biggest problems have been with her health. Her back is so messed up..probably from lifting heavy dogs..but it has provided a living for her and her two sons..through divorce and everything. She was able to purchase a great building and has an indoor training facility..which you will need in the winter. Here in California..mobile groomers are quite popular..you go to the clients..but it's expensive to set yourself up in that and so as a customer it's $$$$!!! There are lots of ways to make tis happen. If it's what YOU love..go for it! You can't go through life living your life for your mom!! I'm a mom of two grown daughters..one is a schoolteacher..making as we all know..not a lot of money...but she LOVES her job. My older daughter is an urban planner..making beaucoup bucks..but not as happy as my teacher daughter. In fact..I think BOTH of them would've loved teaching...you follow your dreams..sometimes it's a crooked path with lots of obstacles..but you will learn something every step of the way! If you move forward..and towards what makes you happy..you will be able to put the bad things away. They will still be there...but the good will overcome the weight you feel from the bad! You can do ANYTHING!

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