Switching Gears

It’s funny how life goes sometimes. You prepare the best you can and then you have to make the best of what happens. Two years ago at this time I was having the time of my life in Paris and going on road trips to the countryside. This year is drastically different as I’ll be going into the office and working with clients. But to be fair, I was in Paris earlier this year so I can’t complain. The field of social work is so varied and throughout my career so far I have found myself in a lot of different settings playing multiple roles. My recent venture has me once again diving into the world of being a therapist. It’s a role that I haven’t been in consistently for a while, but one that I went to school for when the medical school plan didn’t work out. Contrary to popular belief, it’s so much more than just listening to people. Working at an outpatient clinic and working with the general public pretty much means that I deal with a little bit of everything. I don’t have a specialty or a specific diagnosis that I primarily work with. Every client requires a different skill set and theoretical framework. It really makes me grateful that I had an amazing post-graduate education that is actually paying off.  A lot of clients just want to know that it’s ok to not be ok. It’s a change in pace from running around constantly in a hospital and doing a lot of case management. So far so good I guess. We’ll see what the rest of this year brings.

What I’m watching now

I admit that I really like Netflix because it’s so easy to binge-watch and the next episode starts automatically after the last one. I’ve been working my way through the current season of Orange Is The New Black and I have to say that it’s not as great as I thought it would be so far. I really liked the series when it focused on Piper and I understood as the storyline expanded to give the stories of others who were incarcerated. While it’s been keeping my attention I haven’t been captivated and I’m about halfway through the season. I’ve also started watching Season 4 of Being Mary Jane (late I know) and it has been so interesting so far. The therapist in me is intrigued by all the family dynamics in the show and I can identify with some of the characteristics of the lead character, Mary Jane. She has good intentions but has been burned by love so many times and doesn’t always go with her gut. She’s trying to make it in a cutthroat field and has numerous distractions that she tries to get through. Mary Jane is navigating a relationship and her career aspiration at the same time and is trying to balance both. It’s been an eventful season so far and I’m intrigued to know how it’ll end. I’ve also been following The Bachelorette for the first time ever and it’s actually really good. Unfortunately, a lot of the guys I were rooting for have been sent home but I think that there are some good ones left.

Work or travel mode

I have to admit that I tend to be an all or nothing type of person. While I try my best to be flexible, I’m happier when things go my way. Traveling has become a pretty big hobby for me now but I find that it’s difficult to switch between vacation mode and work mode. Weekend trips are great but they tend to end too soon and it’s hard to not think about work when you have 48 hours before you have to go back. It’s easier for me to work hard for a period of time and then go exploring than to switch back and forth. I like longer vacations because I think that it actually gives you time to unwind and relax. As much as a regular job with minimal time off can be exhausting, it’s important to have something to look forward to as motivation. When I’m in work mode I’m a homebody. I’m focused and I’m counting down the days to vacation. I’m not looking for new places to explore because I’m focused on doing what I need to do in order to take a much needed break.

To My Fellow Women, Life Isn’t Just About Finding A Boyfriend — Thought Catalog

Gabi E. MulderTo the girls who go on dates after dates, looking for the “one”. For the women who hopelessly wait for the man of their dreams to show up at their door any second, and for the ones who feel miserable about themselves because they don’t have a significant other, life is so much…

via To My Fellow Women, Life Isn’t Just About Finding A Boyfriend — Thought Catalog

What Everyone is Talking About Right Now

I haven’t done a lot of posts on current world events, but like most of the world I was shocked and saddened by the events that happened this week at the church in Charleston. As someone who lived a relatively short distance from the Aurora theater shooting, this incident affected me in a different way. It wasn’t the act of a deranged person, it was someone who targeted a group of people solely because of the color of their skin. Someone who knew that most people don’t carry their weapons to church and who tend to be vulnerable not only emotionally but physically as well. Race related crimes are nothing new in this country. They’ve been happening for hundreds of years and despite the assertions of many idealistic and sadly misguided persons, we don’t live in a post-racial society. The election of someone to the highest office in the country doesn’t erase the attitudes that have been over a hundred years in the making. As soon as the incident happened people began to talk about the excuses that would be made for the shooter. Just like clockwork it happened with almost all the news circuits searching high and low to find a motive that did not involve race. They painted it as an isolated incident and something that is outside of the norm. Black people have been specifically targeted and killed for long period of time and it continues to happen. Since this incident there have been more discussions about increased security measures in churches than the deeper issue of racially motivated massacres. I was reading some tweets the other day that discussed the fact that there is an expectation that black people just forgive and move on. That they continue to turn the other cheek and refuse to classify all people of a certain race into a negative category–a luxury that they’ve never had at any point in this country. It just doesn’t make sense to me and I don’t think it ever will. There’s a lot of racist people in the South, but there’s also a lot of racist people everywhere. It’s an issue that most people are either reluctant to address or stay in denial that there is one. I’ve never been an optimist and at this point I have absolutely no faith in humanity. It’s a shame.

Social observation

Recently I had the chance to observe a group in a festive social setting. I’m a people watcher by nature and I enjoy observing the interactions around me. I’ve often said that if I wasn’t so emotionally infested I would center my dissertation around the study of those interactions. The first thing I do after going into a room is to do a quick scan to see who is there. After this I usually immediately locate the top four most attractive people in the room. It’s not that I have any bad motives. It’s just a habit I have as I’ve noticed that attractive people seem to carry themselves differently. Maybe it’s because they have more confidence and see the world from a different perspective. I’m not a huge fan of new social environments but it’s interesting to see how social norms and cues inform behaviors.

Instinct

Back in May of this year I took a weekend trip to Dallas and was introduced to this book by some friends. I’ve always been wary of self help books, but this one was different. Lately I’ve been running into a lot of people who just seem stuck. They work, go home and repeat for years without really doing anything different. They always talk about places they want to travel to but they know they’ll never go. Their lives consist of the mundane without any plans to change their routine. I am deathly afraid of becoming one of those people. This book was honestly one of the top three books I read this year. It focuses specifically on becoming the best you that you can be by making use of your unique talents and gifts. Jakes uses great examples and simple language to encourage the reader to take inventory of his or her passions and then use them to make a difference in the world. The biggest challenge in doing this is that it requires you to get out of your comfort zone and leave the familiar. You’re exchanging security for freedom. But the end result to doing this is fulfillment and the opportunity to actually leave a legacy that you’re proud of.

IMG_2248.PNG