Still trying to figure out that question. An ongoing quest.
I know it’s a bit late to write a blog post about why I chose to be a Speech Therapist.
I’ve had the most fascinating and funny conversations being introduced as a speech therapist at events, family gatherings and you name it meetings with people who believe they live in a perfect world. It was a progression of emotions from shock, anger, acceptance, empathy and finally to be able to take a joke on myself.
Let’s start from the beginning. Why did I chose to be one? As famously told by Jay Shetty, “In an Indian household you are either an engineer, a doctor or a failure”. I was inching towards being the last one. My parents thought I would use the recipe to success followed by generations. The main ingredients being taking my majors as science and math, with chopped book guides, private tutoring for added flavor and generous amounts of misery served with a tumbler of emotions. By the end of finishing your medical/engineering entrance exams, you want to throw up. Then the wait. The wait to see your number appear in the newspaper, to have finally made it to one of the public universities.
The glow on your parents face, as though they’ve achieved “Nirvana”. My parents knew that they would not get to see that glow, because I was convinced from the age of 15, that I wanted to be a Speech Language Therapist. Before I decided to take my majors in school, I used internet to my advantage searching for courses that were more inclined to special needs or for the determined ones. I stumbled upon this course and then there was no looking back.
People have asked me, why go for a paramedical course when you can become a doctor. Well, my answer to that question is, I help people that medicine can’t cure.
Next question, Do you teach the deaf and dumb( apologies for the expression, but this is how I’ve been asked) Do you do sessions in sign language? With a tinge of irritation, I explain gracefully that I help everyone who has difficulty to express themselves. That includes stammering, people with paralysis, hard of hearing, voice problems and children with language disorders. Anything under the sun, that deals with difficulty to communicate.
Parents call me and ask, whether this course would be beneficial for their children in terms of making good money after graduating. I understand their perspective of wanting their children to have successful careers. Well, I didn’t think about that when I chose this profession. Neither should anyone. That’s my opinion. No matter whatever you do, if you do the job well, money and success will follow. It is a great feeling to have your passion and purpose align. I am grateful for that.
The author, Elizabeth Gilbert said about passion, “Go where your curiosity takes you”. I certainly didn’t have these thoughts, when I started. I found the idea of helping people to talk, absolutely spellbinding. That’s exactly what happened, I stumbled upon lots of courses, but this one held onto my interest.
Speech and Language profession is not something that everyone is aware of. I definitely recommend it, but also remind that it requires without saying lots of patience with yourself ( you will face failures on a daily basis) and others, a remarkable ability to connect with children and people and a belief that you are here for the greater good. Also, when you are following your curiosity and indulging in it, its almost like your mind, body and soul are in sync. You loose track of time like you are in “the flow”.
I always go back to that warm and fuzzy feeling I get when my clients show progress. Sometimes, a tad bit tearful. That’s when I know that, I was meant for this.
At present, my daughter wants to be a deep sea diver. Well, she is following her curiosity and in time it might change. I am happier and content, doing what I love and at the same time making money doing it. Nowadays, my curiosity is steered towards reading more, writing and listening to podcasts.
I am following mine. What about you?