Hello? Is anyone there?
I’ve missed you. Though I promised to write more in 2015, I have neglected my wonderful little corner of the Internet that is my blog. The hiatus was good. But I’m back feeling incredibly inspired to write and share what’s going on in my life. So get comfortable. Go make yourself a cup of tea or coffee or any beverage of choice. Grab your dog if you have one, snuggle up, and allow me to steal a few moments of your day with my words and ramblings. I hope you enjoy them.
This past Monday, I began the adventure of pursuing my Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Georgia State University. Actually, I take that back — I began my adventure of pursing my Master’s degree last Saturday, in the middle of a heavily-wooded section of metro Atlanta, dangling by a string on a high ropes course.
I have expected this course of study to be life-changing. I figured I have been well-groomed for it: in the past year, I took the trip of a lifetime to New Zealand and took part in some serious soul-searching. I quit a good-paying job that made me unhappy. I stepped out of my comfort zone — predictability, stability, routine — and relied on the Providence of God to lead me where I am today. (And let me tell you: if you like routine and control and stability as much as me, this was not a walk in the park). But in the midst of my fears and doubts, I was — and still am– continually astounded by how well my needs were met; when I decided to pursue a career as a counselor, I felt as though every obstacle that could hinder my progress was obliterated. I felt like the path ahead of me was well lit and clear; all I had to do was walk.
What I did not expect in this life-changing course of study was how quickly I would deal with some of my worst fears.
Fun Fact: I’m afraid of heights when I don’t feel secure. I feel safe on a rollercoaster, but not on a Ferris Wheel. I’ve been trying to make sense of it myself for years.
As it turns out, I do not feel very safe in a harness dangling from a wire while 4 or 5 stories above solid ground.
But this was the beginning of my graduate school journey. I spent the day getting to know my fellow cohort and professors in the context of a ropes course. Communication, trust, and camaraderie were established quickly. And through their encouragement and my own personal will power, rendered from the depths of my soul and not without some real fear and anxiety, I finished the high ropes — complete with two zip lines to the ground that turned out to be AWESOME. I’ll zip line all day long.
On the first day of class, I didn’t walk in to strange faces. I felt an immediate bond with the people around me. I’m so grateful to be learning alongside such wonderful people — people who will be my professional colleagues and friends.
My classes are interesting, challenging and wonderful. My professors are brilliant, and I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to learn from them.
A few people in the program have told me the first semester is an emotional upheaval — and I experienced a taste of that on Thursday in one of my classes. During our very first lecture, I was moved to tears by the candor and encouragement of my professor.
This semester, I will learn how to become a helper.
I will immerse myself in techniques and skills.
I will discuss, in depth, some of my worst fears — like losing the people I love.
I will learn how the human body can heal after unspeakable pain and tragedy.
I will read more than I’ve ever read before.
And I will never be the same.