The Day Job
I’m always humbled when folks email me asking me to perform in their hometown or country, but I inevitably have to explain that I am simply an occasional musician. I only perform about once a month locally because the rest of my life is filled with family and “the day job.” In 2010, I decided to go back to school to pursue a graduate degree in Communicative Disorders, and this year, I completed all requirements for my license as a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP). SLPs evaluate and diagnose speech, language, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders and treat such disorders in individuals of all ages. My interest is with the adult and geriatic population.
I have always been an emotionally driven person, and more often than not, this job is incredibly challenging — emotionally, mentally, and even physically. What’s wonderful about it is that I have the honor of meeting people from all walks of life who are doing everything they can to battle something, as well as their families who are trying to do everything they can to help their loved ones and often feel helpless. To be honest, I’d say I cry about once a week to let out the stress. Oftentimes, I want to “fix” the problem, however that is not always possible when it comes to the brain. We most often instruct in ways to compensate for the deficits.
I share this piece of my life because this career path has affected me in ways I never imagined. Life is short. Life is precious. Life is ultimately about love. Life is learning to accept the hand you’ve been dealt and do the best you can. Life is about compassion, kindness, and humility. I see extraordinary people every day and they remind me to be thankful. They remind me to appreciate the small things. They remind me to be patient. They remind me to say “I love you” as much as possible.