Sometimes I think about the defining career moments I’ve had where they didn’t seem so big at the time. This is one of them.
Every so often someone will say to me “you should have been a vet.” Usually, it is because of some random animal fact I know. Usually, the animal fact is something most of my farming friends also would know, to someone with just a single dog or a couple of house cats it sounds amazing that I know it. Things like that the gestation time of a pig is 3 months 3 weeks and 3 days, though how is easy is that to remember? I mean if you had a need to learn it in the first place? Or that sugarless gum is really dangerous to dogs, fortunately, unlike the pig gestation, I didn’t learn that from experience. Or that chickens sit on their eggs for 21 days, but for ducks, it is 28?
Life is complicated and becoming a vet was something I had an interest in but I couldn’t get past some of the first steps. You see I dropped out of high school in the middle of my junior year, I went on to get a GED (which I have never needed), an associate degree and a bachelor’s.
Back to the moment that really stopped me on the path to try to become a vet. I applied for a job as a receptionist at a vet’s office. I even got an interview. I went in for the interview and the person interviewing me lectured me on not having a high school diploma and then didn’t hire me. Sadly that person has probably been terrible to many more people since me in the past 20 years, but for me things worked out well. I then tried to get into vet tech school, but the waiting list was years long at the community college. I also even talked to an Army recruiter, but being a veterinarian in the Army sounded like a lot of meat inspection. So I then just started taking regular college classes, found other interests and eventually studied geography.
I don’t have regrets on this fork in my career path. I wouldn’t have the farm I have now, the ability to work remotely without a commute or even be with my partner. I still get to be around animals daily, but they are my own and if things get tough, I can always take them to one of my vets.