Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wanting and Waiting to Be a Massage Therapist

I didn't know getting through the fence was an option. I only knew I loved to swim.
CC image courtesy cwillbounds on Flickr
I didn’t always want to be a massage therapist.

I come from a learnéd background. There are half a dozen graduate degrees, including three doctorates, in my close family. It was understood, in my family, that I would go to college, go to graduate school, and then immediately embark on a career that I would pursue until I retired.

That isn’t what happened.

I didn’t always want to be a massage therapist, and in fact, growing up, I couldn’t -- could not -- even imagine the possibility, so far removed it was from anything I knew. And yet, I massaged.

I always massaged.

I massaged shoulders and scratched heads. I ran my hands down friends’ backs, and reached out to squeeze sad hands. Sleepovers meant longer massages, oils and lotions if the receiver was daring, me figuring out how to work without wrinkling tshirts the rest of the time.

(Sleepovers meant kinks in my back, as I knelt and twisted and leaned to reach my face-smashed-in-the-couch friends.)

(It was always worth it.)

There was never a time when I didn’t massage, squeeze, console, caress, glide, hold, touch, be present with -- but it wasn’t until I allowed myself to receive massage, to realize its profoundly, deceptively simple power, to reorder my thinking from “fluffy-spa-luxury-thing” to a professional version of the connecting-healing work I’d engaged in since I could remember, that I could see myself making this my living, my life.

I didn’t always want to be a massage therapist. But I think I always was waiting to be one.

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