Saturday, May 5, 2012

Our final final destination.

I have been meaning to write this post for the last 2 1/2 weeks. But I couldn't find the words to write this post in the way I wanted. But I think it's time. If you read the whole thing, I will give you a treat. Really.
Just read it.
"Following the whisperings"
"Chasing his dream"
"Found his calling"
"Learning to be a supportive wife"
"Medical school: our future"
These are all the titles that I almost used for this post. It's been difficult to decide which one to use. Why? Because this is a life changing post. I have hesitated writing this for the last 2 1/2 weeks. I am afraid we will get crap, eye-rolling and the like. But still, it's our life and this is the journal of our life and I wanted to record all the details of this final final destination. So it's going to be a long journey through all our roads leading to this final destination so sit tight. Grab a snack and maybe some water too.

Road #1: Richard has always wanted a future in helping people, counseling with people and having relationships with people. So he pursed a degree in Psychology thinking it would lead to a career as a counselor. He finished his degree, but half-way into it realized that the daily stress of working with people with mental disorders was something that he didn't want to do for the rest of his life.

Road #2: As he was finishing his Psychology degree, he heard of the joint MBA/JD degree and decided that was what he wanted to do. With an amazing talent and natural gift in both business and debating, we thought this was his future. But then we realized that while there were some aspects that were appealing, there were other aspects that were very very unappealing. 

Road #3: Still while pursing his Psychology degree, he stumbled across the program that trains Seminary teachers for the LDS church. He went through the first several levels of the training and the people who hire Seminary teachers liked him so much they said he was definitely hired and exactly what they were looking for. A week later the church had a huge hiring freeze (instead of opening positions they were closing positions down) and we were told that the only thing that could have stopped him from becoming a Seminary teacher, had just happened. He continued through the process, was one of 12 (with 1000+ people applying for it) selected to be a Student teacher (which he did for a year while going to school), and one of 6 people (with 1000+ people applying) to get into the hiring pool (basically all the people they want to hire). Because of the freeze put on hiring, they had no openings
Here is his explanation of the instant relief we felt when we found out he wasn't hired:
"As soon as the job as a seminary teacher was no longer an option, I felt a great relief. Although I had a million reasons why being a seminary teacher would have been fantastic-- it hadn't felt right, like i was wearing a tight pair of pants, and now I could breath that I had the choice to pick a better fitting pair."

Road #4: Literally as soon as we heard that wasn't his future, he was drawn VERY STRONGLY towards a career in medicine/medical field. I could spend an entire post talking about how a career in the medical field is THE PERFECT fit for him, but I will just say that it fulfills all of his dreams and uses all of his talents/natural abilities. It's perfect. Within that we have had a lot of different paths. 

Road #4A: At first he considered being a CNRA or a Nurse Anesthetist. We liked the pay, the flexibility etc. but it sounded way too boring to him and didn't have enough client interaction. Plus he wanted to own his own business/practice. He doesn't want a boss.

Road #4B: Then with all of those things considering, we switched to him being a Dentist because it had the pay and flexibility of the CNRA, but it gave him more client interaction and he could own his own business. This was his path for about 1 1/2 years. He was president of the Dental society on campus, he went on a huge service trip to Honduras to beef up his application etc. He was all set and ready. And then we heard several scary things about that field that scared us away from it. Plus he realized he wanted more of a relationship with his clients that he wouldn't have as a Dentist and he wanted to do more surgery.

Road #4C: Then he heard about Podiatry and that it gave him all that Dental did, plus more interaction with  his clients AND the ability to do surgery, which he wanted. He switched in December of 2011 and signed up to take the MCAT, applied to schools, went to interviews at all of our top choices for schools, and got accepted to all of them. We had even chose the school we were going to go to already. And the apartment we were going to live in. When he took the MCAT and did WAY better than he thought he would (he had only taken 2 weeks of the first of 2 class of Physics and Organic Chemistry which is 1/3 of the test AND only studied for 2 weeks when most people study for months 8+ hours a day). The whole time he really wanted to be a family practice doctor, but didn't think that was an option. When his MCAT score came back he started really considering it.

