I realized I haven’t really introduced myself here yet. Not beyond what I wrote in my about page anyhow. I suppose that means it’s time to be a bit vulnerable.
I did not always know I would grow up to be a florist and own my own business. In fact, while I was in high school I thought surely I would be a pediatric and adolescent psychiatrist and or psychologist because growing up is hard work.
then I got to college and found I did not like biology class right away about first week of freshman year. But I found out about classes you could take for credit where you do research on a random language (mine was Gurung - spoken in Nepal) and get credit for it. I had already been quite fascinated by languages for years but hadn’t realized that there was a field of study devoted to analyzing it before then. I got pretty deep into linguistics. I got my bachelors in it. And then I got my Masters in it. And then I started working on my PhD.. Some things happened while I was there that you don’t need to know about, but it was enough to make me leave the field for good.
I found myself having gone from a clear and direct path to success to total limbo. I wasn’t sure what I could do in the ‘real’ world. Academia is so far removed from the rest of everything that it can be hard to see what might translate well. I took some carreer tests and the first one told me I should be a floral designer. Honestly, at the time I was intrigued but didn’t really know what they did. So, I called a florist in the area I lived in and asked if I could job shadow them to see if it might be a good fit for me. Looking back it is hilarious, but at the time, I was shocked they didn’t offer me a job after my job shadow! Lol
Fast forward a bit and the second actual non-academic job I ever landed was at a grocery store in the floral department. I rose in the ranks there and became a floral department supervisor fairly quickly. Since then, I have worked in a few other grocery stores, a floral shop and an event studio.
I have found I love working as a florist because of two main things. One is the connection I am able to form with my customers. I feel so privileged to be able to be there for my customers when big things both happy and sad are happening in their lives. I also feel a great sense of accomplishment sometimes without huge time expenditure. Sometimes it is as simple as putting together a bouquet and feeling “Wow! I just made that! It is beautiful and now someone’s day is at least a little bit better!” I often felt isolated and without palpable milestones as a linguist. I feel like I really have found my calling and although I want to positively impact the lives of my customers, friends and family with flowers, I no longer feel the need to be the “very best in the world at the thing or else.” And that is also a really wonderful comforting feeling. That’s my story. At least in terms of work experience and academics. Maybe someday I’ll tell you about my hobbies and my travels!