It was 5 years ago, right around this time that I embarked on a new path, a new journey. It was when I enrolled in a Masters program for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, with plans of becoming a licensed acupuncturist in 2012. It is now 2014 and guess what? I’m still in school! This has been a very long and arduous journey, but there is a reason why it’s taking me so long: life. I like to always think of life as a roller coaster. One of my own favorite posts from last year read like this:
When we take certain steps for the better, we are bound to experience growing pains…the kinds of pains that make you feel ALIVE. After all, you can't have the ups if there are no downs, right? Ride the roller coaster of life, put your hands up, close your eyes...and scream with joy
It took me a long time to develop this mind-set, where everything is a blessing, a lesson...a gift even. The pitfalls I experienced in the past have all been blessings in disguise. Just yesterday I was sharing a story with a friend about my past. It was relating to a situation where I was forced to do something I didn’t want to do, but in the end, it was exactly where I needed to be and it led me to discover my life’s purpose: to become a healer. I would like to add that, I don’t like to limit myself. I am many things: an artist, a writer, a lover, a giver, a singer, a dancer, a teacher and a healer.
This is also one of the reasons why it’s taken me so long to complete my program.
I sometimes compare myself to my peers at school, I think to myself: “look at so and so, they started after me and they’re already treating patients in the clinic”. It’s tough because med school can be so competitive, but I remind myself that I am on my own journey, my own life path and everyone’s is unique to their own circumstance.
I currently have about a year and 4 months left of schooling until I graduate. After that, it’s preparing for the California Acupuncture Licensing Exam (CALE) in August of 2015. This is all tentative, and can change based on exams and school policies and my own inconsistencies. Haha
I’ve always been very fickle, flighty and have somewhat of a short attention span coupled with a terrible memory, so this program has been one of the most challenging endeavors of my life (well, that and my healing process, more on that later). But I am still trucking along, committed and determined.
It’s eastern medicine, an ancient medicine that has been in use for thousands of years. Growing up Chicana in Los Angeles, a vast metropolis, I was of a somewhat different mind-set, although unknowingly, I always had an affinity for natural healing methods. Grasping the concepts came naturally to me; the more I learn, the more connected I feel to healing, to people and to my purpose.
My hope in starting this blog is that I can share a little glimpse of my journey with my readers. I also want to share stories, healing recipes, health information and other little surprises; all while keeping it light and fun...though I do get deep sometimes ;)
I break stereotypes, I am a walking contradiction and I am now ready to share some of me with you...hope you enjoy and stay tuned.
A little bit about me: as I mentioned before, I grew up Chicana in Los Angeles, to two immigrant parents from Mexico. My first language was Spanish, my childhood was rough but also fun, I have always been independent, even as a child. My parents worked A LOT, like most parents do, and I spent a lot of time to myself or with my older brother. He taught me how to fight since we grew up in Highland Park, a rough suburb of Los Angeles (which is now becoming the hipster capital of the world), where we learned very early on that we had to protect ourselves. Although surrounded by peers that were getting into gangs, getting pregnant or getting locked up, I always knew I’d be different and break those stereotypes, at all costs. The first in my family to finish college, I pursued a career in the fashion industry after graduating from FIDM. After about 10 years in the industry, it was time for a change. In 2007, I quit my job and shortly after I was diagnosed with Lupus, an autoimmune condition that affects all parts of your body and is known scientifically to be un-curable. I was told my kidneys were failing and that if I didn’t start taking medication, I’d eventually die. I had no idea what Lupus was or how/why I got it. So I took to researching...a LOT. I spent days and nights on the computer learning about Lupus and the treatment options. Now, I mentioned I have always been independent and this was no exception, I decided against taking the medication prescribed to me. It just didn’t make sense to me that I take something to suppress my immune system and that so many other patients on the same medication were just getting worse. There has to be another way, I told myself. So I sought alternatives, acupuncture being one of them. From the very first treatment, I experienced a shift...a major one. However, I got worse before I got better. I was an emotional wreck throughout this whole process. I sunk into a very dark place and the next two years were a total roller coaster. But that very first treatment was a turning point.
I had renewed faith in my recovery and after making some major changes in my lifestyle, I felt like a brand new person. A year later, after running some tests, the doctors reported that my Lupus was in remission. The following year, I enrolled in my Acupuncture program at school...and now, here I am. I have flare ups every now and then, but it really is about my mind-set...if I feel good in my mind and in my heart, my body just follows.
Blessings in disguise, I tell ya.