What’s been rocking your world so far this Fall?
Change. The only constant, as they say.
There’s been many, many changes going on AROUND ME since and before my last post of September 21st.
- I got a real life job, in which I’m responsible for children’s communicative progress, and am also responsible for counseling and guiding their parents on the journey. I work for a pediatric private practice in which I see children from 2-12 years old. I am also contracted to a middle school, which I work 3 mornings a week.
- I moved into my own apartment, full of expansive opportunity and eerie silence.
- I began learning all the things you only learn on the job; co-workers temperaments, who I could confide in, protocols for addressing problems and concerns, how to advocate for myself and learning how to say “no.”
- I’ve become financially stressed with the sole responsibilities of rent, bills, gas, and everyday expenses.
- I leave work and dread the idea of going home to do more work (mainly, paperwork).
So basically, I am now a functioning adult in society.
Except, I’ve been barely functioning. I never stopped to acknowledge how much I have also changed in these past couple of months. This time last year my biggest responsibilities were self-serving. I prepared for exams and took copious notes, and today, I deal with more than just students or clients. I am responsible for lives. I talk to parents that want to know when their child will be “fixed” and what causes comprehension issues…
My current life beckons that I take all my “book knowledge” and practically apply it, fake it until I make it, and also cultivate skills I’ve never had to use before. I have to reassure a parent that there’s hope for more consistent progress with their child, make connections (ask questions to parents, offer information about myself) and be more open than Tracey naturally would. The Burgeoning clinician has to come out of Tracey’s shell. The Burgeoning clinician has to make small talk, The Burgeoning clinician has to think outside of direct therapy with the client, but to how the disability or delay affects the family and what “team” effort means in the regard. The Burgeoning clinician has to know what she doesn’t know, and also be humble enough to admit that some answers come with experience which comes with time.
It’s a lot. But, baby steps. And with the seasons changing, I’m changing not only on the inside…but I am at one of those moments in my life (i.e.: remember this post?) where I NEED to see a different person looking back at me in the mirror.
A woman who smiles more, who is taking it one day at a time, who is having a difficult transition from student to full time professional…but, baby steps.
I’m trying on a new crown, just needs some adjusting.
Or You’re Not Alone...
5. Depression feels like wondering if anything could ever completely take it away.
4. Depression feels like deafening silence with no one to check in on you. It feels like running hot water on your skin until you can’t bear the heat anymore.
3. Depression feels like your bed is your best friend or your worst enemy.
2. Depression feels like your thoughts have waged war on you.
1. Depression feels like a wasted life.
“According to the National Mental Health Association, depression has often been misdiagnosed in the African American community. Approximately 63% of African Americans believe that depression is a “personal weakness,” compared to the overall survey average of 54%. Only 31% of African Americans believe that depression is a “health” problem.”
If you, or anyone you love needs help call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.
You’re not alone, someone is here to listen.
In a couple of days, I’ll be signing a real lease. A lease that had an income requirement and will depend on me hustling hard to maintain my good credit history by making payments on time. I will have my own space, no roommates. Here’s what I’m looking forward to the most.
5. Adopting a kitten/cat. I’m such a cat lady! I’ve had cats growing up most of my life. I think taking care of them is still pretty tedious, but I would love the company of a cat in my otherwise lonely place! I plan to adopt a kitten come September and I’m very excited about it. If possible, I’d like to get an all-black cat, and I’d call him Frijol (which is Spanish for bean). This name is subject to change.
4. Walking around nakked. I don’t like to be cold so this won’t be realistic all year, however it’s nice to have the option. #roommatefree
3. Quiet Sunday afternoons. My ideal Sunday includes 1. wine and 2. home cooked meals. I’d rather not leave the house, except to go to church. I look forward to many low-key Sundays spent with Fri-Fri.
2. Playing my music as loud as I want. I may be a little idealistic with this, considering I still have neighbors under me and next to me. However, I’d like not to have to think about anyone else being in the apartment when I am in the mood to blast my musica!!
