BACKGROUND

Thursday, January 19, 2012

GTFO Struggle!

So much has been on my mind lately. I think it's a function of life having changed in many ways for me recently. I am finally done with school. Really and truly done. It amazes me sometimes to realize that I will never have to take another exam or write another school paper. School stress was such a regular part of my life that I didn't even think about it anymore. It was just the way things were. But now, without that weight on my shoulders, I realize just how heavy it was!

Maybe it's the new year, but my mind has recently been occupied with the need for change. The need to move forward. This applies to a lot of areas of my life. As an old friend of mine put it the other day, there is a time where you stop struggling in relationships, finances, jobs, and so on. And that feels good. Not to have to struggle, to worry, to be afraid. That really resonated with me because it is true. At almost 36 years old, I no longer have the time or energy to struggle. It has worn out its usefulness in terms of life lessons and learning patience. Struggling needs to exit the building forthwith!

Random thought from me tonight, but there you have it. I am going to try to blog more regularly this year so stay tuned for my witty repartee, my random observations, my boring recollections. It will all be here!

Monday, January 16, 2012

MLK Revisited

I wrote this blog post last year on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and I decided to re-post it this year since I don't think I can do a better job of expressing my feelings than I have already done here.


MLK Day Blog 2011

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011

2011 was a year that will not be soon forgotten in many ways. It was a difficult year, but one full of triumphs too. Without further ado, my year in review:

January - May: These were the hardest months for me. I was traveling over 100 miles a day several times a week to my practicum site, where I was being supervised by an incompetent and lazy psychologist. In March, I was finally able to move over to another site with amazing people so that made it easier, but I still had the long drive and I still had to deal with my crazy psychologist supervisor.

February: I turned 35 and I also realized that I had not submitted my application for graduation. I submitted it and was told I could not graduate with my class in May because I had submitted it too late. I fell into a deep depression during this month and had a hard time doing anything worthwhile. It just seemed like everything was hard. Thankfully, I was able to work with my school and get on the graduation roster for May.

March: One month until I had to take the comps exam for the second time. This was extremely stressful because if I did not pass the exam, I would have to re-take some classes and I would not graduate. I was studying with a couple of my classmates who also were re-taking. We talked on the phone and exchanged e-mail, assisting one another academically and emotionally. I am grateful and always will be for their support. Thank you Toi and Sarah!

April: I took the comps exam. I was literally sweating it. But, I made it. I passed! This was also the month when I was scrambling to finish my practicum hours because my incompetent supervisor had screwed me over the first couple of months of my practicum so I was behind. It was a race to the finish, but I made it with only a few days to spare before graduation.

May: Wow. This month was insane. INSANE. My mother came to visit me from Oregon for two weeks. My graduation was on May 14th. I had to hospitalize her on May 11th. She missed the graduation. This was so hard for her and for me too. She got out of the hospital on May 15th only to be hospitalized again on May 18th. It was horrible. I was staying with her at the hospital some nights so I was getting almost no sleep and the nights I was at home, I was worried about her. It was hard. My best friend of 17 years was on the phone with me all the way from Oregon several times during this month. Thank you Britt! You are my kindred spirit, my rock and my sister.

My mother was released from the hospital and returned to Oregon on May 23rd. This was after I had to hassle the airlines on the phone to change her ticket for her without charging me $600 to do so. Yes, they literally said they would charge me that much (which was more than the ticket price). I finally drove to the airport and worked with the ticket agents in person. They were much more reasonable than the customer (non) service reps on the phone and I got the ticket changed.

The same day my mother flew back to Oregon, I flew to Cozumel, Mexico where I was to meet up with my father. Well, he missed his flight from San Antonio (I was going out of Houston). When he called to say he had missed the flight, I took it in stride because really? This whole month had sucked so whatever. I made it to Cozumel and he arrived the next day. It was all good.

June - July: These were deliciously, wonderfully quiet months. THANK GOD! I was so grateful to be able to sleep and breathe. It felt like I hadn't done either of those things in a long time. I started working out again on a regular basis and got my eating habits on a healthier path.

August: A second trip to Cozumel found me in a much better place than the first trip. I was able to relax a lot easier and enjoy the time with my Dad. I took an introduction to scuba diving class and loved it. We shopped, we ate, we relaxed, we dove. It was wonderful!

September: I took my National Counselor Examination (NCE) this month. I had been studying for it for a couple of months, but really kicked into high gear the first week of September. I took it on Sept. 12th and passed it.

October - November: These were also quiet months and I felt like I needed that since taking the NCE.

November: I returned to Cozumel with my Dad for the third time and got certified as a scuba diver. That was a great experience and I had a wonderful time on the trip. I spent Thanksgiving with Dad in San Antonio and it was a good meal and a relaxed atmosphere. Loved it.

December: Dad and I booked our first trip of 2012 to Cozumel. We will be going in February. Dad came to see me in Houston for Christmas and we had a nice dinner with two dear friends of mine. It was a good time. This is also the month I had three dental appointments to fix issues that had built up in the nine years since I last went to the dentist. This is also the month my mother had her first surgery for Melanoma. She will have a second one in January.

What a year! Bring it on 2012!