I will be the first to admit that I love to fix. It is part of the reason I decided to become a counselor. Of course what I learned in the life journey that was my Masters degree was that you cannot fix what you did not break; and sometimes you cannot even fix what you did. I wanted all the guilded butterflies. Maybe I thought that by fixing others I could fix myself. Isn’t that usually how the plight of the psychologist goes? In any case, I quickly learned the ignorance of that.
“I want to help people help themselves!” I settled on that when people asked how I stumbled into my profession. I wanted to inspire people to change, whether it was through counseling or through modeling (which meant I needed to become an exemplar). That’s a lot of pressure to take on, and subsequently supports the skewed thinking that once again something that I do may stop others from hurting. Was I in school learning to be a martyr? And honestly how arrogant to think that somehow I could be enough for both of us, all of us.
“I want to live a healthy, full life where I never stop learning and loving.” That’s where I am now. I’ve become good at discerning which things are not healthy for my mental and spiritual well-being, I’m working on the physical, and I take it all in stride. I feel much more at peace that I ever have and even though sometimes my ego gets the best of me, I try to forgive myself immediately. Isn’t that what love is? Repetitive and infinite forgiveness. As far as my profession goes, well my passion is still in people but it has become less about what I can give and more about what we can give each other. I do not have all the answers, not by a long shot but I will share my life with you and we can get through whatever it is together if you want. In the traditional counseling role you’re not supposed to verbally share too much of yourself, but in that place…in that space…you can’t help but to share your Self. Your patience, your understanding, your listening, your empathy, your heart all that of that is shared in those intimate moments. Its certainly foolish to think that the client is the only one getting something from the session. I cherish intimate time and deep connections. I love real conversations and prefer those over small talk any day that ends with ‘y’.
I shared with a friend of mine that I may have an opportunity to pursue Sorority X soon. She asked me why I waited so long? I told her it hadn’t felt right until now. True story. The older I get the more I see how absolutely pertinent it is to serve. To give openly of the things not easily given. It was actually through service that we found one another, really. Kind of like meeting your future husband at the library and he’s returning the book you’ve been waiting to check out. I remember sitting in play therapy when Gary Landreth said, “This is true of children, and really everybody, they change when they feel the freedom not to have to.” Carrie said it too, “And If You Find Someone to love the You You Love, Well, That’s Just Fabulous.” All the trying in the world would not have sped it up any faster, nor would I have been any more ready than I am right now. Things just happen, and in their own time. We do not have to draw conclusions, they come.
If there’s anything I would mark as a theme of my twenties it would be patience. I had to learn to have patience with others, patience with myself, patience with my career, my love life, my weight, my hair, my education, the list goes on and on into the infinite abyss. Everyone changes and people will surprise you if you just wait long enough. Someone famous said that. Randy Pausch. Yes! He said if someone has made you angry just give them time, and in time they will impress you. It has happened of friends, family, loves, and clients. If we’re all a little bit broken, how do we know what whole is? If you just give it time the beauty of everyone will become apparent. Finding the beauty…That has been my twenties.
(this blog was written in reflective response to the article: 11 things to know at 25-ish thanks to The Dreamer for sharing)