When I tell people that I'm a pharmacist who didn't feel the passion and decided to go back to school to pursue something new, they are often surprised. Surprised that I'd drop the cushy salary, all those years of school, the security that comes with doling out pills in an aging population.
People think it was like an extreme makeover, where I just dumped pharmacy one day and did something else the next, but the truth is it has been much more gradual than that. I started slowly moving away from pharmacy years ago, by quitting at the places I didn't enjoy as much. I dabbled in many things: life coaching, photography, copywriting–all on the side while I worked full time in pharmacy. Even as I'm in school now, I've kept my part time gigs at my favourite stores to pay the bills while I'm in school. I've always planned on maintaining my license so I always have a "just in case" back-up plan. I planned to work in pharmacy over the summer break too, because it's far more lucrative than any other summer job.
I needed things to be gradual so that I didn't freak out about it too much. I know one day I'll look back and say, "Wow, I did that. That took guts." But for now, it has been just a slow creeping toward the life I want.
But life may have other plans. I always assumed pharmacy would be there for me when I needed it to fall back on, that it was the most stable option. Now I know different. The place I've been working at for the past few years is changing, and I may find myself out of a job.
It freaks me out a bit, but it also makes me smile. My life is taking me in a new direction. People often think of signs as doors opening or opportunity knocking, but for me it's just as often doors closing. The pharmacy door is closing.
Shit is getting real. My new career feels more real. The changes I'm making feel more real. It makes me sad to see that chapter closing, but so freaking happy that it's finally happening. It's what I always wanted.