1. Decorating. I’m admittedly not good at this. I have pieces of art and I look forward to framing them and highlighting them throughout the apartment.. That’s about it. I don’t know anything about color schemes, blinds, drapes, nada! However, I’m open to making this place mine! :)
*taps mic* I be still here.
I’ve been dreading writing this post. Not because I didn’t want to write it, but because I wouldn’t know where to begin. There is so much satisfaction in laying in bed on a Saturday night writing. There is so much contentment with gathering my thoughts and sharing them in my safe space. I’ve been thinking about this, but my thoughts never turned into action because I haven’t been in a good mental place for a while. I’ve got great news to share, but I’m also living out of suitcases right now and my temporary “home” has been mainly my eating, showering and sleeping headquarters. I’m not complaining. Just sayin’…
First thing first: Cupcakes.
I started this blog a month before my 26th birthday. I’m 29 now! So much has happened in these 3 years. I’ve gone back to school to pursue a Master’s degree (and FINISHED!), moved to a new city, and finally became an American citizen. Since then, I’ve also traveled to Haiti (1st time), the Bahamas (2nd time) and Bermuda (1st time). This years birthday was very low key. I WORKED most of the day (#adultlife…boooo) then went out to a late dinner in what is now my favorite restaurant in the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) area. It’s called La Malinche, and it’s in downtown Silver Spring. I had Spanish tapas and sangria and it was a great night. My weekend was full of cupcakes! And I wasn’t shuring.
Next up: Contracts
You may have guessed it…I have not been blogging because I got a real life job. I got some letters behind my name! I’m a Clinical Fellow in Speech Pathology! (CF-SLP) I decided to start working at a private practice. Right now I have part time hours but come mid-August I will be a full time employee. During the day, I work at a “speech” camp for special populations. Most of the children need help with social communication, and the camp offers an ideal place where they can work on those skills with special support from therapists.
Thus far, my summer has been very interesting. Very tiring, and full of lots of changes, but I know the sacrifice now is for the best in my future. The transition is not fun, but I thank God He’s sent some awesome people in my life to help me.
So even when I come home late, eat and fall out in a bed that’s not my own…I still have to recognize that praise belongs to God. I’m holding on to that.
On my way,
“I like to be in America. Ok by me in America. Everything free in America For a small fee in America.”
One of my all-time favorite movie soundtracks is West Side Story. I’m not particularly big on musicals, however I can recite lots of songs from this classic musical and love story. There was a time when I loved going to the library and checking out CD’s to listen to, and for a while I was stuck on the West Side Story soundtrack, playing certain tracks over and over until I committed them to memory. A story of relentless love, heartbreak, turf wars, satire and cultural differences I related to the many perspectives, especially the immigrant experience.
Today was a big day for me in my immigrant experience. I took the Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America, and officially became recognized as an American citizen (after 8 years of “official” residency). I stood in the District Courthouse located in downtown D.C. with 116 immigrants at a ceremony that occurs once a month on the second Tuesday of the month. The ceremony lasted about 3 hours, with a judge presiding for about 45 minutes to deliver the Oath and officially welcome us as new defenders of the Constitution.
It’s a little bittersweet. Today, I filled out an application and put “American (USA)” after Country of Citizenship. In my heart, my homeland is the place that offered such cherished memories the first 8 years of my life. The place where I was conceived, the place that formed my first opinions about motherhood, friendships, love, fatherhood, and family. That place is Costa Rica. It is true that America molded me into the young woman I am today. I completed formal schooling here from elementary school to graduate school (In totality I’ve spent 22 years in the US). I learned English, which unlocked my voice, gift and my talent. I am offered the opportunity now to take my education and work anywhere I choose doing something I truly enjoy. It was my mother’s American Dream, and she can live it vicariously through me. Yet, I cannot deny the fact that America’s politics and history bothers me, and it is an internal conflict that I previously compartmentalized because I wasn’t officially an “American.” Now, as I am joining the voting population days before my 29th birthday and can access government jobs and many things I had been previously excluded from, I have the opportunity to come to terms with my views and decide how I want to act accordingly.
