I feel that sometimes I can be the most indecisive person. I have flip flopped back and forth so much lately trying to decide what course my life should take and nearly every path I have started down has lead me to re-evaluate. When I found out from Queen Margaret University that I really didn't get into the program due to a clerical error on their part, I sort of didn't know where to go. I threw some ideas around and tried a few out, but the last couple of days a different sort of idea has been nibbling at the corners of my brain.
I have applied for a few jobs here in the UK and was denied. I'm not giving up my search because of these run ins as I am completely aware that a lot of people get denied. Really, in truth, I haven't given up at all. I still search the "wanted" ads and still have not found anything I would be qualified for.
One of the problems is that massage therapy is not regarded the same way here as it is in parts of Canada. I ran into this in the United States as well, but was willing to work in a spa. Spas here aren't looking for massage therapists because most massage therapists here do not have much training and can't offer a whole lot. The ads run for "beauty therapists," or as we know them in North America, aesteticians. I don't wax or paint nails and my training goes way beyond a simple rub down. So, one option that I have been throwing around is opening my own clinic.
Financially that would be incredibly risky and it still does not change how people view massage therapists. I'd have to open a spa to be successful and I'm not sure that is the type of business I want to run. I don't think I would be challenged mentally and this is part of the reason why I had gone into massage therapy in the first place. Enter idea number two.
Why not go back to school?
I am going to be the most over educated blind person out there. Education is always an investment. It is something that can be never taken away from you and it would also increase my qualifications.
With a Sociology under graduate degree, I am sort of qualified for working in the non-profit sector or other such fields, but with an MSC or a PhD, I would be even more qualified. It's a glaring fact that disabled people often have to be better than average just to be considered for a position. With a Master's degree or PhD, I will be better than average and hopefully open up more avenues. I have also wanted to get my PhD for a while, but thought it was not going to be possible due to financial reasons.
Mr. K and I had a nice long chat last night and we both think being over educated is not a bad thing. He also said that he wants me to go back to school rather than open up a massage clinic because I would never reach my earning potential that way. He has a point and I hate business. Besides, it really wouldn't be a clinic if I actually wanted to attract clients. I would have to run a spa.
Since my little brain storm, I've been in contact with the University of Edinburgh to see if I would be able to write a PhD in the Disability Studies realm. It was a topic that always interested me during my under Grad degree, for obvious reasons, and it has flared back up with my run in with the discriminating employer. I even have a great idea for a research topic; it will just have to be refined a bit.
The department emailed me back yesterday and said that they do not have a professor based in Disability Studies, but if I were to write a four page proposal outlining my topic, they would be better equipped to advise me on whether or not someone at the university would be able to supervise me. The more I think about it, the more excited I become.
Wanting to get my PhD is not a foreign concept to me. During my stint at Wilfrid Laurier University, I had thrown around the idea of becoming a research professor, but I felt very defeated after four and a half years of fighting for accessible textbooks and just didn't have the heart to keep going in the Sociology field. Having some time away lit the spark again and I think I could really add to the body of knowledge of Disability Studies and hopefully improve things for disabled people everywhere. Plus, I also love teaching and obtaining my Phd would be a way I could teach at the university level.
Can you imagine? In four year's time I'll be signing my blog Doctor Jess. ;)