The Big Reveal

An hour ago, this was me…

And now this is the new me…

I know, big deal– I cut my hair.  But more than just my hair has changed.  They say that when you want to change your life, you should drastically change your haircut.  I’m not sure who “they” are, but since I quote them a lot, they must know something.

So this haircut is symbolic of my transformation.  I’ve spent the last 10 years in a career that wasn’t right for me, and  I’ve finally made the switch!

It’s been 10 years of thinking, “it will get better,” or, “I just need more experience,” or, “maybe it’s the job and not the career.”  It’s been filled with ups and downs of trying to make it work while simply wanting to give up.   There were moments of clarity when I knew it wasn’t my match.  There were other moments of clarity brought on by the few precious experiences that made me smile at the end of a day– only resulting in utter confusion.  And ultimately I was left feeling defeated because I almost always felt like I was not myself.

A few years ago I had wanted to do the “chop” in an effort to induce the change for which I was so desperate, as if a new hairstyle would single-handedly change my life.  But I couldn’t because I needed either a boy cut (not my style) or I needed my hair to be long enough to put in a ponytail for my work.  It was a revolving cycle that I couldn’t escape.

Ultimately the change that I was searching for found me, and in celebration of that, I now get to cut my hair.

Today I am thankful for my new-found freedom.

Happy Thanksgiving!


64 thoughts on “The Big Reveal

  1. Hi and thanks for liking my blog about tanning is hard work…. I like reading different things and finally got back home where I can visit the people who took the time to read my blog. I hope that you visit mine more often.
    As an outside observer, I like the new me.

  2. Lolabees – me, too! I mean – about the transition between careers thing…only for me it was 20 years – I actually enjoyed the first 18 – but the last year and a half has been…I cannot find the words. I’m really scared and really excited and have no idea what the future holds for me…here’s wishing good for the both of us!

    P.S. I LOVE my dentist! He’s like a stand-up comic! Keeps me laughing the entire time – and that ain’t easy, what with all the instruments and tools sticking out of my mouth…

    1. Thanks, wingoov! Good to know other people are doing the same thing! Yes it is scary and exciting, but so worth it, right? So cool to hear about your funny dentist and that you LOVE him! He probably loves you too.

  3. You don’t know me from Adam, but I have to tell you that doing what you just did has been a critical and amazing part of my life. It’s not so much about the hair–I can’t decide on a cut much less a color and both change every 3 months or so–although your cut looks great on you.

    But I was a surgeon and I left that career. I worked on becoming a surgeon for years and years, and, as you discuss, went into deep debt because of it. But it never quite fit. I hated the early mornings (what kind of sense does it make to wake someone up and ask them how they’re feeling at 5 AM?) and the emergencies in the middle of the night (you’re abdomen has been hurting for 4 days and now, at 2 AM on Saturday, it’s an emergency?) and mostly the frustration and cruelty of the training process.

    It’s a long story of how it happened, but now I practice acupuncture. And I teach. And I take my dogs for a walk. And I get to exercise and cook and see my friends.

    I am so happy. I love my new life.

    While I’ll always be grateful for the time I spent getting to muck about in people’s guts, I am grateful that I don’t have to do that everyday, all day.

    So good for you! Congratulations. Know that you are not alone.

    1. I know you now! It’s so great to hear from people like you and to know that we are not along in this process. It’s like having a million cheerleaders helping you through. I was wondering when some MDs were going to weigh in on this. Thank you so much for your input. I too have decided to make balance a priority in my life. Although, right now it’s heavily weighted on this blog. That’s a good thing though. It’s been amazing to connect with so many people in the same boat! Big congrats right back at ya!

  4. Hello Lolabees! You are an interesting read…Congrats to you for making a change. I too, am a dentist. Although I love my work, I haven’t always.I understand what you say about the “job”. I considered a change but didn’t, and am very grateful I didn’t.I found what was fabulous for me. Good for you, to work it out, and find what is right for you. I hope that you continue looking for that “thing”, I always do, and find it. I think the searching is sometimes more than half the fun…..

  5. Hello, Lolabees
    Congratulation about the change ;)People are supposed to change and improve, we all have to seek new opportunities about how to make our live happier. I have changed my life too. I changed my hair color.I changed the country I lived, the way I lived, I left my profession as a dentist and I left my relatives and friends, Yes it is very scary but at the same time I fill alive and happy. I hope that you will found what you seek too.

