This week has definitely been interesting to say the least. I’ve always hated packing things up and I was spared this mind- numbing activity by my wonderful mother who consented to be flown in from across the continent to help me pack. I had forgotten how much time and energy goes into moving considering the fact that I haven’t moved in almost 4 years. College was one of those times where I always felt like I was dissembling my life every four months when the semester ended and I used to hate having to pack while studying for finals. When I got a letter in the mail informing me of a raise in the rent I decided it was time to look at other housing options. While I love the idea of a new environment, the actual execution of packing and looking for a new apartment was very daunting. One of my retirement activities needs to be scrapbooking because I like to keep small and insignificant mementos that end up in random shoeboxes stored away. The thing about moving is that it takes some adjusting. You have to find all your favorite things, arrange your kitchen and then change your address on everything. As much as I love being spontaneous and doing new things, I’m also a creature of habit and I don’t like moving once a place becomes familiar. And while the new place qualifies as an “I made it” sort of place with many of the coveted amenities of apartments, it’s still unfamiliar and weird. I think that one of the reasons moving is stressful is because people are required to adjust to a new environment. They no longer sleep and eat in the same place. It takes some getting used to. I’ve put off buying any furniture for the past 3 years so maybe it’s time to get that done.
That moment when you want to write something profound and prolific and the brightness of your screen and the text box of blankness waiting to be filled just seems to mock your efforts of gathering your thoughts together in a coherent way. That’s how I feel. This past week has been particularly busy as I’ve started school again (oh joy) and started the transitional process on the career front. One thing that has grown during this school experience has been the respect that I have for people with spouses and/or families who are being persistent and completing their degree. Something that is talked about in the social services world is the importance of balance and self care. I’ve gotten the opportunity to talk and dialogue with people who have been therapists and social workers for years and in answer to the question of how they find balance and take care of themselves, they have said that they’re still figuring it out. I think that this is because there’s no one formula. I went to a training this week about working with individuals who have experienced trauma. The main thoughts behind this specific modality was that stress is stored in the body and it need to be expressed in some form in order to reduce symptoms of depression and/or anxiety. The interesting thing about it was that the presenter asserted that one of the reasons why stress is not expressed and stays in our bodies is because we decide to ignore it. We distract ourselves with food, exercise, books, activities, etc that mask our true need of confronting the traumas and experiences that are the sources of our stress. In the therapy world these things are known as coping skills. That being said, I think that a lot of people (including myself at times) have gotten use to artfully dodging their own issues and have instead channeled all that energy to another activity instead of confronting their own past hurts. It’s a hard place to be in and nobody wants to get uncomfortable even if it’s just to heal from past hurts. Uncomfortableness is hard.
I’ve had awesome opportunities to travel this year. I’ve posted on quite a few of them. I’m in the process of finalizing the plans for the last few trips of the year. This year has been full of changes and I can honestly say that I feel like a different person from the one I was in January. It’s funny how a change of perspective can also change your actions. While I’ve always made decisions based on my career goals and professional opportunities, it’s time to make some for more personal reasons. Like something as trivial as happiness or a comforting illusion like security or stability. The truth of the matter is that we won’t live forever and we aren’t allowed do-overs in life. That being said, I think life is too short to spend substantial amounts in places you don’t like for the purpose of professional goals. We are all familiar in some way with sacrifices needed in order to get where we want to get in life. But it quickly becomes pointless when sanity is sacrificed and self care is abandoned. So there is a choice that has to be made. The choice to do something for you instead of for your goals. It’s time.