FINAL DESTINATION: Randomly one day, 2 1/2 weeks ago, being a doctor came up for probably the millionth time. All through out this journey, ever since we were married really, he has talked about how much he wanted to be a doctor. It has been his dream since he was a kid. And anyone who knows him, knows this is a perfect fit. And it is everything we want and more.
Higher pay than all the other options (which is not why we are doing it, but definitely a perk)
More flexibility
Be his own boss (his plan is to start up his own practice)
Higher need/job growth
Great job security
Gets the most client interaction/relationship
Gets to work with kids
Can use his Psychology degree and counseling skills
Gets to teach people about health
We kept having these whisperings that he should pursue this path. But medical school scared me too much. I was the only thing holding him back from his dream. Well it came up  again 2 1/2 weeks ago and it felt so right. The perfect fit. Our final destination. On a random Wednesday night, we made our decision. 4 months away from starting Podiatry school, we decided to follow our gut, his dream and the whisperings we had been having for so long.

"I was excited to begin podiatry school in only 4 months time. But I still had that desire to be an actual medical doctor-- Podiatry didn't satisfy that longing. As more and more time passed, it became more and more unbearable for me to not be a medical doctor. Finally, after spending thousands of dollars towards podiatry... I did it. I DID IT-- I SWITCHED TO THE PATH OF A MEDICAL DOCTOR! It would take longer, but already it is more rewarding for me personally. Being a counselor, seminary teaching, dentistry, and podiatry are all fantastic careers. But they are fantastic careers for someone other than me. I AM SO HAPPY with my new choice. It is the pinnacle of what I am striving for. It will be hard. It will take a long time, but already it is worth it."

So there it is. Our final destination. 

--June 1st he will apply to medical school which will start August 2013.

--End of July he will finish pre-requisties for medical school.

--August 2012-June 2013 we will live in our hometown in WA minutes away from my family while he works allowing us to save up a lot of money for medical school

--August 2013 we will move where ever we decide to go to medical school and start a whole new challenging, exciting, scary chapter of our lives. 

It's been a long path, but we are finally at the point where we are supposed to be. Every day he gets more and more excited about his future. There are so many ways that I can talk about how all the paths we have taken have been perfect in leading us to where we are supposed to be. And there are so many ways that this is the outrageously perfect fit for our family. We truly feel that his path has been directed and designed just for us. 

This quote I found sums up our journey to our final destination perfectly.

...if you have made it to the end, you are a trooper and deserve a treat. Give me a holla (aka comment) and I will somehow give you a treat...

p.s. what a cool way to spend my 100th post!


  1. There are no easy paths in life. The best paths are the ones where you look back and see the many challenges you have overcome and realize that you are better for having experienced them.

    Much love to you and your beautiful family.

    (No go dance, don't walk, down your path!!)

  2. I loved reading this, it's neat to see your list of potential paths that you could've chosen, and how you all arrived here instead. I remember following most of that on FB and your previous blog. Good Luck to you guys, and we are stoked to have you in WA for a bit! : )

  3. SO excited for you guys to have found your perfect fit! Best of luck with your new journey!

  4. Oh, my goodness! What faith you both have! And you're coming back to Sequim?! I am so excited! Your babies are so beautiful and we get to see them grow for a whole year. And you will be here when Elder Hunter Gilliam returns November 2; he will be so stoked to have good friends nearby. I wish you both the best and happiest experience. Love, Debbie G.

  5. That's WONDERFIL! We too had several different ideas as to what my husband would do for his career along the's made for an interesting and challenging journey but alas he is in his living his dream! Props to you for finding the inner strength to support your hubby as he perdurable his dream. You will be a happier family for it! I have a friend from high school who is about to finish his first year as an intern at a hospital in Florida. He went to Med School in Kansas City, Missouri. He his married and has a twin boy and girl. Check out their bloc at perhaps Rachel (Leif's wife) could give you some insight as a Med school wife. Good luck!!!


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