  6. Wow…just came across this blog randomly because I’m a dentist- dig it. Hope you’re enjoying the new country and both before and after look great. What are you doing now!?

  7. great read! i was a dentistry student before and left the school after a few semesters . i enjoyed the few triumphs of excelling in academics but boy, the lab and the mouth thing was just not for me. plus, i realized that i don’t want to waste my parent’s money for something i know i won’t be enjoying as a career. and after ditching the course, i too had a hair make over. it’s like, new hair, new life! it’s good to know i am not alone in the process and people goes through this ordeal too.

  8. Be elated with yourself! You had the BALLS to do what you want in life. Seriously look at how many people hate their job and just stick to it because they have no idea what they want, they don’t know how to get what they want, they are stuck at their job because of the “benefits”, or they are simply just too chicken shit to do anything about it, or they just like to sit and bitch about it! You are a great testament to what everyone in this world can do – actually LOVE their job!!!! Yeah, Laura!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! People usually just “happen” upon their job, they don’t really set out to be xyz, it just falls into their plate. It could be that they just meet someone who has a job for them and it looks good at that time or they need $. It’s sad but so true. Did you know that the majority of attorneys don’t even practice in their own field? People generally don’t plan what kind of career they want in life, it just happens and that is unfortunate. The world needs more people like you – people that have the guts to realize that they are in the wrong career, that their job SUCKS, and actually delve into their passions to find out what they truly are good at and DO IT! You are AWESOME, Laura!!!! Keep it up! xo

  9. Your hair looks awesome! Love it! You are an inspiration, thanks. I’m divorced and a stay-at-home mom of 8 years and I finally figured out what I want to be after a year and a half. I’ve realized that it is harder to stay on track and follow your passion than it is to just get a job. Thanks for helping so many people realize that it’s worth it.
    Michele Klamer’s sister, Monique

  10. Congratulations! Your hair looks great and your courage to change paths is admirable. I am a dentist of 30 years who changed professions in my late twenties. I love my work but would have been miserable if I hadn’t found my calling as a dentist. Your list of frustrations with patients was very enjoyable, and very true! Thanks for the e-smile you put on my face. Enjoy your new life.

  11. Great blog! I love both hair styles, you are pretty, so you would look good even if you go bald!
    It must have been scary to change career paths. I am a dental specialist who spent the last 7 years working in academics, and successful at it. I quit my job, one year before going up for tenure, against everybody’s advice (including hubby)…I just could not take it anymore!!! But after many, many sleepless nights I did it!
    I opened my practice from scratch (again, against people’s advice), and I am doing good, not great yet, but I am so very happy about the change in career paths. I work only 3 days per week, go to all my kids’ field trips, have finally the time to go for pedicures (and read blogs!) and I am not as cranky as before, which makes my husband filled with joy.
    Thanks for having this blog.

  12. I’m in the same boat that you once were. Right now I’m practicing dentistry with the Navy but have never been happy in dentistry. I’m just not passionate about the field and feel like it’s draining me of being happy in life. It’s scary thinking about changing career paths, but it’s something I know that I must do for myself. Congrats for having the courage to change! Hopefully in two more years (when my Navy commitment expires) I will be able to exercise that same bit of courage. Oh and by the way, what exactly are you doing now? You may have mentioned it in your post, but I didn’t pick it up.
    Congrats again and take care!

  13. I have the same feelings toward dentistry. I have only been graduated from dental school for a year. During dental school there were signs that it wasn’t the right career, but I just assumed I was overreacting because of the stress of juggling school and family. My husband was in my dental school class and graduated with me. We had two children before starting school and one child at the end of senior year. He loves it (most of the time). I have recently had my fourth child and have decided to take “time off.” It was to the point that I was depressed because of the anxiety work was causing. I now, however, have heaps of loans to pay off. At least my husband is supportive and says he doesn’t mind paying my loans, but I feel so much guilt. I always wonder why I didn’t just quit one of the thousand times I thought about it during school. I just so stubborn and refuse to be a quitter I guess. I now have to decide what direction to take, and I feel so lost. I am interested in forensic dentistry, but getting certified would be really difficult because of our family situation. Anyway, I say way to go on following your heart. There is no use going through life miserable with what your are doing on a daily basis. I hope you find a career to make you feel happy and fulfilled!

