Well, it’s been a while.
I am sitting here at my kitchen table, amidst my counseling exam study guides, flash cards, numerous empty Diet Coke cans, and crazy confusing health care policies and it hits me – I’m an adult.
When did this happen? I’m not only officially done with school (Yeah Master’s Degree!), working full time (so lucky to have a job), living in a house, and ENGAGED, (which are all fun and exciting things), I now have to pay rent, bills, car insurance, health insurance, renter’s insurance, taxes, etc…
Nobody told me about that part. YUCK.
But, wading through all the papers and Diet Coke cans floating about the craziness, I’ve had some serious reflecting about my career path lately.
Here’s what I come up with: I really, really, really, really, really, really really love my job.
Yeah, it definitely has some things that need to be fixed, and my specific job now is not where I want to be forever, but I am so incredibly fortunate to have found something I feel so passionately about at such a young age. I am constantly leaving my day at work with an optimistic feeling. So many people say to me “Oh, I could never do what you do. Just hearing all those sad stories and seeing all those crappy situations…I just don’t know how I could handle it.” Yes, I definitely have my moments where I have to take a break, or cry, or rant to my supervisor. It is really hard sometimes. Really hard. I want to help everyone so badly, and there are times when I just…I just can’t. It’s out of my control, and that can be hard to handle. I can remember the first time I realized I just could no longer do anything to help…it hits you, like a bag of bricks. That helper instinct to just wave your magic wand and fix it all is so strong sometimes. It’s really tough when you learn you just can’t do that.
There’s something, though, that a lot of people don’t even think about counseling – everyone thinks of the negative aspects of the job. For me, the best part of my day is seeing the resiliency – their strength, their fight. They want to change. Something isn’t working for them, and they just can’t figure out what that is. And the best part?! I get to help them do that. I get to help them figure it out. I don’t tell them what to do, I don’t give them advice, I simply listen, and apply those counseling skills I spent gobs and gobs of money on to learn. And when you see that *click*? Oh, oooh is it amazing. This may be incredibly selfish, but THAT is why I do what I do. When you see somebody succeed because of the therapeutic relationship you developed, somehow, magically helping them? It is indescribable. It just feels sooo good – think of all the warm fuzzies, butterflies in your stomach, and million smiles and hugs all mushed together – and you’ve got a teeny tiny idea of how it feels.
This really must be how it feels to find the career you know you were supposed to end up in.
How did I get so lucky? To have a job right out of graduation? A family and friends that supported me, encouraged me, pushed me when I couldn’t push myself any longer, until I got here? An amazing team of counselors that I get to bounce my ideas off of?
And I only have room to grow. Man, I am excited to see where this path leads me.
So, through all the big, wet tears, hours of frustration at how life sometimes works out, ranting to colleagues and professors, and studying theories and freakin’ research, it is so worth it. To get here. To right here, right now.
Yes, yes. This, this is where I am supposed to be – I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing with my life.
It feels good. :)