Wednesday, November 24, 2010

'Tis the Season to be.... Thankful!

 I tend to get wrapped up in my daily life, overlooking most of the blessings that have been directly in front of me that I sometimes.. well, a lot of the times miss. I can be very self-absorbed, and selfish and bitch and moan about the most obnoxious things you've ever heard.  Thank you to my internship, and important people in my life, I have been enlightened about being grateful for even my challenging experiences, because they are an invaluable teaching tool.  So, Thanksgiving is tomorrow and in addition to me focusing on stuffing my face and shooting da tirty point buck... I'll also be reflecting on giving thanks to the many blessings that have come my way over the past year. 

5.) My Job(s).
I have been so blessed over the past couple years, working for some preeeeeeeeeetty amazing people.  I am so blessed and thankful to have a job because a lot of people are still without.  Not only that, but my bosses and co-workers are so supportive of me trying to juggle grad school, work, and everyday life that it truly is a blessing.  Even though I tend to bitch and moan about it, I am thankful that I have it. 

4.)  Friends.
They say friends come and go like seasons, however... I am grateful for every friend I've ever had in my life because good or bad, I've learned something from them.  Friends come and go, but the memories stay forever. 

3.) Family.
Although we all tend to not see eye-to-eye and sometimes even look right past each other, I don't know what I would do with out them.  If there is one major thing I've learned about working with kids, it's that to NEVER EVER take your family for granted.  I am lucky to have them.  There is something about family that is very comforting and warm, maybe it's the unconditional love we have that bonds us through our blood.  Even if we aren't blood, or full blood, or whatever, I would give my kidney for them... or an arm!  Or maybe I take comfort in the fact that I know where my bat-shit-crazy attitude comes from.  :)

2.)  My Dad.
I truly don't know what I would do without him.  There are not enough words in the English language for me to express how thankful I am for having the best supporter there is, and that's my dad.  He's been there for me through the hardest times in my life, and he has always been the best support a kid could have.  I don't know if I would be the person I am today without having my dad in my life.  I am thankful for my dad for providing for me, allowing me to have everything to live in a safe, and secure environment and being cared for.  He provided me and my siblings with the physical means of a family, and a never-ending supply of love. I appreciate every moment I spend with him and always will. I love you, Dad!

1.) Life, Health & Strength.
I am lucky to only have the minor little bumps in my road thus far in my 23 years of living.  My strength has got me to where I am today.  Life, well...there really isn't much that needs to be said other than I love it and I wouldn't trade mine in for nothin'!

'Tis the season folks.. to remind ourselves to be thankful for what we have and who we have in our lives.  Remember not everyone gets to enjoy things like some of us do, so go out and do something good for your community, donate a turkey...or send a prayer.  :)

