This is my second post of the year (sad face, kind of.) That’s just the way it’s supposed to be, I imagine. I’m trying to get my life, ya’ll!
I didn’t plan it that way, but I am also very much about not forcing what is not coming organically. Writing is my happy place, not my deadlines and forced writing place. Occasionally, I did feel that nudge to get something down on paper, but I also don’t like writing just to write. I am very much about content, not just about post numbers. 2017 is bringing a lot of changes, and I’m both excited and ready. Here’s what’s been rockin’ my world thus far:
- In the tune of self-care, I have decided to cut down my work hours per week. I currently hold a full-time and part-time job, and I used to work 3 afternoons a week, but as of January I cut that down to 2 nights. Yes, I’ll miss the money but I really love having my Monday nights back.
- I am gearing up for the next physical move in life. I’m saying adios to the DMV! I’m hitting on 5 years in the area (come August), and I’m ready for something new! More details to come… #newcity2017
- I have to start DISCARDING stuff from my apartment. Namely my paperwork and things I’ve accumulated from graduate school. To prepare for this, I’m reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up (audiobook.) https://www.amazon.com/Life-Changing-Magic-Tidying-Decluttering-Organizing/dp/1607747308
- Speaking of books, I have a 6 book goal for 2017. That sounds like an elementary goal, but it’s realistic for me and I make no apologies for it. Work is the main thing that keeps me from leisure reading, and the other part has been that I “consume” a lot and have no desire to read outside of that. I’m working on it, because I do miss getting lost in books.
- Work is work. There’s peak high and low times, I’m currently about to hit the peak “pre-spring break” time. IEP meetings galore, therapy, testing and everything in-between happens crazily in the days leading up to spring break. This year, we have spring break a little bit later in the year, which means the weather will be getting nicer and hopefully we won’t have any crazy snow storms. I don’t mind the days off, I just don’t want to extend the school year past June 12th! The good thing is when we come back from spring break, it’ll be almost May, a less-than 2 month countdown to the end of the school year.
- I want to pierce my nose. I have always liked nose piercings, but wasn’t sure how professional this “appeared.” I think nose piercings are more accepted now (even those septum piercings are very common) and so I’m going to go ahead and do it! #newpiercing2017
- I’m tired of working for other people, so I’m going to slowly and surely start my own contracting business. Nothing to it but to do it. This has been on my mind for almost a year, gotta set it in action!
- Love has found its way back to me. We are making it work with effort and transparency. I’m happy.
What’s currently rockin’ your world?
Last night, I stumbled upon a great article on Tactus Therapy about transitioning settings as a speech language pathologist (from schools to medical.) It’s very scary to think about making drastic changes, but I’m learning the older I get that without risk, there’s no reward. I think the most stifling feeling when it comes to work is the thought of being “stuck” or that you don’t have any options. Every speech language pathologist I’ve come in contact with, has chartered their own path. I love listening to “how I got here” stories. I’ve met veterans in school systems, private practice owners, doctoral students, clinicians who aspire to effect change on the state and local level by being active in State organizations, and I’ve read about SLP’s who have landed dream jobs abroad. Many hats, same passion.
I am also a Reddit lurker, because sometimes one can stumble upon the most provoking threads. In our field, sometimes it’s hard to find the answers you’re looking for by searching a simple Google question. I remember a big question that my graduating class had was realistic salary expectations coming out of school. I know there are many factors to consider (setting, hours, productivity, etc.), but I think having that information is empowering (especially in a female-dominated field where the N word is difficult.) Salary is not something you go up to a professor and discuss casually, and we (as a class) got the feeling that it was neither “proper” or “professional” to expect a direct answer or number. But it sure would have been helpful. In my experience in reading Reddit threads, people are more willing to share numbers to strangers across the interwebs. The transparency is just one aspect that we may lose in the spirit of “decorum.”
