Flying Solo…No regrets.
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1. The awkwardness that is cancelling your way out of any and all plans you make/are forced into. Crafting that many excuses isn’t easy and is an artform that deserves proper recognition.
2. Justifying this: “What are you doing?” “Nothing… I’m just sitting at home… but like, because I want to.”
3. You’re not anti-social, you are just selectively-social. You don’t waste your time with people who don’t matter, you don’t keep up fake friendships. Sometimes this looks as though you’re distant, but you actually have a psychological leg up on the people who are still trying to work out relationships that just aren’t meant for them.
4. Dealing with the stigma that someone who spends time at home is boring and needs to “get a life.” Wherever you live your life the happiest is the place you should do it. The only people who think otherwise are the people who can’t be…
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Well, as I close out the second year of Grad School, I cannot say I feel proud of how the end went. But I guess this semester is all a learning process, or so people keep telling me. Like…everybody I talk to. I really know I need to calm down on the hyper competitiveness in me, but there I find myself, acting like those I have seen before me, who I never wanted to be like.
I wonder if I come across as arrogant at my site placement. I must, because I keep complaining. These words of negativity keep spewing from my mouth,and now I wonder if maybe I should not be so quick to judge those in my program unless I can judge myself the same way. And, it hurts to carry all this judgment for myself, so why not let others off the hook too? Maybe that was what my father meant when he says that I have too high expectations of others. Maybe he didn’t mean to make it sound like a judgement, but instead, maybe he meant that I cannot fault people for not rising to the occasion, at all times, because I will not rise to the occasion gracefully at all moments.
This leads me back to today. And the past three months. Where I know I have acted like a complete and utter irresponsible teenager. I can see that now, after having failed to finish a candidacy qualification at school. I did not try at all. I hid under the covers, like a tired baby. So I will walk into that director’s office, and face the music, like the woman I want to be, and can be. Not the tired, over worked, over-stressed indignant person find myself feeling like. I feel this way because I let myself get over tired.
I cannot possibly know all. I will get there, I will get more confident and experienced, but first I need to accept that right now I feel over my head, tired, and unclear about a lot of things in the therapy world. Maybe I should start here: look to others with more experience and knowledge, without holding a grudge.
Bumping into someone in the Tiny Hallway
Step 1- Be prepared. I know, and you know, inevitably we will bump into one another in these narrow, windowless halls. That does not make this any easier. Especially on an awkward person like myself. Especially if either party would prefer avoiding the other.We cannot. We must make this work without slightly offending either of us.
Either way, this is happening. I am leaving that class, and am already in the hallway. I am walking down the hallway, thinking about dinner, if I am hungry, or thinking hey did that hot guy just smile at me? Either way, I clearly have a spaced out, dreamy expression on my face, and am so clearly not thinking about what is happening. As In… I don’t see you heading towards me.
Step 2- Attempt to count how many steps away from me you are…to estimate how long I have to re arrange my deer in the headlights expression..
Step 3- Keep Walking, Keep walking keep walk–NO! don’t speed up, they will think you are trying to get away from them…keep walking, don’t slow down, they ( and you) don’t really want to stop and have a conversation..do you? O.k. keep your eyes on the corner of the ceiling, that way you are not staring full on at the person.
Step 4- By now, you are nearly at the point of no return, where it would really prove indecent and rude to not say hello. After all, we are only about 2 feet away from each other. Do a quick meet and greet. Don’t make owl eyes at them. Look at the floor, shuffle past…
mumble hello ( to the carpet) Breathe.
Step 5 Repeat around the next corner. For the next 2 years..
“We are only as good as the people who support us. They share our light with others and provide the strength we do not have alone.”
I would like to talk about Gratitude. Support can come when we do not even realize and I know I have to continually look back to find that one phrase or kind ear that pushed me forward into changing an aspect of my life that needed tweaking. I realize now how easy we can move away from these acts of kindness.
We go on with our lives. I want to challenge us to think about those who have said those little words of encouragement, who sat with us while we agonized over a decision we didn’t know how to make.
Sometimes these moments last only a few seconds. These micro moments can still have the power to change the course of our lives, the foreseeable future, our destiny. We just cannot know until we take the time to look back and reflect.
