2018. This year marks the beginning of a very big journey for me.
In 2005, my husband and I were sitting in the Atlanta Airport on a layover back to Boston from Nashville talking about our future. Both recent grads from music school (me from The Boston Conservatory with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance; him with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Composition and Arranging from Berklee College of Music) After many conversations, we both decided that we had dreams of working in Medicine. More specifically, to become Doctors.
I enrolled in school for Massage Therapy and later Esthetics as a way to support us through his schooling first. While I was in school for Massage Therapy I worked for Dr. Youko Yeracaris, MD as her Medical Assistant (you can read about my experiences with her here and here). I felt my passion for medicine ignited so strongly. The ability to diagnose and treat disease (and hopefully prevent) to help people live their best and most healthy lives to me, is the highest human honor.
But the truth is, I was putting off trying to get my MD because I truly thought it would be impossible to be a Doctor’s wife AND a Doctor AND a Mother. But year after year I felt that desire just get stronger the more and more I practiced Massage Therapy and later Medical Aesthetics , and the more I shared in my husband’s journey. I can’t even count how many hours of dinner table conversations we have had through Medical School, Residency and now Fellowship.
I can remember feeling like I wanted to jump on the stage during his White Coat Ceremony at the start of Medical School- the little girl inside of me shouting, “Me too! Me too!!!!”
Well. This past year after starting my blog, my world has been opened up to an amazing community of women. More specifically, women who are doctors. Among them, my friend Dr. Aaliya Yaqub, MD, who recently launched a campaign in the medical community called #girlswhoheal (Which is where I got my shirt! You can get yours here). I started talking with her and a few of my other new physician friends (like Dr. Shari Marchbein, MD whom I collaborated with this past fall on my two part series on treating Adult Female Acne!) These are women who broke the mold. These women are doctors, entrepreneurs, mothers, wives, sisters, daughters- women who followed their hearts and are breaking all of the stereotypes that women tend to face in medicine even today.
Also, this year as you know I am pregnant with our third daughter. To me, this was a message from God loud and clear, “You’ve got to be an example for these girls. You’ve got to dream your dreams and become who you are meant to be so you can show them that they can do the same!” So, this year?
I’m on it.
It’s going to be a very long road and I am making myself pretty vulnerable by sharing this with you because I’ve got a lot of hurdles and a lot of ground to cover before I get to where I want to be. I need to take all of my Pre-Med Prerequisites (9 courses to be exact, while still working as a Medical Aesthetician which I love!), get a good score on the MCAT, and actually get into Medical School in the location where my husband is an Attending. I know that I have a lot of women behind me who have paved the way and I am going to lean on that- my community of women and also my family! My grandmother, Juliet Lapointe, went back to school and started her undergraduate degree when she was 40 years old and had 8 children! She ultimately got her Masters in French from Brown University on a full scholarship! My mother started her undergraduate degree when I was 10 years old and completed her Doctorate in Strategic Planning in Higher Education the year that Tony and I were married! (I was 24!) If there is one thing these inspiring women have taught me it’s this: Feeling limited is a waste of time- there is no timeline and it’s never too late to become who you want to be (it just may take a heck of a lot of planning, organization, and grit!)
I’ve got to work hard and I’ve got to keep trying until I succeed. Baby steps. But I’m starting. Because my place is wherever I decide I want it to be.
Thanks for stopping by! Xo, Ashli
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”