What a hectic couple of weeks it has been! From going to get some BBQ with a friend talking about how both of our lives were up in the air right now to putting all of my eggs in one basket and starting the drive down to Texas. While I had a general idea things would fall into place at some point, I had no real sense of when. My girlfriend and I started our trip together after a 4th of July in our 4th different city in 4 years…didn’t actually think about that until just now. After celebrating some nice ‘merica, we headed down to the lonestar state without knowing when I would actually be starting work. Luckily I got a call as we stopped for some lunch just outside of Oklahoma City telling me that my position had been approved for the North Central Texas Veteran’s Affairs Hospital as a graduate physical therapist. I only feel confident publishing that now because the first two weeks have gone (relatively) smoothly.
After a short weekend together in Austin where I finally got to meet up with the Ducklegs crew for the first time in person, Heidi was headed back to KC and I would be heading to Temple. While I had moved around a lot growing up, this would be the first time I was doing it completely alone. Usually I had my parents to set up the housing, my brother to hang-out with for the first couple weeks until we got to know people, or a sports team whose first day of practice was coming up. Not this time. I would be starting new employee orientation without knowing a single person in the facility and with my only point of contact being the cool guy that had an AirBnb close by who held the spot for me even though I couldn’t give him a for sure answer on my start date.
I wish I could say the first two weeks have flown by, but they really haven’t. On top of a move across the country, I was also still getting ever closer to the NPTE board exam. So my first two weeks have been as follows: get up at 4:30am and study until 6:30am, work 8-4:30, library to continue studying from 5-7:30pm and then return back to the AirBnb that I am currently calling home. Nothing really says welcome to a new place like no time to explore, no one to explore it with, and not being able to be physically active because you recently screwed up your leg to become twitter famous. That being said, I have learned so much in these last two weeks. I gave my girlfriend hell when she first moved to KC because she kept complaining about being bored even though she went out on happy hours through the week…turns out weekends aren’t that fun when you don’t know anyone yet. Next, it is crazy the amount of physical therapy knowledge I have crammed into my brain in this short time span…of course I have been studying for longer than two weeks, but crunch time is when I do my best work.
As I sit here on a Friday night exhausted from a long two weeks of working and studying, I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. There are now just 5 days between myself and the working world. No longer will I be inhibited by scorebuilders, therapy ed, or the NPTE. After another 450 study questions, I will finally be able to take the exam I have been preparing for for the last 3 years. With any luck, in a week or two I will officially pass my boards and be able to start my career as a physical therapist working with a population that is so close to my heart. Even in the short stent at the North Central Texas VA, I have had several veterans thank me for helping them and taking the time to talk to them. The end goal of my career was to work my way into the VA system and provide the best care I could for our veterans after developing years of clinical expertise. Instead they are going to get a fully passionate new grad (something that is not typical in the VA) who is ready to listen and learn from each and every one of them. While I may not have the decades of experience like some of my colleagues, I have the same passion for helping the people who have kept us free.
Thus far Texas has been a good experience, minus the 108 degree weather. I look forward to finally having some time outside of work to get back into the gym and potentially join a crossfit or Ju jitsu gym in the area to try and branch out past the people I have already met through work. While Temple may or may not be my home for an extended period of time, I am excited to see what the next two years bring. Even though the transition has been a little shaky thus far, I have full confidence that once I start having some free time to get out and explore the community that I am going to like it here. If anyone reading this is about to take that next big step in life, never let anyone else’s expectations determine your reality. You make your future and the only thing holding you back is yourself or the people/place you surround yourself with. Make that choice that others deem crazy/inspiring and try something new… you never know what could happen.
Thanks for anyone who took some time to read my blog! If any of you are in the Austin, Waco, or Temple area please reach out! I am about to come upon a large chunk of free time that until now has been spent at the library. Happy Friday to everyone and have a great weekend!
I am a new graduate DPT and am interested in personal growth and becoming a connector within my profession.