One moment for me came in 2009, when I decided to pursue another career trajectory. I felt the first pangs of dissillusionment of the profession I found myself in at the time. I could not bring myself to consider any other alternative, I had , after all, chosen this field. What could I do? I felt stuck, but not happily stuck.
I decided to speak to a professor. Maybe due to his age, or the fact he meant to retire, he told me that there could prove good reasons for staying in my field. However, he also said he knew of people who went into chosen field to finish work their parents started, or because they had not thought of any alternatives for themselves. I thank this man, for these words of encouragement He did not tell me what to do. He didn’t tell me I would make a mistake. He just laid out the facts of what he saw during his 30 yr. career.
I truly believe if not for his words, I would not have changed my mind. And I truly thank him for this time he bestowed upon me. The conversation probably lasted 2-3 minutes, and yet I changed my whole life for the better. I truly feel I made a better choice for myself. All based on a 3 minute conversation.
“2 roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
I encourage you to reconsider whether the choices we make come from within, like our Independent minded society suggests, or whether we move our lives according to soft words whispered, like the flutter of a Hummingbirds’ wings, at just the right moment.
Good Luck finding your muse,
What an uplifting song. I love how most Christian music singers always combine their love of their faith with their songs. They always create songs with depth and meaning. In addition,most of these singers have a message and social awareness that enables them to help people through their music. I dig this. These songs are truly for people.
“Do not punish yourself. Forgive yourself, show yourself gentleness and Grace for what you could not know, and forgive yourself for all of it.”
J. Colvin. August 28 2013 4:00 p.m.
Words of Wisdom like this quote helped me to remain present in my second day of class this semester, my fourth semester at VU. I honestly would expect no less from this amazing program, in terms of guidance and instruction. How lucky am I to get to go here?
I did not realize how much those words resonated with my current life circumstances.
How this quote got sold to me came about in my Advanced developmental Psych course. Our prof. asked us returning students to share some tips for the newbies.
I of course, I wanted to share all this wisdom that I have typed here, however, I guess my garbled version came out o.k. Yet someone more mature and wiser gave us this shimmering seashell in the midst of our tongue tied-ness.
She said simply, don’t be too hard on yourselves. This program is tough. So be serious, but also have fun.
Thinking back on her words reminds me again of our fragile nature, our delicate souls. We all wear our hearts on our sleeves, like glass about to shatter. Punitive treatment towards our mistakes leads to our own despair.
I admit I found myself losing focus, these past few weeks. Hearing these words, helps me to realize how much I still have to work on forgiving myself, how I need to learn to go easy on myself. I have managed to make time to partake in activities that nourish my soul; activities that seem irrelevant, but also fill my cup over with delight and wonder.
Just having fun, keeps life bearable.
Forgive yourself. Don’t be too hard on yourselves. Hearing that gave me room for grace, gives us all room for grace, I hope.
As a piggy back to my previous article about selfishness in life, I wanted to write about my time and how I learned to utilize what little I had during my Grad Psych journey/working full time.
I find myself on the precipice of starting my 2nd year of graduate school. I cannot even believe I made it through to this point.
That first year brought a lot of information I still find myself attempting to process.
Also, some deep introspection.I cannot remember everything I learned from my textbooks, but I internalized some deep ideas about life in that compressed time frame.
Working full time proved a challenge I have not maneuvered smoothly, yet trying this also taught me a lot. This ties into my premise about the importance about knowing ourselves, and having the guts to live according to yourself, even when others want to call you selfish and /or other unnecessary names.
A few days ago I, along with my co-student representatives, received the opportunity to welcome our new arrivals, the freshly minted, incoming first- year grad-psych students, who looked at us with puppy dog eyes, ready to accept our nuggets of wisdom.
I wanted to deliver a smooth-roll of the tongue speech that brought tears to their eyes, led to a standing ovation and their call for an encore.
Well, reality, sort of, well, lets just say, meandered between their interest and possible confusion. Once we got up there, I am sure they thought ” um, why are they our reps?”
We stammered, we stared like a squirrel who found a giant chestnut.. .we talked to each other, but not to our audience.
One thing I wanted to convey, most especially, and I did not, suits perfectly, the topics of this blog.
Time management and selfishness do indeed go hand in hand. I wanted to plead this to you.
The importance of determining what you are capable of doing in grad school and in your personal life will descend upon you while you navigate this first year of school.I promise you.
