The only constant is change

Today, I say “see you later” to the many talented and hardworking students and exceptional staff at NHI Studio City. For the past year and some change (in both the sense of time as well as the life-just-keeps-evolving way), I have been an instructor and mentor for one of the groups on campus. It has been a time of immense growth for me personally, as well as professionally. Some seeds that were planted years ago, including Griffin Table Covers, have begun to sprout and, in some cases, bloom.

Being in front of a classroom teaching massage was humbling, constantly reminding me of my own career’s beginning. I went to massage school on a whim. My high-stress, deadline-driven office job was intense, but I had the luxury of a mid-shift schedule that left my mornings free. I was able to go to massage school in the mornings, then head to work. The initial classes were just a few months, then I completed the rest of the program at a more leisurely pace. It was another year before I found myself sitting in a meeting, listening to a lively debate about billboard substrates, realizing with sudden clarity that I needed to change my career.

A few months later, I had secured a job at a spa and put in my notice at the office. I thought it was going to be blissful, being a massage therapist in a relaxing environment, flush in free time to care for myself and enjoy life. It didn’t go as planned. As the saying goes, "Man plans, God laughs." For many reasons, that transition was difficult and emotional. My father was injured in a motorcycle accident two days before I changed jobs, I moved in with some friends far away from the neighborhoods I was used to, I was in the middle of an unhealthy, painfully imploding relationship. It was the start of an extremely challenging period, but it was also necessary. If I hadn’t changed careers, I suspect I’d have had a mental breakdown. Spa work was not for me, and my career path veered towards the clinical when I accepted a position at a substance use disorder facility. For eleven years, I worked at rehabs with a clinical team helping people who were seeking sobriety. It led to a focus seeing clients who were dealing with persistent pain or medical issues.

I’m currently an oncology massage therapist at a hospital, a position that I enjoy a great deal. I have a private practice. And now, I can spend a bit more time helping other massage therapists feel proud when they look at their tables and feel even better about the good work they’re doing. I believe massage makes the world better, and I’m happy we get to do it.

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