“For what it’s worth…it’s never too late, or in my case, too early, to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”
I’m wildly proud of Peter today… wildly proud of us. Five years ago we made the decision to close our cabinet business and take what seemed like a giant step backward – or maybe a blindfolded leap off a cliff, not sure which felt more accurate! – so that Peter could pursue his desire to become a medical provider. A lot of you know the story. In a nutshell, we downsized from a large house and successful cabinetry/woodworking business in Idaho to an airstream trailer for the summer with our two kids in tow. We then moved into a tiny 800 sq ft house in Spokane so Peter could begin paramedic school with the end goal of getting into the UW Medex program to become a PA.
It’s been an intense five years. Let me tell you: going back to school full time with kids is no easy task! Peter worked nights in the ER while going to paramedic school and did as many cabinet jobs on the side as he could. I filled my summers with weddings so I could to help put him through and support us. Our kids shared a teeny-tiny little space. We joked that if we had another baby it would have to sleep in a dresser drawer. Money was tight, extra time was non-existent, but our spirits were high. There’s something so compelling about setting off on a new adventure with the people you love. I wrote in my journal during that time that the difference between feeling discouraged and feeling challenged is hope. It can be the exact same situation, but with hope and a dream, it makes the tough times seem like stepping stones rather than insurmountable boulders.
(Colorado summer 2013)
I can’t even begin to recount the amazing stories and connections that have happened over the last five years. The right doors continually opened at just the right time. Peter barely squeezed into one pre-req class after another, was initially rejected for the PA program because of a lack of clinical hours but then they recalculated and accepted his application, the Medex branch in Yakima closed so they relocated us back to Spokane, and on and on. It’s confirmed in my mind that even if things seem stuck and impossible at the moment, another opportunity will be around the corner as long as you keep hustling and knocking and keeping the faith.
And now he’s done!
Standing here looking back, it does feel like we hiked over a mountain. I remember how daunting it felt on the other side. Not necessarily the years of school, but just the whole starting completely over. The 180* fork in the road. The letting go of the known to pursue a dream… but so worth it! I’m so glad that Peter was able to look at his life and realize that he wasn’t doing what he wanted to be doing long term. I’m glad he had the humility to admit it and to let go of the achviements he had in one area to start at the very bottom in another. That takes guts. He risked and worked hard and wasn’t afraid to fail a few times if necessary in order to get on the right path. He’s inspired me constantly! We have one shot at this thing called life. I want to live it fully. I want to risk and step out and dream and explore and fail and try something different. No regrets, no what-ifs.
There have been so many people who have inspired and encouraged us along the way. A huge shout out to all of you! To my awesome clients, THANK YOU! You’ve all meant so much to me and I can’t find the words to express how lucky I feel to have been able to work doing something I love while supporting my husband in his dream. To our friends – both the dear old ones and the new ones that we’ve made through this process – you are all the best! And most of all, to our awesome families… we would have been hard pressed to make it through without your love and support. We are so grateful.
From here, we’re just excited about what the future holds. We still hope to move overseas to do relief work at some point – that’s one of the biggest reasons why Peter wanted to go into the medical field. It’ll be exciting to watch more doors open in the coming years!