By Jessica Evans
I remember growing up and every adult I met would always ask me that same age-old question: ‘What do you want to do when you grow up?’
My answer? ‘I want to be with animals.’ (I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with them but being with them, I knew, was my calling.)
Then would come the same response… ‘Oh honey but you’ll never make money that way. Find a job that will make you lots of money, you can always spend time with your pets on the weekend.’
The thought of studying some mind numbing soul depleting subject to live an ordinary life, well that didn’t suit me at all. And I’m extremely blessed that my parents didn’t expect me to live that life either.
I think I was just starting high school when my mom showed me an article in a magazine about hydrotherapy for dogs. I remember feeling excited and curious but never thought that I could ever be in that position. Things like that don’t happen in this country or to ordinary girls.
About two years passed and my mom said that she had met a lady who had a hydrotherapy centre down the road from us and that she was willing to let me go watch her for a few days. That’s when I met Michelle Shakleford, who is now a good friend. That excitement was back….. But do you ever think it occurred to me to say ‘Hi! How do I do this?!’ No….
I have another dear Michelle in my life who I went to school with. Her passion is horses, mine is dogs. We had this amazing dream growing up of owning this amazing therapy centre that treated both. We would both go to spend time with the Hydro-Michelle but never did I say ‘Hi! How do I get myself here?’
I think by this time the universe, guardian angels or fairies were sitting with their faces in their hands cursing me! ‘How are you meant to live your passion if you don’t open your mouth?!!!’
I had moved to Benoni, and was studying animal health sciences and was working for my mom. We have a family friend who’s dog was going for treatment at a rehab centre (again just down the road) but never once did I say ‘Hi! Can I come with for her sessions?’ Until one day when our friend came around and said ‘There is a receptionist job opening at the centre, here is the email address why don’t you apply?’ I had never tried in the past, because I really did not believe it would be possible for anything like that to happen to me. All these places have been there, down the road. So close, but I was too scared that disappointment would hit.
I take that day as the universe kicking me in the butt. For the first time I tried. It must have been a calling – all of these signs, after all, right…? Not only did I get the job but I also got a therapist-in-training position at the same time! Who gets a promotion before they even start working!!!
From that day on, my Passion has become real! And I get to live it every day!!
I just had to try 😉