I am so thankful and proud of myself for completing the “12 days of Blogmas” challenge. I feel like I pushed through a huge barrier and am now able to continue writing as a daily habit, continuing to put my work up on this blog. My ultimate goal is to use this blog as a platform to help other people with their debt-free journey.
There’s a couple of things about habits I learned last year. I finally put them into play with this blogging challenge. One is that you need 40 days of following a new habit to actually make it a habit. Another thing is that you just have to do it. No thoughts, no questioning, just set it and forget it. Just DO IT. Another is accountability. Letting other people know and they can help keep you from slacking! Also, habits can be extremely useful when you are trying to accomplish a huge goal that seems impossible. Impossible because the barriers seems insurmountable, the things that would have to be done, the person that you would have to become, would seem so large, so far away, so dreamlike. I was/am in this situation now. I can see the person I want to be, the things I want to do, the way I want to change my life. It seems very far from who I am now.
First, I had to figure out who I am now. I consider myself fairly successful- but I was still lacking something. I didn’t feel like I could truly 100% back my life the way it needed to push myself into the next stage. It’s like if you are trying to push a refrigerator up a hill, but you’re carrying something in one hand. You can’t put your entire force behind the refrigerator so it doesn’t budge. There were several things I was trying to push, and this occurred over the past several years, not just 2017. This change from 2017 to 2018 feels landmark in many ways, one of which is finally finding the right refrigerator to push!
Outpatient PT… no
Previously, I was pushing things like… working at outpatient physical therapy clinics. I needed work like this to get in my experience as a new grad but I wasn’t satisfied. I could not get behind the (mal)logic of getting paid so much less than PT in other areas, while my student loan monthly payment was roughly 30% of my takehome pay. But outpatient PT was the reason I went into PT in the first place. Why should I change my focus just to get a bigger paycheck? That didn’t ring true for me either. So I persisted, but kept getting bounced out of various clinics when the owners changed my hours to help manage their expenses.
Private practice… no
My next refrigerator was starting my own practice. I applied for deferment for my loans, I rented a little place to practice out of, I bought equipment and office supplies. It was a lesson, for sure. I still couldn’t get behind it. Ugh. So over the course of a lot of soul searching and being truly honest with myself, I realized that physical therapy itself isn’t doing it for me. I was so reluctant to admit that! After all, I spent 5 years of my thirties pursuing this “amazing” goal to earn the prestigious title of “Doctor of Physical Therapy.” I paid $141,000 dollars for this! Then 9 years of practice. What a HUGE sunk cost. But the relief that washed over me when I could finally admit it = priceless.
I have the right to change my mind. Even if there are sunk costs involved. Even $141,000 in sunk costs. But it is just money. After all, YOLO! I don’t want to spend any more of my precious life going after something I can’t back 100%. After I made that decision, I was able to fully back my work as a PT, knowing it’s only temporary. I don’t have to judge myself for not doing the PT I wanted (outpatient) and for doing the PT that brings in more money (home health). I can be thankful I found a way to have my own private outpatient practice. And so happy to be able to push another refrigerator, with both hands and getting my shoulder behind it!