Be. You.

Let’s real talk for a moment…

I have seen a lot of lists in articles circulating around facebook. These lists talk about things that women should stop doing after a certain age… things men should never wear… things we should stop eating… blah blah blah. Why do we do this?! Why do we have to dictate what people should do and not do? Why can’t we appreciate people for who they are? Why must we constantly bring people down? If you love wearing Uggs, wear them with pride. If you want to eat avocado on toast, you eat it all you want. If you want to listen to screamo music, listen loud, if you want to pucker your lips and have snapchat filters in all of your pictures, you rock that shit, if you have piercings and tattoos show them off, if you want rainbow hair, make it bright! If you are not hurting anyone with what you do, do it and be proud to be you. This is something I have learned recently and wish it is something I have been able to feel for a long time. Too much of my time has been wasted by caring what people thought of me… dressing a certain way because the way I wanted to dress wasn’t “acceptable.” It is a downer, it is negative, and it is not good.

Be you.

Be unapologetically you.

Love yourself and everything that makes you YOU.

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Be. You.

Confidence

I have been wanting to write something for a while, but every time I got started, I would either get distracted and not finish, or lose my mojo and not be happy with anything I’ve written. But I enjoy telling my story to anyone who wants to read it. So I am going to try to be better about just posting and not being too critical.

Life has been so crazy lately and that isn’t a bad thing. I have been doing work in a field that I love. Sometimes it still feels like a dream… am I really here? Do I really have a full caseload? Am I really seeing progress in the children I see? Are my adult clients really telling me that I am helping them?? I really need to stop thinking like that and OWN those good feelings. YES I am here. YES I do have a full caseload. YES I am seeing progress. YES people are telling me that I am helping them. In the two years that I have been in Buffalo, I have seen a confidence in me that I have never experienced before… in my life! I have noticed that this confidence has had an effect on how I feel day to day. I feel happier. I feel free. What an incredible way to live! I have noticed that negative thoughts don’t come quite as easily anymore. That alone makes life easier.

Although, I can’t help but think about what my life would’ve been like if I had made different choices in life. Don’t get me wrong… I absolutely love my life right now. I have worked hard to get where I am. But what if…? What if I had gone to see a therapist when I was a teenager for my anxiety and self esteem issues? What if I had seen a therapist while in school and had better grades in high school and my undergrad? What if I never moved to Wyoming? What if I moved back to Michigan at the first sign of hard times while in Wyoming? It is interesting to think about, but not something to dwell on. Every choice I have made in my life has made me the person I am today and I am forever thankful for that.

Confidence

What if…

I have been having these days where I am feeling more and more comfortable with being a therapist. However, it is still weird to say that “I am a therapist.” A couple of weeks ago, I had an a-ha moment yesterday in the middle of a session. It made me feel so good. It made me realize that I am starting to think like a play therapist. I was able to recognize where I was in the session and how I needed to move forward. Then today, talking with an adult client, I felt pretty comfortable. I have very little experience with adult clients, so I am thankful that I am gaining more experience. I am also excited that my confidence is up. It is a weird feeling and I still have to stop myself from feeling negative and focus on the positives.

This afternoon I was in a session that provoked a lot of thought in me. What if. How many what if’s do we go through in our daily life? What if I did better in school? What if I didn’t get into grad school? What if… what if… what if… Would you go back into the past and change something? Whether it is something big or small… would you change it? What would your life be like if you did change it? It is something that is interesting to think about. I have had some really shitty things happen to me… however, I believe that everything in my life has made me the way I am. I have learned things. I have mourned things. I have grown and I have changed. I have laughed, I have cried. I have been scared and I have been brave. As much as I would like to go back and change the bad things that have happened to me, I don’t think I would. I like the person I am today and those experiences have only made me stronger.

What if…

Who am I?!

Lately, I have been asking myself, “who am I?” This is because I am in a place in my life where I am doing things totally outside my comfort zone. It is a weird place to be in… I am doing all of these things and I feel really good. But it is also confusing because I am doing things I normally wouldn’t! I am definitely excited for the person I am becoming. I am continually growing… I am learning… I am awesome. I don’t know if I have ever been able to say that I am awesome and actually believed myself.

