Well, here it goes. I'm going to reinvent myself. In case you wonder who I was before, here's my old blog. Let me tell you a little about myself....Oh. See? Writer's block already. That's why I'm reinventing myself. Because I know who I was, and I know where I want to go. But right now I'm in a transitory state.
I have a PhD in biomedical engineering - my thesis studied the bones of hibernating bears. This degree was difficult to achieve because ever since I was in my early 20's I'd been alternating between states of depression and states of high energy and motivation. When motivated, I'd make all these huge plans for myself. Then I'd get burnt out and not complete any of them. Looking back, it's a wonder I graduated at all. Last year, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder II, which means, well, exactly what I just said. I have alternating depressed and energetic states. Don't think these energetic states are all good. It means I over-commit myself, spend too much money, act impulsively, and eventually crash.
Having Bipolar Disorder was not good for my career, to say the least. I started out strong enough. Went to a nice post-doc in a leading spinal cord injury lab. But various problems got in the way, and eventually I mutually agreed with my boss that it was time for me to move on to other things. I came back home to Minnesota, where I have so many supportive friends and family. Here, I worked for a while in a major bookstore chain, and then got a job as a manager of a clean-up crew at a nursing home. Neither job is what I dreamed of when I went to graduate school, but both have brought an opportunity to learn - I see life in a non-academic world for the first time in my adult life.
Over the past year, I have learned much about how to be mindful of my mental state, and how to keep it stabilized. A lot of the credit of my new mindfulness goes to Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT), which I think could help everyone, not just those of us with mental illness. Now that I have recognized what I was and learned to control the beast, it's time to reinvent myself.
My major goal at the moment is a monumental task - I want to be accepted into a Physican's Assistant program. My time working in a nursing home has made me realize that caring for patients is a joy. I have decided that psychiatry is the right field for me - due to my new-found knowledge of mental illness and my volunteer work as a counselor at a crisis hotline. This goal will take a lot of preparation - since I have to re-take a bunch of prerequisite classes because my bachelor's degree is too old. In the interim, I'm going to get an EMT certification to get some hands on patient care experience.
And - just because I'm in one of those overly motivated states of mind - I think the new me should come with a new blog. Yes. I might be over-committing. But I'm going to try my darnedest. And if I can get an entry every one or two weeks, I'll go ahead and pay a professional to give my blog a make-over. I've always wanted a professional looking blog. And I've heard a good blog supports a good applicant.
Wish me luck!