Traditional and predictable career path; still no easy answers.

My time in high school

Attended high school in the

Overall high school experience
5/10. The stress sucked. But we did have very good teachers, for whom I am grateful. There must be a balance between academic excellence and stress.

Grades in high school
Mostly A's


Best subjects
Foreign Language, Math, Performing Arts

Struggled with...
PE - I was intimidated by it and never felt comfortable! Seems small, but considering how active I am now (and how much I enjoy it), it's odd that I didn't find it fun in high school. I also struggled in some of my science courses, but by "struggle," I mean I got B's instead of A's. With 20 years of hindsight I can say "no big deal," but I know I was very stressed by it at the time.

Favorite extracurricular
Performance Art

Life since high school

Finding fulfillment in whatever it is I spend most of my time doing, be that work, a hobby, or spending time with my family. Success is being happy in MY life, as it is, not as I imagined it or want it to be.

Attended college / university at
Reed College

Majored in

Post-graduate education or training
Veterinary school. I also have a certificate from The Academy for Dog Trainers in dog behavior and training.

Places lived in US
California, North Carolina, Oregon

Current occupations / past occupations
Veterinarian, parent.

Industries I've worked in
- Health Care and Social Assistance

Did your education prepare you for your career or occupation?
absolutely from a hard knowledge point of view. My preparation from a mental health point of view (stress management, etc) was fairly minimal.

Has your education or career/occupation trajectory ever changed? How?
Not really :)

A little introspection...

To me, being successful means...
Finding fulfillment in whatever it is I spend most of my time doing, be that work, a hobby, or spending time with my family. Success is being happy in MY life, as it is, not as I imagined it or want it to be.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
My view has shifted much more towards internal feelings of fulfillment, rather than external markers. I'm not sure that I would have identified my definition as based on external markers in the past, but as I get older and learn more about myself, I realize that that really was the standard. Graduation, grades, job title, specific tangible achievements. I am working towards bringing the focus around to my internal feeling of satisfaction.

My greatest accomplishment to date and what I’ve learned from it
Greatest externally measured accomplishment - graduating from veterinary school. Years and years of very intense school, and now I get to work in a continually stimulating and rewarding (albeit stressful) profession. Greatest internally measured accomplishment - learning to handle my anxiety, practice self-care, and learning to prioritize my life based on what I value, rather than based on what is expected of me or what I expect on myself.

My biggest mistake or regret so far and what I’ve learned from it
Not seeking help for anxiety sooner. So much time wasted worrying... Now I know that it doesn't have to be a crisis to be a significant drain on my energy and enjoyment of life. Leading a balanced life is a SKILL, that must be learned. Having an excellent teacher is so very helpful. 

An unexpected event that changed my life and how it impacted me
I couldn't get a job in the city that I had chosen to live in. In my career I never expected to have difficulty finding work, but with the recession it happened. It was a HUGE adjustment to be unwillingly unemployed. And to have to move to find work, away from friends and a city I loved. But, in the end it opened up a lot of doors - I ended up taking a chance on a relationship that has turned into a lifetime commitment, and I ended up in a job I loved (in a place I didn't really).
I'm now in a place I love, but with a job that is only so-so. Realizing that I actually value the place over the job, and that this could be a permanent state of affairs (sacrificing job satisfaction for life satisfaction) has been quite an adjustment for me.

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My favorite spot in or around Palo Alto

The Stanford hills - spent a good amount of time up there in high school, just exploring.