I think it started with moving to a new city where I didn’t know ANYONE.  Sure, moving to Wyoming from Michigan was a big deal. But when I moved to Torrington, I knew someone. But when I moved to Buffalo there was a plan that fell through. But I went through with it anyway. My secondary plan in Torrington was going to happen, so I needed to do something. I needed to finish my degree and start a career that I was excited about. So I did it. I moved to a city where I knew no one. I met with someone who was going to supervise me through my internship. Little did I know that she was going to be someone who has changed my life. She taught me. She guided me. She encouraged me. I think the encouragement was what meant the most. She believed in me and made me keep going when I was wanting to quit. For that, I am eternally grateful. So I kept going. I graduated a year ago with my Masters degree, which was unbelievable to me at the time. Now, I know that I was and am fully capable. Of course, this doesn’t mean that I don’t have doubts, because I certainly do. However, I feel like those doubts don’t last as long and aren’t as overwhelming. I feel like I am doing well in my job and actually making a difference. I love the clients I have been able to work with. They teach me so much. I love when I work with people who actually want to change. I love working with kids who are able to work through so much through play. Because of that move to a new city, I have had the opportunity to do, see, and learn so many things. I went to South Africa… what?! I got to see Elephants in their natural habitat. I saw giraffes, hippos, lions, and so many more! I got to meet people from the UK, Singapore, Africa, and Australia. I got to go to California for the first time. I got to meet with 5 other people who are passionate about sandplay therapy. I now have friends in different states and different countries. I got to learn from the greatest minds.  Sometimes, I still don’t believe it is all real.

Another thing I have been doing that is totally not me and is putting me out of my comfort zone is selling lipsense. I never thought I would be doing any sort of selling a product like that, but here I am, loving it. I am excited about it. I love the way it makes me feel and I love giving that to other people. A couple of years ago… even 6 months ago, I wouldn’t have even thought about doing this.

I love who I am and where I am going. I am excited for the future and to make even more changes into a more positive person. I am excited to continue learning and helping the people I see every day. Thank you to all of you who are in my life on this journey.

Who am I?!

California Dreamin…

Well this trip to California started out eventful and really hasn’t stopped being interesting. We flew out of Casper and already knew that we had a short connection in Denver to get to Palm Springs. The lady at the airport in Casper assured us that we would be landing upstairs and so it wouldn’t be too tough to make our connecting flight. Ha. She was wrong. Not only were we downstairs at Denver Airport, but our plane was at least 15 minutes late leaving Casper so we started out cutting it close. We got to Denver and HUSTLED to our gate and got there and “final boarding” was across the screen. We were one of the last few on the plane, but we made it. I sat down in my seat, a middle seat, between two men. We were sitting there, getting ready to take off, and the man on my left side had his phone out and was texting someone. I know I was not meant to see it, but I did. He texted someone and said “fat chick next to me.” Why… why do people have to be so mean? He doesn’t know anything about me. He also said that the stewardess was huge too. He doesn’t know anything about her. Ugh. It just made me feel so sad. He even said “she seems proud.” What does that even mean? Does it mean that I have on nice clothes, do my hair and makeup?  Are all “fat people” supposed to be wearing slobby clothes, with holes in them, and food stains on them? I know I am overweight. I have gone to the doctor so I can start feeling better in order to do something about it. He doesn’t know I felt so exhausted at night, that the thought of even typing out my casenotes filled me with dread. But none of that matters; he just wanted to be a judgmental asshole.  That frustrated me and pissed me off for the whole flight. So I put in my earbuds and listened to a podcast the whole flight, with my arms crossed, so I didn’t touch him with my dreaded fat.

Anyway… we started our descent into Palm Springs and IT WAS SCARY. It was probably the scariest descent I’ve ever had. The plane was bouncing all over, we were up and down, side to side, bumping and swaying. Many people were gasping and you could hear the fear as people talked. Asshole to the left was calm. Macho man next to me was scared… like me. You could see him looking out the window, grabbing the seat in front of him, and looking around. I was gripping the seat in front of me and holding my breath.  Luckily Rose was sitting behind me and she was seated next to some amazing people. Listening to them talk and laugh was soothing. We were getting close to landing and all of a sudden the plane picked up speed and started going up again. Asshole next to me says this is fairly common landing in Palm Springs and we will probably circle around and try to land again. The copilot came on the speaker and said they were going to weigh their options and try to come up with a plan. A few minutes later, they said that they were going to land in Ontario, which we learned was 71 miles north of Palm Springs. Asshole thought it was weird. He said he has never experienced having to land at another airport. Turns out, we were low on fuel, so we needed to land to refuel. The copilot came on and said that once we landed we could have some options, such as trying to fly in again, being bussed to Palm Springs, or something else. When we landed, we didn’t have the option of a bus, however, we were told that we could get off the plane but we could be on our own as far as getting back to Palm Springs and getting our luggage. We opted to stay on the plane. A little over an hour later, we took off and were headed back. The landing this time wasn’t any less scary, but we were able to land. As soon as the plane touched down, the plane erupted in applause. We made it and we were so happy. Now I am a little nervous to leave in a couple of weeks, but that is later…

