Brentwood Darlington Apothecary

Changing Paths

Part 2 of how I got here…

(If you haven’t read Part 1, read it here.)

If you remember from the last post, I didn’t get into medical school.  So I tried to come up with other ideas for a career:

First up: Nurse.  It had some of the aspects that I liked about medicine; helping people and all that.  If I became an NP, I could even diagnose and prescribe medications.  But if I’m going to be honest, most of the doctors treated the nurses I worked with poorly, and this turned me off.  My mom, a nurse, also advised me against it.

Second up: Forensic Scientist.  I know this seems a little out of left field compared to medicine, but forensic science interested me for a long time.  One of my friends (Toto, what ever happened to you???) who did end up going into forensic science and I used to go to seminars and workshops all the time.  CSI was also huge at this time, so it was romanticized a bit.

Third up: Wine Scientist. I had only recently found out this was even a thing, and it just sounded cool.  My chemistry degree fit perfectly.

Fourth: Doctor.  I hadn’t completely given up on this, but I also decided I needed a big change, so started investigating going to med school in the Caribbean.  (How cool would it have been to go to med school in Belize?) My concerns were how a degree from out of the US would translate into actually working in the US.

During this time, I took a vacation to New Zealand. I was as in love with a country as anyone could be.  I started to research the University of Auckland and found out they offered graduate degrees in all four options, so I applied to them all.  The university accepted me into three out of the four programs. (I didn’t get into med school again.)

Lake Wanaka, New Zealand

How could you not fall in love with this?

Weighing out the pros and cons of each and assigning values on importance, I entered all the information into a spreadsheet and graphed it out.  Forensic Science won, and I started in New Zealand’s Fall of 2005 (which was in January.)

While I was grateful to have the chance to live in New Zealand for a year +, I didn’t finish the program.  There’s lots of reasons, and maybe that will end up on a different post.  But I came home, after leaving New Zealand for a six month stint in England, because, why not?

Once home, an online retailer hired me as a customer service representative, and moved around in the company for a while.  During that time, I also was sewing and selling clothes; first on Ebay, then on my own website.  I was about as far away from Chemistry and medicine as I could have been.

In 2009 when the economy tanked, I was laid off.  I spent the next two years trying to make a living selling clothes and designing websites for small businesses. These were days of hustle.   Again, I needed a change.  But I hadn’t found herbal medicine yet!

To be continued…

(Read Part 3.)

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