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.

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Who am I?!

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…

The dreamer of impossible dreams.

As I sit here reflecting on my life, I can’t help but smile because of where I am. When I was at Grand Valley, living in Michigan, and working at Pizza Hut, I had no idea what I was going to do with a psychology degree. I didn’t think I was smart enough to get my Masters and even if I wanted to, I had no idea what I would have gotten it in.

Then Ryan enters my life. Because of him, I left my home state, the only state I had ever lived in, to follow him to Wyoming. It may not have been the best idea, because we broke up less than a year after I moved to be with him. Looking back, I think I always knew it wasn’t going to last, but I was hopeful. I decided to stay in Torrington, however. I had a good job, I felt like I was making a difference in children’s lives, and I had made some good friends. I was living so far away from my parents, my home, and my comfort… but I was succeeding. I was living on my own and I was making it. It felt good. However, it was there that I really started struggling with depression and with the encouragement from some coworkers, I decided to start therapy. I didn’t know where to start, but someone recommended the person that would become my therapist. What an incredible man who is great at what he does. I was SO nervous to start that first session, but, again, I jumped out of my comfort zone and went. What a help it was. What a great feeling to go talk to someone, someone who didn’t know me, someone who wouldn’t judge me. I went to see him regularly and it was such a help to me. Then, after living out there for a couple of years, I was encouraged to apply to school to start my Master’s program in counseling. I definitely did not think I was smart enough to do it and was almost certain I was not going to be accepted… however, I applied. I was accepted into the program. What?! Me?! Getting a Master’s degree?? Who would have ever thought!! I was on academic probation for my first year due to my undergrad GPA not being high enough, but I was motivated to get the grades I needed to to get off of probation. With the help of friends in the program with me, I was able to be successful. I was getting grades I never thought I’d ever get. Grades I certainly didn’t get while doing my undergrad work. I was feeling very proud of myself. I was working full time at a very stressful and demanding job, while doing school. I got through all of my classes and it was time to start my practicum. Like those I worked with that were also in the program, it was only natural to want to do my practicum at St. Joes, since I was working there anyway. I was able to do that and got Nancy as my supervisor. She was wonderful and taught me so much. I had one client that I was doing individual and family therapy for, along with observing and helping in different groups. It was my first taste of being an actual counselor and I was scared and felt inadequate. However, I had amazing support and guidance. I got through my practicum and then it was time to get things in order for my internship. When I first started my Master’s program, I assumed and planned on doing my internship at St. Joes as well. However, other things were in store for me. I talked with the clinical supervisor at St. Joes, assuming I was going to be told I was able to do my internship there, only to be told that kid numbers were down and there wouldn’t be enough work for me to do my internship there. I was devastated and scared. What was I going to do? Where would I do my internship? I thought about the prison in Torrington, however, I really wanted to continue my work with children. It looked like I was going to have to move somewhere to do it… but where would I go? At that time, I had been in a long distance relationship with someone in Sheridan. Four hours away from Torrington. It was awful not being able to see him regularly. I hated only being able to see him for a weekend a month. It was difficult to plan times because we had different work schedules. I felt like this relationship was going to go somewhere, so I started looking for places to do my internship in Sheridan and near there. I got on the internet and started emailing people and sending in resumes. I didn’t hear back from many places, but I did hear back from on in Buffalo. It was a private practice and it was working a lot with children. It definitely caught my interest. It took a little while, but finally I was able to connect with Rose and we met at Starbucks in Sheridan for a chat. I felt hopeful but I still had to wait. I still had to meet and talk with Jamie. What if this didn’t work out?? What would I do then? Luckily, it all worked out, and I feel like I am where I am supposed to be.

I was able to quit St. Joes after working there for 5 years. What an incredible experience that was. I learned so much that will be able to help me continue working with children. I am so thankful for the job I had there and the great people I met because of it. I was so excited to be moving to Buffalo, to be only a half an hour away from Steven, and to start something new. However, the Steven thing did not work out, as he broke up with me, THROUGH TEXT, a few weeks before I was supposed to move to Buffalo. What the heck was I going to do now? I had already quit my job, I planned on starting my internship at the end of August, but I couldn’t move to a city where I knew no one and my only contact was no longer in the picture, could I?! I could… In August 2015, I moved to Buffalo, scared out of my mind, knowing no one and starting a new job that I had very little experience in. Little did I know at the time, it was the greatest move I had ever made. As sad as I was that Steven and I did not work out, it was because of him that I moved up here and for that I am forever grateful. I started my internship and I couldn’t have asked for a better supervisor. I had opportunities to sit in on supervision with her, Jamie, and Byron. I have learned experiential play therapy and sand play therapy. I have had a wide age range of clients and put out of my comfort zone. I have worked with 3 year old children and 66 year old adults and everything in between. I have had a couple of high school aged girls which was a major leap out of my comfort zone. I have been so blessed to learn, learn, and continue to learn. So the only thing standing between me and graduating with my Master’s degree was getting all of my internship hours, doing my portfolio, and my orals. Getting my hours was no problem. We were busy. I had a lot of clients and I was loving it. I got my portfolio done and scheduled my orals and oh my goodness was I nervous for them!! However, I had reassurance from people who had taken them before me and my day came and went. I passed and they were not as bad as I thought they were going to be. I had done it. I had completed my schooling career at Chadron State College and I was going to be getting my Master’s degree. I was in awe of myself, my accomplishments and how far I had come in my life. I felt proud.

So here I am now. Still in Buffalo. Provisionally licensed and busy. I still have so many learning opportunities available to me and thanks to Rose, I am making those a reality. I will be traveling with her to South Africa in September. I am scared about that, but beyond excited. It is going to be an incredible experience and I am going to learn everything that I can. I love Buffalo and the clients I am working with. I am also dating the most incredible person. I am happy. I am happy with the sad times in my life that have gotten me to where I am now. I am happy with my job. I am happy with my relationship. I am looking forward to what is to come and I am able to jump into scary situations because of all that I have done so far. I am so thankful for the support I have from my family and friends. I don’t know if I would be where I am if I didn’t have them encouraging me along the way.

The dreamer of impossible dreams.