I want to stress that your life, while not entirely, over. will most certainly change. And why would it not? This is the career you have chosen for yourself for possibly the rest of your working years. If you plan to be taken seriously, you will need to take yourself seriously enough to be firm about your time and limits with your loved ones, work relationships, and even with the time you spend between reading and studying and having fun.
Trust me, the ones who don’t mind, matter, and the ones who do mind, you can, and probably will, move away from, because one lesson you will learn from even your first year, is how to say no.
If you do not know yet how to say no to every request that comes along, believe me, our Grad Psychology program will teach you to get over that little hang up. I am amazed that I grasped this lesson finally. I stretched myself too thin.
To Thine own self, be true. If you know that you need 10 hours of sleep before a final, for God’s sake, get it. Nobody wants to deal with grouchy Krystle, apparently.
Oh wait, we are talking about you. Right. But seriously, I thought I was managing everything with grace. Then I looked around at my life, and the way I would cry nearly everyday, and feel so anxious that my heart would pound just walking, and I realized I could not keep going this speed.
Everyone says there is a balance, but I propose to you that this will not exist. So dive in. This time you get to experiment what you can accomplish. If you do not think you can work full time, or if you think you can, go for it. Just remember that you need time for yourself. You cannot give, give, give and not replenish.
Learn to say No. No guilt, no aggression, just the word No.
I am in favor of boundaries. When I need time to study, I let everybody know that I will not be available for these certain hours. Just like in undergrad. However, Grad School is much more intense. Something will have to give. You cannot juggle full time work, relationship, school, friends, hobbies, volunteering, mentoring, crisis counseling and looking pretty fly all the time. Let go of the least important items and relish this time you have to learn all about this subject that you yourself, committed to, signed off on mega ultra, never leave your side loans, and decided you would study to gain that Master’s Degree to basically help people. It will fly by, and I know I don’t want to look back and wonder if I learned anything.
Good Luck..and don’t go into Jeannie’s class late :)
I hear your dismay, Who gets excited after losing their job, right? I didn’t realize how much weight leaving this place would lift off my shoulders. Being in my late twenties, I have had my fair share of jobs hat have come and gone and I have realized that a lot of the reasons were not in my control at the time. I realize I enjoy trying for what I like, and I have never worried over being jobless.
In leaving this place, I realize that I am an eternal optimist. Most people stick to a job for the money. I never want to be that person. As I drove along the freeway back home, that day, August 8th, I realized how much the past year of my life had centered on just collecting a paycheck at this place. I sold my time for any trivial task for a few dollars at the end of the week.No wonder my soul felt thirsty. No wonder I had already reached the end of my rope.
Among other reasons. My supervisor liked to harass me.But standing up for oneself is for another post.
I want to do work that satisfies me, and that suits me and where I find myself at that particular stage of life.
Again, even when I quit the credential program, ( the first time I ever allowed myself to truly search for what I wanted, not what I thought I should want for myself) I remember feeling calm, not desperate, about the road ahead. Certainly, I knew I would find life more challenging. But I still had that post grad arrogance, that idea that I had done college, anybody would be so lucky to hire me.
I feel like I have found that hope for the future again. Ironically, after losing my first full time salary position. I thought I just had to do that life. I wanted to proe I could do it all. Grad school, work, have a life. It’s exhausting. I wanted to feel responsible.
I realize now I cannot do it all. And this is o.k. I prefer staying awake through dinner.
This kind of optimism helps me, should help all of us, really, even if it sounds crazy or unpleasant or, gasp…Selfish. Do work that fits your life, do not try to adjust your life to work. Work is not your life.Believe me. Have a life.,
That word,Selfish. To me only means that you are thinking about living your life in a way that you can wake up everyday and face yourself in the mirror.And if that means passing on a job offer, well, do that. Other job offers will follow. If I grab the first thing I find, then I will never know what ahead will suit me better. I can hold out for that, even if I sound a little selfish.
I know what I can realistically give before reaching that threshold of giving too much. I respect my need to rest, and I will respect my body when she tells me what I do not want to acknowledge.
Exhaustion is not pretty.But we all are beautiful, and should strive to make our lives represent the best of ourselves. This means our lives might not go in a conventional direction. Who wants to follow a status quo anyway?