  14. Dear Laura,
    It was so funny, you made me laugh and I feel thanks the words you wrote which I even don’t dare to think of, especially pronounce it loudly!
    I’m a dentist too -not a perfect one- but at least I’m trying my best and I hope patients like me.
    I’m so pleased that I chose to be a mother after the fellowship so I could understand what is our role in the LIFE. It is not comparable to anything and I would’t change it for a sake of a brilliant career, or money or success…no way!
    But after a few years spending with changing nappies,chasing the dust around the house and chatting with mums on the playgrounds (oh dear, they were so perfect, not like me) I really wanted to get back to work: I wished dirty mouthes,decayed teeth and miserable cases to treat. So I am happy to work part time which is managable (but please don’t visit our house unexpectedly). I see my professional career is not as important as I thought when I finished the university (16 years ago ). I can observe myself from distance and I have to say: I am not perfect, there will allways be people who are not happy with me or the treatment I’ve done for them, as I am not a perfect mum as well,etc.
    So, you maybe need to determine the uncovered feelings in your mind: maybe it is time to have a family? I think we are quite lucky to be a woman,because if we have a child we have a mission for a whole life and we do not have to prove every day how good dentists we are: we have already done a mirracle, something unique in the world.
    I wish you can find your happiness!
    PS:Sorry about my English ,maybe you’ve already noticed that I’m not a native speaker,I’m Hungarian (a tiny little country in the heart of Europe).

    1. This made me smile! First, you are amazing for learning a second language (and maybe more.) People don’t realize how hard that is sometimes– I know, I love Spanish. This was a lovely perspective. Did my mother put you up to this??? 😉 Haha

  15. Hi! I am in my last semester of dental school and sometimes I feel like dentistry isn’t right for me either. It can get so frustrating at times and its just downright hard most of the time. I don’t know if its the school atmosphere or if it really doesn’t get any better. I was wondering what career you switched to


  16. Ah what a great read !!
    Lolabees you made me smile … It’s 1 am uk time and I’ve just been awake
    Putting my 1 year old to sleep . There I was thinking how I must (1) finish writing my book (2) start a career in alternative medicine etc … All so I can get away from demanding patients and mrs so and so who insists her filling just doesn’t right ‘ or mr so and so who must be seen this very moment …( although majority of my patients are actually lovely !) . I laughed out loud and have sent this to my other dentist friends.

    I even cut my hair last week ! Then I read thus fantastic blog …
    I wish you a ‘tmj’ free road ahead … ! Well done for moving on !
    Love s

  17. Dear Lolabees,
    Unless you hit the lottery or landed some wealthy significant other, etc. etc., how will you financially support yourself in the long term?

    1. I was surprised there are many of us out there… okay, not so surprised, really. I am writing about it in the blog now. But to sum it up, a lot of therapy, a lot of soul-searching, and finally the realization that I just couldn’t do it anymore. It took a while, but eventually it all came together, and I was able to make it happen. Thanks for reading. Hope you continue to follow along. Maybe you’ll decide to go for it too!

      1. Wooo hoo!!! Loving that people are going with their guy on this. It’s scary, but if you stick with it just for the money (& honestly, I did – I’m not afraid to say it) it will smack you hard in the face down the road…

  18. I am SO happy I found your blog!!!!!! I am a dental hygienist, and although I love the majority of my patients I am beginning to hate this field for many, many reasons (unfortunately). You sound soooo much happier and I applaud your guts and ballsy-ness to do what your heart told you. I’m in a predicament because I have a ton of student loans, a B.A.S. which is good but it’s not enough. I sure as hell am not ng my efforts on a masters in hygiene (god f* no lol!).. I’m still trying to figure my future out and looks like I’ll be stuck doing this for. Couple more years until I accomplish something else.. But your blog has given me strength and I thank you.

    1. I’m so glad to hear that! Thanks for the kind words. Like you, I didn’t always hate it, and even still there are many aspects that I love about it. Clearly I’m still a part of the community– it’s just more find to find others who love to hate it with me 😉 I stayed in the field 1 year after paying off my student loans. It was something the “responsible me” felt I had to do. The day my loans were paid off I celebrated by opening a bottle of Dom Perignon that an endodontist had given me! If you really want to do it, I’m sure you’ll find a way! Stick around the blog if you’d like. And… here’s my cheesy bit of cheerleading: you can do it! 😉

  19. Love the new hair, it totally works for you! (Yes, I know I am a few years late). Just discovered your blog, so far loving it! Looking forward to reading all the posts!

    P.S. I am thinking about going to dental school hence my creeping in on your blog.

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