When I go home to Costa Rica, I am a gringa because most of my years were spent living outside of Costa Rica. Yet, when I am in the United States I go out of my way to let people know I’m other. I, like many other immigrants, don’t belong in any one place. I don’t mind navigating both, but I can’t deny that American citizenship with its duties, is foreign. Nonetheless, I embrace and am thankful for this day…for the freedoms afforded, for the sacrifices my mother and family made so that I could reach this goal. I cannot be ungrateful, I have to recognize my immigrant experience is a big part of what makes me Tracey. Just like Costa Rica is my heart- it represents my beginnings, America has been my home away from home and it represents my present and future.
I’m glad to be here.
crown (noun)1. any of various types of headgear worn by a monarch as a symbol of sovereignty, often made of precious metal andornamented with valuable gems.2. a similar ornamental headgear worn by a person designated king or queen in a pageant, contest, etc.3. a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth — to cover the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance.
What an exciting week! Not only did yesterday mark the official kick-off of the World Cup 2014, but Orange Is The New Black is back for Season 2 and we are almost halfway through June! I see nothing but good things in store this summer. Let’s venture through my week, shall we?
10. It’s my last month in my first apartment in D.C. ‘Tis bittersweet. On one hand, I can’t afford this overpriced place, but on the other hand it’s going to be hard loosing my “space,” getting used to the “temporary” living conditions and living out of my luggage. But hey, at least I can save some money this summer to hopefully be able to make Toronto happen.
9. Funny story. Howard’s health insurance covers services which are provided by its professional schools and hospital. I go to the dental school…for the eye candy AND to further my oral health. The last service on my treatment plan is the replacement of my crown. Crowns are not necessarily made to be replaced, they tend to last for many years but my crown had seen lots of wear and tear since I suffer from bruxism (fancy word for I grind my teeth at night while sleeping). Also, my crown was made from porcelain fused to metal and I had worn it down so much that some of the metal was starting to show. In preparation for a new crown, the student doctor takes a mold of your mouth and send it to the lab so the technicians can make you a brand spanking new crown. In the meantime, you get a temporary cap. The cap is meant to allow you to protect your tooth but it is not made from any substantial material. It is meant to mimic a real crown so the material does harden like real crown.
I know you’re wondering when I’m going to get to the story. So, here it goes. I got a temporary cap on Monday. Yesterday I ate some pasta and chips for lunch. I was leaving the house for a rooftop party and brushed my teeth. Except, I looked in my mouth and my crown was missing. I proceeded to inspect my mouth. Had it decided to pay another tooth a visit? Did it get stuck on another tooth by accident? Did I swallow the temporary crown? Dude, where’s my crown? I have no idea what happened but I blame it on the chips. My student doctor assures me I won’t die from ingesting a temporary crown. If something happens to me, you heard the story here first.
8. Orange is the New Black, Season 2 is back in full effect. Some people binge-watched the whole season in one weekend. I like to thoroughly digest each episode so I won’t do that. I’m thinking about the best way to generate posts about some of the episodes I really enjoy. I must say there’s a lot more storytelling this Season around, all of the episodes seem really heavy and “full,” if that makes sense.
7. It’s been humid as I don’t know what here in D.C., coupled with rain and thunderstorms on and off. One minute, the sun is blazing, the next minute the clouds come threatening.
6. World Cup fever begins! I must say, I really enjoy watching the NBA Playoffs (go Spurs!) and the World Cup. It’s like a world showcase and I look forward to finding some local bars here in D.C. and taking in all the highs and lows on the road to victory!
5. I got a personalized mouth guard to prevent the wear and tear on my teef at night. Since I still struggle to remove my contacts every night, we shall see how well I do with my new responsibility.
4. Yesterday, I got 2 parking tickets in one day. It made me re-evaluate how often I should be driving my car around the City. One ticket, I deserved. I had been parking in Howard’s parking lots without permits for months now. I got caught yesterday. The other was on the street and although it’s only $25, ain’t nobody got time for tickets!
