Updated: Mar 2
“He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk,” said writer and philosopher Frederick Nietzsche. As someone who has always held big dreams and ideals for my life, this quote was always appealing to me. Essentially, to me it is a mini blueprint on how to live your best life. But just because it appealed to me doesn’t mean that I really understood what it meant. I’ve always held the basic idea of it in my head. You should go slow and master the little things before the big things. However, as I've grown and been a victim of trying to be more and do more than I understood, this expression has become so clear to me and been more of a guiding light than ever. A personal interpretation of it that I continuously think about as I make choices is that learning to walk before you can fly means that there needs to be a deep understanding before there is ever a successful application. This quote is really the best descriptor of why I was encouraged to pursue massage therapy. Massage therapy encourages going back to your roots, giving importance to your present, and teaches a beautiful way of grounding. I feel this form of therapy really gives the opportunity for someone to develop a deep understanding of self. Massage therapy is such an effective and wonderful way to help people pay attention to their foundation in turn giving them the tools to be able to build a better house.
I know I am on the younger side of life, but I have experienced trials just the same as anyone else. I think the thing that I most commonly see in the lives of others, as well as my own, is a pattern of not being given your best chance. Not being given the tools or resources that could empower someone to make good choices let alone see their best selves. “We all come into this world the same: naked, scared, and ignorant. After that grand entrance, the life we end up with is simply an accumulation of the choices we make” (Hardy). I think the most loving thing I could ever give anyone is the knowledge that with the right resources and correct insight, you can give YOURSELF your best chance. Even though most of us don't inherit that from the ones who guided us or through the experiences handed to us, there's another way and that you always have a choice. To even begin to see that way you have to start from your very beginnings, and your body is where you began. You becoming your best self is more often than not an act of remembrance rather than redoing. Once a true understanding can be gained, you have the tools to be able to make successful application, or rather, make good choices.
One of my biggest career aspirations for massage therapy is to really focus on the African American community. Black people carry generations of trauma and as a result can perpetuate bad ideas of self care or not even know how to begin to separate themselves from the pain surrounding them and their community. Massage therapy would be a really great tool to introduce to my people in a financially accessible way. I would be really satisfied to even just introduce the information and massage therapy’s benefits as a form of practicing mindfulness and self care. To be even more specific, I would like to become certified in prenatal and focus on caring for black mothers and build my brand around that specific modality (while, of course, becoming knowledgeable in others, like craniosacral).
My goal as massage therapist is to help deliver people to their best selves. Through starting at the beginning, by paying attention to a neglected body that comes as the result of a neglected mind. teaching others to WALK before they can begin to fly. Massage therapy is a stepping stone to helping me ground my roots in learning how to heal, not only myself, but others. It teaches so much discipline. One of my most favorite aspects of massage therapy is that this is a career that encourages the pursuit of knowledge. The knowledge of self, of life, and of others. I know that fully pursuing massage therapy will allow me to have a life where I love my career and what it allows me to do for others.
If you are an Avalon student interested in applying for the Dr. Sophie Rydin Scholarship, please click here.