I had a fascination with psychology from a young age and a strong desire to help others, to make a difference in their lives somehow. Looking back, I would’ve probably become a psychiatrist if my mother hadn’t unknowingly talked me out of it. “You’re already giving everyone in your life advice,” she’d say, “you’ll go mad if you do it all day at work!” She was probably right. I eventually stumbled upon Speech-Language Pathology and felt that it was right for me.
My love of psychology and working with people, especially the elderly, led me to specialize in a branch of speech pathology that focused on disorders of the nervous system (or adult neurogenic disorders, to be precise ;). This basically meant that I worked mostly with those who had suffered a stroke, traumatic brain injury, or Alzheimer's Disease. My job was to help these individuals regain or compensate for lost language and cognitive skills so they could return home, to school or to work, while living as independent a life as possible. This involved a ton of one-on-one and family training and often counseling, which we all knew I loved.
Little did I know the barriers to helping others I’d run into in the real world, however. I found myself trapped in an unbending medical system that focused all too much on dollar signs and filling beds rather than patients' quality of life. After years of trying to fight the system and constantly advocating for my patients’ needs, I was left in a place where the good that I was trying to do simply wasn’t enough. With all of the restrictions of insurance companies, Medicare, Medicaid and the healthcare industry in total, I wasn’t making the difference that I longed to make, and the environment in which I worked became more soul-draining by the day.
After a long internal struggle and much rumination, I decided to leave the field as I wasn't fulfilled in the work that I was doing. I could no longer ignore the constant voice inside my heart telling me that I was meant to be doing something else. I wanted more, but I just didn’t know what, or even how to make sense of it all.
With the support of my husband and family, I ventured out to find a job that aligned more closely with my passions and what I believe. I longed to do good work, to feel great about what I did day in and day out, and to work in a positive environment with people who shared a similar drive to make a difference. This led me to focus on nonprofit job opportunities.
Since I was coming from such a specialized background, however, breaking into the nonprofit world wasn’t easy. I was either overqualified or underqualified for every job that I applied to, or so I was told. All of this turned out to be a beautiful blessing in disguise, of course, as it paved the way for Simply Smita, which allows me to focus on all of my passions as I try to make the best difference that I can.
Never in a million years would I have imagined myself leaving my job to start my own organic skincare business (I'm a science mind that knew nothing of business!). It goes to show, we never know exactly where life may take us, but with a little faith and dedication, the possibilities are truly endless if you try ;).
To learn more about why I started Simply Smita click here.