Chef and dishwasher. Alternative school. Printer, publisher. Operated large presses and guillotine paper cutter and didn’t lose any fingers. Film stripper: I loved my boss and looked forward to Mondays–a coworker used to tell her husband’s friends that our boss was a male stripper! Black belt in karate. Aikido and Ki training for mind-body coordination.
Then back to college:
Speech Communications and Physics majors, to keep the left and right hemispheres of my brain balanced. Replete with repeats. When I overstudied, my brain collapsed, and I lost an entire term’s worth of learning. Profs knew of my challenges–they let me take incompletes and make it up. Finally, B.A. 1988.
I then moved to Grants Pass, in Southern Oregon. I became the secretary and bookkeeper to a highly esteemed woman, an icon of selfless service. She had been a foster mom to over 350 children, had been granted dispensation to have up to 17 children in her care, when the state limit was 5. Because her children turned themselves around, gained confidence, overcame their social disabilities and behavioral challenges. Her children were taught to provide service to other children and it uplifted their spirits and sense of dignity and self-esteem. At the time I arrived she was switching from mental health disabilities to senior care. Miracles were happening all around this powerhouse of a woman. She taught me about compassionate care, truly serving those in need, and the power of the mind when we are aligned and focused. I worked with her and then started a placement service for elderly and people with disabilities. I organized or sat on the boards of nonprofits, coordinated retreats and tours to the Far East.
2001, I started caring for my own brain-injured mother. That was to continue for over 14 years. In 2002 I moved back to Portland and deepened the sweetness of honoring elders and my mom. I became an Organic Gardening and Activities Coordinator in a forward-thinking elder care facility. I turned a corner in my own healing process in 2005 with training in body-mind-emotional awareness, movement rehabilitation, Neuromuscular Reeducation and Senior Sovereignty™.
Finally, massage therapist, 2009. Birth of Rosi the research geek.
My father died in 1999. He wasn’t entirely happy with the direction of my life. I wasn’t an astronomer or physicist or academician or research scientist. But I was a good gardener. Our facility and elders won 99 ribbons the first year we entered state and county fairs with our organic horticultural triumphs. Some people are late bloomers. Some people, like flowers, bloom on the schedule of their seasons and not otherwise. Rosi was a late-blooming researcher. The curiosity, passion to be of service to humanity, and thinking outside the box were part of that birth.
Next blog: Birth and Infancy of a Research Massage Therapist, Pt.3 Where I got bitten by the research bug, and learned a foreign language: neurological medical research.