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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

These Changes

Lately, I've felt like I've been doing everything and nothing at once. That probably makes no sense to you, so allow me to clarify the way I always do: a really long post with a lot of feelings-words and .gifs.

I'm just gonna be upfront about this:

I am taking one class. I have no job.

"But wait, I thought you were getting an MPA?!?!" you may ask. "And I thought you had a super impressive graduate assistantship that you bragged about like an asshole?" you may also ask.

Well. Things have changed. A LOT. Remember in my last post when I referred to my dad's death as "rocking the foundation of my life" (lol how dramatic)? It's true. Everything is different now. I'm different now. This isn't a bad thing, but it can be overwhelming and scary.

In the weeks leading up to and immediately after his death, I was in a depressive and anxiety-ridden tailspin. May 2014 will go down in my personal history as the worst month of my life. I was truly unable to function, and apparently you need to be able to function to do graduate school and a job. So, I pulled out of the assistantship and dropped out of classes, save for the final requirement to earn my MSW, as I knew I needed something to show for all of that time, effort, money, agony, blood, sweat, tears, tantrums, and procrastination. After a short time of feeling like a failure and a quitter, I am now completely at peace with this decision. I realized something I should have a long time ago: I don't want to do any of this shit. I don't want to be a social worker. I hate school. I don't think this MPA program is right for me. I needed to listen to my gut, and I wasn't doing that. This traumatic and heart-wrenching experience became the catalyst for significant change that I didn't realize was necessary.

So now I'm back to square one. What does square one look like? Hmm... it's a lot of free time, reading, writing, talking, pondering, worrying, and self-care. It's also a lot of therapy in various forms. I've just started dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) to help me reign in my crazy and Joel and I are going through grief counseling with the Grief Recovery Institute, which I would highly recommend if you've ever suffered any kind of loss (so if you're a person). I'm still seeing my regular therapist I've been with for almost seven years. I've started meditating using Headspace and can already feel the benefits. I'm in the early stages of looking for a life coach, as suggested by Joel, who has had a life coach since before we met and who also happens to be great at life. I've also noticed people I admire like Stephanie who have life coaches and have taken the steps to make their dreams come true and I was like:

Source: awesome gifs
Sometimes it feels self-indulgent and egocentric to be taking this time for myself. I feel guilty when I consider other people, close friends, who could benefit from a time like this, but are unable to make it happen for various reasons. I worry people will judge me and think of me as lazy, and I get anxious that I'm not making money. But Joel, of course, has been unbelievably supportive, and his feelings about this are really all that matter. It works for our family right now and it isn't forever. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I'm on the right path. I feel more at peace in our marriage than ever, and I'm cultivating wonderful friendships both new and old. I still have bad days where things get overwhelming and it's difficult to find a reason to get out of bed. But I'm doing something I never thought I would be able to do if you asked me two months ago: I'm looking forward to the future... even if I am still a little terrified of what it holds.