Shifting Seasons, Shifting Careers

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What season of life are you in now? Are you contemplating on shifting careers?  Is there a business proposal you are seriously considering?  Do have a toddler who zaps your energy or a teenager who never responds to your text messages? Whatever season you are in now, breathe and just take it all in.

In a few days, I will be shifting seasons in my life. Officially, I bid farewell to my profession. Yes, I have stopped treating patients for a few years but this time, there will be no more physical representation of that profession. Dentistry has been good to me. However, I believe that that season in my life has been completed.

It took a lot of strength and humility to get this point. I struggled with myself, with my friends and most especially my mother.  It was my mother who pushed me to take this course when I was at a crossroad after my freshman year in college.  She supported by baking pastries and selling them to help finance my schooling and that of my brother’s. Mommy helped scout for patients so could complete my clinical requirements. I was confident that she had my back. Her prayers encouraged me when I reviewed for the board exams, passed it and started my practice.

Many mouths and teeth later, the resentment towards this field started brewing inside me. I shared my frustration with my friends/colleagues but they brushed aside my negativity or should I say, hostility to the profession and reminded me to be grateful and proud to be even called a “doctor”.  They told me to love my work so it would love me back. I tried.

Soon, my mother realized that I never really had that love for her chosen career for me. But she continued to push me. We argued a lot and of course, she would win all the time. So, I found myself going back to square one. Not excited nor driven to work at all.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed my first years of my practice. Those patients who came in always brought their entire families with them. They will surprise me with presents too. I once had a celebrity patient. And even had love proposals from some patients 🙂

But even those perks didn’t remove that longing in my heart to do something else or be someone else. I struggled but grasped everything the people around me said about my attitude towards my profession.  For a while, I was completely sold on the idea. It was so nice to wear that white coat and have people call you “Doc”.

Things changed after getting married and having kids. All the more I found excuses not to open my clinic because I used my new role mother to steer clear of patients. Again, my mother would scold me, yes, even as an adult. I worked so I could help my husband.  I prayed that the Lord would help me love the profession that He allowed me to pursue. He was faithful. He sustained me and granted grace upon grace every time I would see patients. It was challenging but God’s grace pulled me through.

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Now, here I am. Eighteen years later, I finally made the decision to let go and sell my equipment. It has been sitting in that same place, untouched, for a year.  After praying for the Lord to give me a good buyer, he did.  A close friend of mine would take care of it.

For a moment, I doubted this move. Thoughts like, “Your kids won’t be able to ‘brag’ about their mom being a dentist” “If they (kids) don’t see my dental chair they won’t even remember that I am a professional” or “It’s so expensive to have dental treatments”, popped in my head.

Quickly, I shared these doubts with my husband. He said that he completely supported whatever decision I make (he always does anyway), whether to sell or not. He adds, “If it’s not going to serve its purpose, why keep it? If it’s not going to generate any income, why hold on to it?”

He was right. I had no intentions of opening the clinic again anyway. Selling it while it is still in very good condition is the most sensible thing to do. Time to swallow my pride and move on. Start a new chapter in life. A new season.

But what about what my mom? I have opened this idea to her years ago but she completely opposed it. However, the Lord touched her heart.  I told her that someone already bought my equipment and it’s going to be picked up very soon. This was her response:

“I hope you will be successful in your new adventure. I know writing is your passion and you are very good in that. Do your best so you can be successful, happy and fulfilled. Your age is not a barrier just follow your heart and make money out of it 🙂 …Be proud that you are a dentist by profession.”

That brought me to tears. Finally, she understood me. She allowed me to be what I want to be. My mom lets go and I, too, was able to let go. Her approval was the icing on the cake. Something to praise God for indeed!

What’s more exciting is that, while my blog was on hiatus and waiting on God, I honed my cooking/baking skills and kept at it. At the same time, unexpected writing jobs were coming in. It’s as if the Lord was telling me, “See, I am doing a new thing!”

It’s indeed a bitter-sweet feeling for me but I’m looking forward to this new season in my life. I am a dentist by profession but a writer by heart. How about you? What season are you in now?