Anyway, with regard to this fall’s class schedule, I neglected to look closely upon committing; I reasoned that since I've been a partial student for a year, the fall's hands-on curriculum wouldn’t be super intense. Um, wrong. As it happened, the school administrator lady went ahead and enrolled me with an ‘accelerated’ class. These people are rocking their entire MT training in three months, start to finish, by way of all-day classes, every day, for that duration of time. I’m not enrolled in sciences with them, but I have spent many long days in class since this all got going. I've been reading, taking tests and, of course, massaging pretty much constantly, which has been a little grueling, given how much I've got going on.
Ultimately, however, it’s for the best; although I’ve been away from Kaspar more than I’d like (we got childcare going just in time, and Aaron’s been picking up the slack... Thank you, Aaron!), not to mention my actual job (which luckily runs on something of an annual schedule, with fall as its slow season), and also working late into wee hours for weeks (just wrapped up that big freelance project, though, yay!), I am pushing through the final phase of Operation Massage School. If the schedule's going to suck, now’s as good a time as any. I think said admin lady knew what she was doing throwing me in the deep end without my water wings. (She’s also a mom who left the corporate world to do this; she knows what's up).
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Anyway, irrespective of a borderline panic-attack following a cryptic message from my boss last week (which turned out to be nothing… I went in for a short meeting to discover that he wants me to present a PowerPoint at a conference in November… I said ‘sure’ and will rock it, although I otherwise have no idea yet what all is happening in November), and briefly wanting to cry following my daily morning alarm, I can feel that whatever drew me to this endeavor, and this profession, was something real and important (I've sometimes wondered if it was sheer reckless impulse). I love doing massage. It feels just like dancing. I’ve learned a great deal of information, theory and technique, but when I begin working on someone, all of that goes quiet (not away… just, quiet). I move very deliberately and consciously, yet also instinctively, and what I do both relaxes and revives the person on the table: physically, mentally, emotionally. There are reasons for this— there’s scientific documentation of the hormone-regulating, and tissue-healing, benefits of massage—but whatever the reasons, people walk away feeling good. And I walk away knowing where that hour of my life went, not having sent any emails or taken any calls. This is me NOT multitasking.
I’m also good at it. I haven't had a social life for the last month or two, but I’ve been doing homework massages on the ‘general public’ (friends and acquaintances), and so far, they’ve gone very well. After a year of being "in" massage school without actually touching anyone, it’s a relief to discover that I actually like this work, and that I’m good enough to do it for a living. And, it’s been a great experience to be in classes with all of the different people I’ve now been in classes with (full-time students get one group for the whole run). There’s been an enormous diversity in each of the groups, and I’ve realized—through taking something new on together, and learning through/on/with each other day in and day out— how much we all have in common, but also how unique people are, and how much I like them (people, that is). Real work situations-- the other situations in which we interact and cooperate with people who we wouldn’t necessarily gravitate toward as friends, right off the bat-- sometimes provide this insight, but I haven’t come across it in a while. I generally just want people to take care of their shit in work situations. In massage school, I’m appreciating people for being themselves. That might sound kind of corny, but it’s cool when it happens.
So yeah, the season’s halfway done, and I’m getting there. I’m anxious to see what’s on the other side. I have a connection at a super-swank hotel here in Austin where, if I’m lucky, I’ll get my first massage job as a contractor in their spa, but-- one thing, one month, at a time.
I wanted to write this down in order to remember, later, what it was all like in the beginning.