I’m writing this because I’m recognizing very early that the school setting is not a long-term reality for me. I’ve learned a lot in the 3 years (one year CF, and 2 “on my own”) from 2 different school districts. I have a lot of respect for everyone involved with keeping schools running, however, it is not for everyone. It is a tiresome, thankless job that no one does for money. But you’ve probably already heard that tune. I think the most exciting question to answer is… so what’s next?
The aforementioned article closes with the the thought that one should “travel toward what excites them, not away from what scares them.” In other words, it’s all about perspective. Recognizing what’s NOT for you is just as important as what is. The journey is the fun part, and the plan is what drives the goal. This year, I am embracing the plan and not becoming overwhelmed by big tasks. I’m striving to take a step every day towards not settling, committed to staying fulfilled, motivated and present.
How do you stay motivated when finding the right work setting?
“Now I use the word happiness very loosely because happiness is not a place where you can live. It is more like a space we cross through periodically, sometimes more frequently or for longer duration than other times…”
It’s October 7th and I’m sitting on my couch debating on whether I want to cook dinner or pop something ready-made in the oven. My blog has been unfamiliar to me for awhile. Radio silence in August and September. Those are very busy times for school-based therapists. Not only is work gearing up speed, but life also be life-ing. You know what I mean. Life continues to be life- victories, upsetting moments, change of weather, change of mood, we loose daylight, changes, changes, changes. Some more drastic than others.
Fall and spring are two of my favorite seasons, in spite of being born in the summer. Fall reminds me that there’s no place like having a home to call your own. It is about getting cozy on the couch, drinking chai tea latte and baking pumpkin spice cake. It’s a season to prepare for the cold winter, because as we know, winter is coming. Fall is also about taking advantage of what’s left of the year before we usher in resolutions, new intentions, and the realization that “damn! Time flies.”
I’m in another transition time. It’s been stirring for a little while. It’s not comfortable and can be scary to think about, but it’s something I want. There’s more places for me to see in this lifetime, more to do, and the DMV area has been real. I’ve had highs of highs and lows of lows here. I got my Master’s degree, a professional license, life-long mentors, and an experience at an HBCU. I fell in love in all its glory and pain. I got my own apartment. I bought my first 2 cars (not simultaneously, yet.) I have a retirement plan. I’ve developed a love for painting and art. I’ve come to appreciate what this move meant to me, and how it has propelled me into what I consider to be an “adult.” Not only am I proving to myself that I can take care of myself financially, but I’m dedicated to working on my mental health by staying consistently in therapy. That’s my life right now.
Adulting and life-ing ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. But today I’m thankful for the support I have around me, those I love and that love me, my career, my passion and my drive. There’s nowhere to go but forward.
It’s Wednesday. But an atypical Wednesday. I am halfway through my vacation in the Outerbanks (OBX), North Carolina. It’s about 6:26 pm. Today, I woke up a little after 8am to make breakfast for about 12 people and then spent most of the day at the beach. I once thought that I couldn’t do the beach for more than 2-3 days in a row but turns out, that isn’t the case. We (B and I and his group of friends) have been here since Saturday and each day the beach offers something different. Different views, different water temperature, different crowds, different vibes. I also have never experienced “beach house” living– wide verandas, outdoor lounge areas, outside showers and a backyard pool complete with a hot tub. It’s been new experiences all around for me. If I were at home, I would be finishing up work and heading home to figure out what’s for dinner and watch TV. I prefer this kind of week much better.
I feel like this was a much needed get-away, as I’ll be going back to work in less than a month. I’m not sure what next school year holds for me, and I’m trying not to think too much about it. My mother comes to visit next week and I’m looking forward to it. Ready to soak up what left of the summer. Here are some pictures of the week so far:
I’m excited to be putting my coloring book to some use again. Since purchasing it in January it’s been sitting in my apartment with half-completed wishes collecting dust. I’ve also started reading Issa Rae’s new(ish) bio, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. Now I’m reading two books simultaneously which is always hit or miss for me. Well, hope you’re enjoying your last week of July (the best month of all.) Gotta go enjoy the sunlight while it’s still here.