Monday, July 18, 2011

Catching up

Quite a lot has happened since I last updated this blog.  Primarily, I've come to realize that as much as I love massage, it's not going to be a practical long-term career for me.  There are a couple of reasons for this.  First of all, I think I came to this profession too late in life.  While I believe I have above-average skill in the art of massage, I don't think my body is going to hold up for a decade of this work, full-time, much less through retirement.  If I have enough work to not feel anxious about money, then my hands hurt almost constantly.  Ironically, massage has given me a lot of time to think about this.  While giving a massage, I can often achieve a state of meditation, and this has given me ample opportunity to reflect on my life and my long-term goals.  

I've always been interested in psychology - in what motivates people and in why they believe and act as they do.  I've also been reading a lot of science blogs and books, as well as books on philosophy and religion.  Of course, I've also been an observer of contemporary "culture wars", especially concerning gay rights.  Living in Utah has also brought home the struggles of gay people who live in especially conservative and unsupportive environments.  Add to that the fact that I'm increasingly regretting the fact that I never went back to college after completing my associate's degree, and that brings you to my latest adventure.  I'll be attending the University of Utah this fall, double-majoring in Psychology and Philosophy.  Truthfully, I'm not exactly sure where this is going to take me, but the more I learn about the field, the more I believe I have something to contribute.

I love giving massage.  I've connected with a lot of people in a very intimate setting, often helping them to work through recovery from painful accidents and surgeries.  This is really the first time I've dedicated myself to a profession where the primary satisfaction I receive is that of improving the lives of my clients in some small way.  Most of the jobs I've done in the past have had a large service element, which I have always enjoyed and which is probably why I've felt drawn to massage in the first place.  I'll continue giving massage, at least until I graduate.  Hopefully I'll be able to maintain enough of a clientele to help pay for school.  But even if at some point I don't give another massage, I don't regret the effort I've put into learning the craft, and I'm very grateful to those who have given me their trust as clients and friends.  

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