The Palm Springs/Palm Desert area is gorgeous. There are amazing homes, beautiful buildings, and gorgeous palm trees. We have eaten at some lovely places and drove around and seen beautiful things. We are staying at a Holiday Inn express and it is pretty nice. However, we have a creeper here. On Saturday, Rose and I went to the pool to sun and swim. A gentleman came into the pool area and started talking to us as we were in the pool. Nothing too crazy, just why we were here, etc.  However, Rose went back to the room to use the bathroom and I kept laying in the sun. As this guy was about to leave, he stopped in front of my lounge chair and said “I am in room 149 if you guys want to stop by.” I just said ok… it was kind of weird. Rose and I had a laugh about it later. This morning we were downstairs eating breakfast and we saw 149 again. He stopped in front of our table and said “I’m still in 149.”  We both just said ok and left it at that. Rose had to go get things set up for class, so I stayed back at the hotel and decided to lay in the sun and pool again. I was alone in the pool area when out of the corner of my eye, I saw a bald head look into the pool area. He turned around and I just had a feeling he was going to come back in his swim trunks. Sure as shit, there he was. And he sat in the lounger next to me. I didn’t say anything for a while and when I got too hot, I went for a swim in the pool. I stood and took off my shorts and as I turned to face him, I saw his eyes quickly close. I got out of the pool and laid back down and we said hello. He asked where my friend was and I told him she was at a meeting. Then he said “I thought I made you guys leave the hotel, I saw you with your bags this morning. [we had to move rooms today.] Eventually he went into the pool. I used that as my opportunity to get out of the pool and go to my room without being followed. I don’t know if he would’ve followed me but I felt uncomfortable.

So that is that! Class starts tomorrow and I am really excited to go learn, meet new people, and see a friend I met in South Africa. More to come soon!

California Dreamin…

Heading in the right direction…

I went to the doctor today. First of all, I feel hopeful. I had a doctor that actually listened to me. She wanted to help me. That in itself was amazing and gave me hope. I was emotional [no surprise there…] but all of this stuff that has been going on has taken a toll on me. I just want to feel better.  I hope I am heading in that direction.

Well, there is nothing wrong with my thyroid. My a1c is normal, I am not diabetic. There are probably a lot of other tests the doctor could’ve ran, but being without health insurance, she didn’t want to run them because they are expensive.  She said that there wasn’t anything screaming out at her that she thought I might have, that would require a test, so for now we are treating for fibromyalgia. Most of my pain and symptoms are pointing to that. The sleep part might be because I wake up in the middle of the night in pain. I am going to try medicine for that and go back to the doctor in 4-6 weeks to see how it is helping.

I am looking forward to this working. I want to be going into a positive direction. I want more energy throughout the day. I want to sleep through the night without being in so much pain. I don’t want to feel lazy because I am so tired. I’m ready to feel good again.

Heading in the right direction…

Vulnerability…

I have been having a lot of emotions lately and quite frankly, it is exhausting. I feel like I need to write a lot, but I have been sitting here, just staring at my computer screen… I know I have things to say, but I don’t know what to say or how to say it.

I am exhausted. I am struggling to find motivation to do some things. I get out of bed and I can go to work, but when I get home, it is a struggle to make dinner, do the dishes, do laundry, or write my case notes. I hate admitting it. I feel lazy. I’m not lazy. I want to do things… I just feel so tired. All the damn time… I don’t know what to do. I wake up feeling tired. I struggle to sleep at night. Some nights I sleep fairly well, but I still wake up feeling so tired. I go to work and can do my job, but I get home and I just sit. My dishes will pile up before I actually do them… I hate talking about this. I feel vulnerable and that I will be judged. But I am hoping that writing about it will be helpful in a way… who knows…

I am also struggling with the emotions that come with me doing the job I am doing. I want to be helpful. I want to be the best that I can be. But some days, it feels like I am failing. Some days, I wonder if I am doing my job well. Some days, I feel like I just can’t do it. But then I also have many times where I feel like I am doing well. I feel like I am making a difference. I feel like I am doing what I am supposed to do. That up and down of emotions takes a lot out of me. I just want to do well. I want help people.

I miss the therapist I had when I was living in Torrington. Talking to him was helpful. I am setting something up to talk with him over the phone soon.

I don’t want this to sound too negative. I really am happy with my life and my job. I just hate the exhaustion. The up and down emotions exhaust me. I want to be confident that I am doing my job well and that I am helping people.

Vulnerability…