05 June 2010
What Are You Waiting For?
This is the last mosaic I worked on before putting all my stuff away to clear room for my parents' visit, and although it doesn't feel finished I have hung it up so I remember every day that "someday" will never happen if I don't find ways, however small, to live my dreams here and now. My family got some less than fabulous medical news this week and I sense more strongly than ever that any moments spent in anguish, strife, or just idle indecision are a waste of the gift I've been given -- the huge gift of my life.
To help my family and be more present for my kids I have dropped down to half-time in school (from 3 courses to 1 per quarter) and will probably stay there for my final 2 courses, extending my program another 3 months and thus delaying internships until January. In the meantime, however, I am volunteering with a local home health care social worker and am about to start volunteering with a local drug/alcohol counselor; and I might also be starting a paid part-time gig with a social services agency that works with "at-risk" youth. After 20 months of coursework, I feel ready to learn about the practical side of counseling but not ready to actually offer counseling, especially given what is going on and how it is surely affecting my emotional state. Funny how most of it happens under the surface; much of the time I am functioning okay -- as long as absolutely nothing stressful happens -- or else am in kind of a shocky deer-in-the-headlights state of being that looks normal enough. So observing other therapists and social workers will help me learn and gain confidence in my skills, but not put me on the spot to actually do anything that I don't feel prepared to do.
I am grateful to have my parents here with me, and kids who are still cuddly and huggly, and good friends, and a big happy dog who loves road trips and lives in the moment, and my art, especially my photography, that allows me to keep looking for and at all the beauty the world has to offer. I could "protect" myself and love small, "[pick] the tiniest stars out of the sky to own.... A woman, a child, a brother -- a big love like that would split you wide open" (Toni Morrison, Beloved, p. 162). To create first stalk, then leaf, then flower and fruit, the seed must yield itself to the earth and split wide open; not to do so is to die unrealized....