  "Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you."
--Princess Diana

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Selfless VS Selfish

Selfless Love VS Selfish Love.
It’s been a busy couple of days and I’ve been contemplating what my next blog will portray about my life.  Since I do an awful lot of driving.. it almost comes hand in hand with an awful lot of thinking. I found myself thinking about the kids I work with (typical...) and how I wish that I could just snap my fingers and they would be able to live a “normal” life.  But, it’s not that easy... and if it was that easy, I wouldn’t have a J-O-B. However, another thing that I am learning from these kids is love, and how they really don’t understand the true meaning. Now don’t get me wrong, not that they don’t understand what love is.. but most of these kids were never taught what “Love” is, otherwise they wouldn’t be where they are now. Then of course, I started pondering about myself and wondering about my own love, and if I really know what it truly means to me anymore.  
I don’t like being selfish-- not with people I know, people I work with, people I “love”, and not with strangers. I may feel good in the moment when I look out for myself, but I have a terrible guilty conscious when I ignore someone else’s needs and favors for my own.  I really think the world is more of an enjoyable place when I treat people with consideration.  I tend to like myself better when I fight my instinct to fight (here is where my patience should set it!).  I realize that I AM a better person when I challenge my urge for instant gratification, but sometimes it’s too damn hard to just be selfless.  Especially now.  
Being selfless has been tough for me lately because I think I get too caught up in my own stress and problems.  I find myself loosing my patience (which I’m working on/blogging about...) with the people around me and the people I love the most because I get too caught up in my “other world”--which consists of school & internship.  Lately, I have this constant feeling that my needs are imperative and I’m having a hard time getting them off my mind long enough to consider what other people want. I think it’s in human nature to do what we think will make us happy. I fixate myself on little goals like rushing everywhere (even if it means cutting someone off), and not taking my time on homework.  Oops.  
Here are some things that I would like to challenge my selfish instincts:
1.) I have to ask myself: “What would the person I want to be, do?” 
Well, I remind myself that I want to be a good person and that I’m working my way to being a good therapist, which I would consider being a selfless job.  
2.) I think about what’s going on with the people around me.  
What do I mean by this?  I mean triggers and the whole “I’m gonna get them back” attitude.  What if there is something seriously wrong with the person in front of me, behind me ect... did they have a bad day?  Do they have cancer?  Is that why they are acting like this?  If I empathized about how they felt, I think I’d be less likely to be demanding about my own way. 
3.) What will the “future me” think?
Will I be able to look back and think of myself as a good person, or a cold hearted bitch?   I want to be proud of who I am and who I was and I don’t want to look back and dwell about the mistakes I made when I couldn’t fight my selfish instinct. Dwelling on the past is already a huge issue of mine and I want to try and better myself, well...for the better.  
4.) I want to renew someone’s faith in people. 
There are a lot of people and a lot of kids in this world who think that no one cares about anyone but themselves.  It’s a really sad thing, and it really saddens me that people have been so hurt that they’ve written everyone else off.  I’d like to make a person question whether it’s possible for people to redeem themselves by showing more consideration. 
          I believe that everyone cares, even if it is just a little bit and some people think that’s naive.  I would like to try my best to prove people wrong by caring and showing it, even if it is hard.  
Well, cheers to having a little more selfless and a little less selfish life! 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The "Bucket List"

Ah yes, I’m answering the big, bold, breath taking question... what’s on your bucket list?

1.) Run nude through a public place.  The thought of just doing something this rebellious kind of inspires me.
2.) Come up with at least 100 things for my “bucket list”.
3.) Write and sell a book. (I know I need to work on my grammar a wee bit).
4.) Send a message in a bottle.
5.) Travel the world.  I know that’s kind of broad, but I really really want to be able to experience as much as I can, and as many cultures as I can while I’m alive. 
6.) Ride my horse across the country. 
7.) Flatten a coin collection on train tracks.
8.) Have a meaningful conversation with a bum.
9.) Live abroad.
10.) Learn how to say the alphabet backwards, really really really faaaaast.
11.)  Fast for 72 hours.
12.)  Build a working piece of furniture.
13.)  Have my own business.
14.)  Learn to speak another language...fluently.
15.)  Be on an outdoor hunting channel. 
16.) Shower in the rain.
17.) Hitchhike somewhere worth hitchhiking for. 
18.) Show my boobies at Mardis Gras 
19.)  Attend a huge pride festival.  
20.) Get out of debt.
21.) Marry. 
22.) Run a marathon.
23.) Kiss a famous person.
24.) Sex on an airplane.
25.) Create my dream home.
26.) Live in the mountains.
27.) Be in two places at once.
28.) Get closure on all my hurt, grievances and unhappiness of my past.
29.) Visit a volcano, up close and personal.
30.) Fall back in love.
31.) Go on a romantic getaway with someone I hardly know.
32.) Visit the haunted castles in England and Scotland. 
33.) See the “Mona Lisa”. 
34.) Learn how to read music.
35.) Be able to make the “Chubaka” sound, perfectly.
36.) Walk the Inca Trail in Peru.
37.) Swim with sharks.
38.) Be a mentor. 
39.) Give more than I can afford to charity.
40.) Drive to Alaska.
41.) Photograph wild endangered species.
42.) Work in Africa.
43.) Change someone’s life.
44.) Punch someone in the face who I really really dislike.
Holyyyyyy Crap.  
45.) Own a horse ranch.
46.) Fall in love with a cowboy.
47.) Volunteer at a homeless shelter.
48.) Blog everyday for a year. 
49.) Photo copy my bare butt on a copy machine.
50.) Work with veterans.
51.) Work in a war zone.
To be continued....

Patience Haley, Patience.