3. Summer in D.C.= shenanigans, rooftop parties, bbq’s, good books, writing, picnics, good ____, brunches, happy hours. ALL in moderation.
2. Costa Rica plays their first game this Saturday, June 14th at 3pm (EST) (tomorrow!) against Uruguay. They are in a group with ALL past World Cup winners, ain’t that some….
1. I’m turning 29 next month! Don’t have anything planned, not planning anything. My only prayer is that God never removes his hand over my life. I’ve been so blessed so far, life is good. I cannot complain.
Talk Back to Me,
1. What country are you going for? (World Cup)
2. Have you ever had a dental mishap?
3. Do you watch OITNB? Why or why not?
4. What are you looking forward to this summer?
My life when I began GlobeTracer consisted of a true teaching of “going with the flow.” Although I was living in Paradise (better known as Costa Rica) I was working through a lot of growing pains. I “moved” to Costa Rica knowing I wanted to 1) work and 2) volunteer. I didn’t have a job when I moved there, and I hadn’t secured where I would be volunteering either. I lived day to day learning to appreciate the process.
My life now. I’m a recent graduate, I live in a city…and I’m transitioning from student to professional again in a field I’ve fallen in love with!
As is the tradition…my blog-o-versary handwritten letter. Click below.
MAKE SURE YOU DIDN’T MISS THESE POSTS! (Click titles!)
It’s been a month since I graduated with my Master’s degree in Speech & Language Pathology. Post-graduate life has set in and although the relaxing, sleeping late, and free days have been awesome…I’m broke! Not in a “I can’t afford happy hour, or shopping” type broke way, but in a “I can’t pay my rent this month” broke. This is my last month in my apartment and then I’ll be in “limbo” until I secure my Clinical Fellowship (more about that later). The plan is to have a pretty easy-going summer and I only have one trip planned. I have yet to make a bucket list of what I want to explore in DC. The biggest goal right now, however, is to secure a fellowship that’s a good fit and to find a summer job to supplement the shenanigans I’m trying to get into this summer!
What’s the next step?
Before I become fully licensed as a Speech Pathologist (SLP), we go through (as many allied health providers) a Clinical Fellowship (“CF”). A doctor has his/her residency, and we have our fellowship. It is basically a transition point from student to fully licensed professional. Generally it can take anywhere from 9 months-1 year to complete (however, you can take up to 4 years to complete). As a CF, one is still under supervision and mentoring from a licensed SLP, and it is almost like the last time anyone is required to help you. After your CF, you are independent and left to your own devices.
The interviews have gone well so far, unlike other job interviews, none have felt like confrontational interrogatories. Most of the time, the employers just want to know that you know something about speech pathology and talk about your clinical experiences. It feels a bit like we have the best position considering the high need, and lack of people available. We have options. I was turned down for a job last week, but I wasn’t too bummed about it because I wasn’t considering it anyway.
I’ve been trying to identify why I’ve been having so much anxiety recently.
What’s bothering me?
- I’m a Cancer, and home is pretty important to me. Although it’s going to be a short time (2 months tops), I don’t enjoy the “limbo” stage where I have to put my things in storage and have “temporary” homes.
- No money, no socializing. It’s pretty hard to go out in DC on a budget. I worked hard at Shake Shack last summer just to have extra spending money, but now that I’m done with school every penny I’m making is going toward a bill. Bills, bills, bills.
- I want to pick the right CF. Since honing in on my clinical skills is important, I have been on the search for a good CF where I’m going to be nurtured. I think I may have found it, we shall see.
- Spiritual thirst. I haven’t joined a church here and I want to earnestly find one. I have a problem making commitments right now. But I definitely want to find a church community to be a part of.
- Dating. Back on that train, and it’s been quite a ride. Part of me wants to be by myself for a while, but the extrovert part likes the company.
It’s almost a month now before I’m 29. BOOM. My blog-o-versary is in 2 days! GlobeTracer is still going strong and I’m adding more destinations to the list!
All in all, I have some things to be grateful for. Even in the midst of “limbo.”