Massage School-Finding myself

I floundered through being a new mommy the best that I could.  I wasn’t very good at it, and made lots of mistakes along the way.  I loved J very much but felt that maybe I was too young to do the mommy thing very well.  While she was still very young, I still hadn’t found myself yet.  See I hid my real self as a teenager and had not managed to recover her yet!  Around the time that J was three, I started questioning who I really was and what I wanted to do with my life.  I realized that $7.50 per hour and having to depend on child support wasn’t really getting it for me or J.  I started to remember that when I was little I wanted to be a famous author, a model or a psychologist.  Well my adult self realized that being a famous author might have to wait for another day as I hadn’t written a thing in years.  I figured I could start dabbling with that but that wouldn’t generate the income that I needed now.  The idea of being a model was laughable at best.  I don’t know what my child-brain was thinking at that idea, I was never the most amazing looking as a child or adult and after I had a child…well you could forget that!  I am starting to realize that my boobs might just meet my bellybutton at some point in my life.  It could be a reality!  Now the idea of being a psychologist was still something that spoke to me.  I have always wanted to help people.  It is what drives almost everything I do.  I want people to be comfortable and I want to help people in some way.  I knew though, that schooling to become a psychologist would take too long and too many hours away from J who needed me.  A couple of months into trying to figure out what I could be when I grew up, I was up late at night and saw a commercial for one of the local massage schools.  That is what got me thinking about being a massage therapist.  I could help people and provide them comfort when they needed it.  It would provide me with the things I needed out of a job (money) and allow me to fulfill my much deeper need of helping others.  After that I started researching schools and discovered Praxis School of Sciences and Arts.  They had one of the longest and intensive programs out there and I wanted to go.  Their admission process is very intense.  There is an application, then you have to go in for a day long interview.  During the day long interview we were taught some basic massage history and massage technique and had to perform it for the owner of the school where he assessed our talent levels.  He believed that the ability to massage well was a gift you were given and like playing the piano, anyone can be taught but those with talent will be the best.  After that day, you have to wait for them to call and offer you the spot.  There were only 12 spots available.  I felt like I completely botched the interview and that I would never hear from them.  I had lots of self-doubt then and still deal with that to this day.  I was given the call back and told that I did, in fact, have talent and that I could start the program with the September 2006 class of students.  I started the program and learned so much.  The owner of the school liked me a lot at first.  During this time, I was trying to work 40 hours a week, go to school 5 nights a week and some weekends, and in a bad relationship.  J was bouncing between her grandmother’s house, her daddy’s and daycare for long periods of time.  I became exhausted and unable to focus.  I started drinking large quantities of caffeine and it caused me to be almost manic.  I made poor decisions and eventually had a falling out with the owner of the school.  He pointed out to me that caffeine was a drug and if you couldn’t handle it, you shouldn’t drink it.  It seemed like he hated me by that point.  It was then that I realized that I still behaved in a very childish manner and couldn’t expect people to take me seriously unless I seriously focused on personal growth and getting rid of my self sabotaging behaviours.  Shortly after the falling out at school, my boyfriend became abusive.  I was living in Oklahoma, a million miles from my mother and my daughter’s father went to Iraq.  My daughter was spending 16 hours in day care most days of the week.  I had been thinking about moving back east to see if my mom could help me finish a massage program.  One day after one of the most abusive episodes with my boyfriend, I was changing the sheets on our air mattress and was throwing things around.  I was crying out to God asking him what I should do.  I had grown and changed but I still wasn’t completely there and had made some mistakes that cost me a good relationship with my massage instructor, had me damaging my relationship with the people at the spa that I worked at, and had me damaging my relationship with my daughter because of the hours that I worked and had school.  As I was talking to God, and asking what I should do, I threw a pillow off the bed and it hit the radio.  The radio turned on and it was the chorus of Home by Chris Daughtry.  “I’m going home, back to the place where I belong, and where your love has always been enough for me.”  After that I sat sobbing on the bed and I called my mom.  I asked her if they could help me.  She and her husband loaded up and came to rescue me out of Oklahoma.  By that time I was super depressed and couldn’t hardly function.  My self-esteem had been beaten down and I had no self-confidence.  It took me six months of therapy, meditation, yoga and some medication before I even wanted to touch massage again.  I just didn’t want to do it, I didn’t belive I was any good and didn’t want to pour my negativity into other people.  After six months of healing, I did my first massages.  Even though I felt like I was no good, I kept telling myself what my old teacher, Andre Fountain, always taught us.  “Each time you put your hands on people to do a massage, you are better than the last time.”   This sounds simple but is instrumental when you are nervous about doing something!  By seven months after moving, I started another massage program.  It was there and through continued therapy sessions that I grew and developed a meditation practice.  This helped me tremendously and I was able to quit all medicine shortly after!  I had rediscovered my love of reading and researching and had left the dark place that I had been in.  I had rediscovered my love and passion for all that was massage.  Better yet, I had found out that I was pretty good at massage and that had boosted my self-confidence!  During my time in clinic, I was required to have 12 referrals/repeat clients and got 52.  I was so happy when I graduated from the program!  I felt like I was back!!!  While in clinic, I had the opportunity to massage a pregnant lady and although I was nervous at the time, I thoroughly enjoyed working with her.  She loved the massage work and I was hooked.  I wanted to learn everything prenatal massage!  I have since received training to specifically work with pregnant clients and babies/children.  While taking that training, I studied attachment parenting and natural parenting methods.  All this made much more sense to me than the way I had been working with J.  During the time I was in massage school, I started dating a guy and was still with him when I graduated.  Six months after graduating, I moved in with him and discovered that I was pregnant one month after moving in.  We were surprised but super happy and excited.  I decided to put off getting a massage job while pregnant to focus on learning, growth and preparation for a natural childbirth and learning better ways of parenting.

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