Behind SWC: My Professional Career

When I was studying in Valencia College back in 2011, I was VERY confused on what I wanted to do career-wise. I had various interests but none that I felt passionate about, so I took a career aptitude test (a test that asks about your interests, skills, work styles and values to help you find a career). My number one career came out as a kindergarten teacher and somewhere along the top ten, came out interpreter.

Seven years later after that test, I found my passion as a medical interpreter and have never been happier.

SO, let’s start with the basics:

What is an interpreter?

An interpreter is, essentially, a person who translates orally an information from one language to another. However, interpreters are much more than this: we facilitate communication between two cultures and make sure there is no confusion in the target language that is being translated.

The difference between an interpreter and a translator is the medium: interpreters translate orally while a translator translates written text.

I started my unofficial interpreter career when I was a freshman in high school. I started taking French because I loved the language (and thought it would be super cool to have a conversation) and then in sophomore year I started taking Portuguese. Although I didn’t know it yet, I truly loved languages and knew that something good would come out of studying them, like the fact that I volunteered for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil *still pinch myself from time to time*

Fast forward to college and I decided to major in French with a Spanish in Translation certificate at UCF (I didn’t study Portuguese because I reached the highest level while at Valencia and UCF didn’t offer anything higher). My goal is to become an interpreter for the U.N. or for the federal government. To reach this level, I need lots of experience, so this is something along the lines of a long-term goal. Right now, I work as a Spanish and Portuguese medical interpreter at a hospital and it’s been the biggest blessing.

A year ago, I was set on becoming a flight attendant and although I had made it to training, it didn’t work out. I was bummed, but God works in mysterious ways. A friend of mine had started working as an interpreter and gave me his company’s information so I could reach out and send my resume. I studied medical terminology, got certified and on December 11th 2017 I started my professional career.

Working at a hospital was the LEAST expected place I thought of working in; I used to hate going to hospitals and always felt uneasy when I had to go, but now? I see this environment as a place of hope and light at the end of the tunnel. I work with patients from all ages (, from newborns all the way to the 90s and I have learned so much this past year from this line of work…

It has taught me to be grateful even for the smallest of things like having fingers to type this blog post. I’ve learned to cherish the people around me. I’ve learned to be patient, kinder, happier. I’ve learned that life can change in the blink of an eye, so I have to make the most of it. I’ve learned to be prepared (the most that I can) on the worst case scenario and to have faith, patience and understanding. I’ve learned to pay attention to my body and not ignore if something seems off. I have grown a lot emotionally and spiritually. But most importantly, this job has taught me that every day I have on this earth is on borrowed time and it’s important to make the most of it and not focus on irrelevant things like cursing out someone in traffic (#guilty). Look around you: if you are healthy, have your parents alive, have a roof over your head, have a car to take you places, have friends to talk to, have a job, you are already RICH and happiness is just a state of mind. I encourage you to count your blessings and stop complaining about wanting this and that.

As days turned into weeks that turned into months, one of the biggest struggles I faced as a blogger was the superficiality of, well, blogging and bloggers. I would get home from having a patient that was diagnosed with cancer to a blogger complaining about the Instagram algorithm or getting more followers (I hope you can see the disparity between these two!). I would come home to escape from my reality by browsing on social media and what happened was the exact opposite: I would get mad and think how superficial these girls are. However, I grew from this and learned that I can’t blame them; if it was vice versa, wouldn’t I be reacting the same way? I can’t blame someone for doing things or reacting a certain way when they’re not in my shoes. That’s mainly why I use SWC to promote positivity and happiness; not because it’s always rainbows and unicorns, but because I choose happiness and gratefulness every single day.

What may surprise you from this line of work is the emotional toll it takes on you. It starts in different stages:

  1. Shock: I remember starting this shock and would go home so emotional because of the cases I would have in the day, which then turns to…

  2. Very emotional: There would be days where I would get home and cry (a lot) because of what these people, like you and me, are going through. This then turns to…

  3. Numbness:  in a weird way, you kind of become apathetic. Not saying that I have a stone cold heart, but you become used to hearing all types of cases and this turns to…

  4. Subconscious emotion: now, this is the trickiest one. It creeps up on you with time and you don’t even perceive it until an event occurs that triggers your emotions. *Spoiler Alert* I remember watching Jane The Virgin with my mom on the episode where Jane’s mom is found with cancer. What didn’t trigger me was the doctor telling Jane and her mom, the part that got to me was when Jane had to explain to her 5-year-old what his grandma has and his question was: “is she going to die?”…I didn’t start crying, u started bawling. I was so triggered by this scene that my mom had to change the channel because I couldn’t stop sobbing. I guess my subconscious started thinking of all those patients I attend having to tell their young children or grandchildren about their health and I couldn’t fathom having this conversation with a 5,6, even a 13 year old. With this, you turn into…

  5. Gratefulness: from the moment I wake up, I start thanking God for EVERY SINGLE THING that I have. There isn’t a single day that passes where I’m not grateful. I hug my parents and sibling all the time and tell them I love them.

So yeah, mental health is a huge deal for me. I am beyond blessed to have co-workers that relate to what I’m going through and learn their coping ways. I cope mostly by watching series on Netflix; it makes me get into the series and forget for a little bit. Blogging is also my therapy; being able to talk to you about blog posts that are valuable to me and share my love for clothes means the world to me. I’ve learned to leave work at work and enjoy my time off.

So, where does this leave me with blogging? That’s a secret I’ll never tell; you know you love me (if you know where this line comes from, you’re officially me BFF <3) Lol!!!! I just want to make something clear: for the moment, blogging is a hobby, something that I do for fun and as part-time. Yeah, sometimes I get TOO involved in this social media world and forget why I do what I do so I write posts like this to remind me my why. For now, blogging is something I’ll continue to do until I feel  like enough is enough. But right now? I hope you can learn that you can do anything you want and wear multiple hats at a time. You got this babe.

Stay Colorful,

Gabby xx

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