April 6, 2023

I read this quote by David Wong on Austin Kleon's blog post "A willingness to be bad" this week (highly recommend the entire blog post, by the way):

Every adult I know — or at least the ones who are depressed — continually suffers from something like sticker shock (that is, when you go shopping for something for the first time and are shocked to find it costs way, way more than you thought). Only it’s with effort. It’s Effort Shock.
We have a vague idea in our head of the “price” of certain accomplishments, how difficult it should be to get a degree, or succeed at a job, or stay in shape, or raise a kid, or build a house. And that vague idea is almost always catastrophically wrong.
Accomplishing worthwhile things isn’t just a little harder than people think; it’s 10 or 20 times harder.

I couldn't help but think about how this applies specifically to being in clinical practice.

There's so much more to it than we originally suspect.

We have these visions of ourselves frolicking in fields and spending all day connecting with clients who find us organically and know that we're just the person to help them.

And most of the time, it's not that.

It's not bad, necessarily, just not what we'd imagined and - like Wong says above - takes a lot more effort on so many levels.

We spend longer in in the "I'm a beginner" stage than it seems like we should, and there's always something else to learn/do/fix/improve.

I'm sharing this because I think it helps to acknowledge that this work takes so much effort. It's really, really not easy.

It's generally quite fun. It's absolutely rewarding. It's the work of a lifetime.

I think it's worth it, and it's definitely been very different than I thought it would be when I started down this path.

Take care,


About Camille Freeman, LDN, RH (she/her)

Hi there! I'm a clinical herbalist and licensed nutritionist specializing in fertility and menstrual health. I run the Monday Mentoring community of practice and also offer continuing education programs for highly-trained herbalists and nutritionists (Check out this year's Deep Dive!). I'm also a professor in the Department of Nutrition at the Maryland University of Integrative Health, where I teach physiology, pathophysiology, and mindful eating.

~ More to Explore ~

Sign up for weekly Practitioner Notes from Camille.

Tips, resources, & encouragement for herbalists & nutritionists, delivered to your inbox most Thursdays.