There’s nothing like a runaway schedule to teach me patience.  I realize this on days when I try to cram 30 hours into 24. Being a graduate student, that’s pretty typical.  I’m finding myself in more situations where I tend to “loose my cool”, and take my impatient behavior out on everyone else when I’m generally a pretty happy, calm person. Like the other day when I ran to the store during work and I only had enough time to run in there, get what I needed, and run out.  Instead of this working out MY way, I get to the checkout lines, and (of course) there is only one is open.  Here I am, stuck.  Stuck behind a lady with about 150 things in her shopping cart...and me, with one thing.  I have an appreciation for coupons, but not when it’s clogging up the line.  Finally, the person at the cash register gets to the end of the lady’s load.. Oh, but don’t forget, the lady wants to write a check.  She spends a ridiculous amount of time digging around in her purse for her checkbook (which should have been done WHILE her items were getting scanned...), and then has to find her glasses and then it’s one thing after another.  Before I know it, I’m standing in line for an additional 10 minutes, crossing my arms, sighing as loud as I can, tapping my foot, checking the time every 5 seconds or so... and thinking of all the possible tortures this lady deserves.  Realizing I just wasted 20 minutes of my valuable time, now I’m angry, infuriated and late...which I hate most of all. 
Most patient people in the world would have probably lost their mellon’s too in a situation like this one. However, I do not have to loose my “mellon”..and that is exactly what I need to work on.  There are many more situations in every day life that require a huge amount of patience, and my own patience (lately) has been very well tested. 
Recently, starting my internship (as you probably read about it my previous blogs), I’ve realized that it requires a profound amount of patience.  Besides my internship, I juggle along: school, a full-time job... and an enormous amount of traveling.  Working with kids has truly tested my abilities, remind you--these are kids that are struggling through significant issues in their lives.  Myself, being a fast paced constantly reminded by my clients that I’m doing things too fast.  Not by telling me verbally, but by the way they act and react.  There is always something or someone that tends to stop me in my tracks, and if I think of something that is going to happen, it happens.  Never fails.  However, I am very grateful (reminding myself) of everything that is happening so far during my internship because it is teaching me the most important skill of all - patience.  
There are more reasons why I need patience.  Of course I can’t get mad in situations with my internship, that wouldn’t make me a very good therapist now, would it?  I’m also trying to remind myself that I want to make the most out of my life and not spend majority of my time being frustrated and angry because I ran out of patience with things I simply can’t control. Patience is a skill that will eventually pay off, it will lead me to being more balanced, and more happy in my life. I am constantly telling myself to slow down in my “fast-paced” life style, time is one of my most valuable resources.  Before I can climb to the top, there’s a couple things that I have to face/learn.  
1.) What makes me “loose” my patience? Hmmm..well this could be embarrassing to face the facts, but it won’t kill me.  I absolutely can not stand issues like the grocery store incident.  Or when people are driving slow in the “fast” lane.  I hate having to re-explain myself 793594752830428 times, especially when the person is clearly not listening.  I get impatient with people who are messy, or not organized.  I even get impatient with people who have bad eating habits..(terrible, I know). I could clearly go on and on about things that make me loose my patience.  
2.)  I need to become more aware. If I become more aware of the moments and events in my life, then I will have a better appreciation for these things.  I am impatient because I am always thinking about the future and planning what I am going to do next, rather than sitting here and living in the present.  Life is precious, I cannot waste it getting mad over the little things that are out of my control. 
3.)  Test my patience.  I could probably start to do things I wouldn’t normally do... like sitting still for 10 minutes.  I have a really hard time not doing something every second of the day.  This will be a huge test for me because I am already aware I will become impatient after one minute of not doing anything.  
4.) I need to slooooooooow the eff down.  I have a very busy, very fast-paced life, and I get very impatient when others are not moving my speed.  I need to take the time to relax and spend time not being so fast, so I can have more control over my situation.  
5.) Just Breathe.  There is nothing more powerful than taking a deep breath and counting to 10, or even 100.. (1000 is probably more recommended for myself right now).  This is where I literally need to think of my happy place, like standing someplace I’d rather be.  In fact, I could even meditate and practice my own self-awareness.  
I’ll have to keep you posted on how well I’m practicing my patience.  I realize that this is something I need to do with my career of choice and lifestyle. Maybe it will help you with your own self awareness and patience.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Coincidence? I think not.

           Yesterday, while sitting in one of my Art Therapy classes, a couple friends and I got started on the subject of dreams.  I brought up that I had been having this reoccurring dream of being pregnant and how traumatizing it has been for me.  Later that night, I went home..worked on some homework and went to sleep.  I usually wake up a couple times in the night, pee...drink some water, ya know...Well I slept the whole night.  Dreamt one dream. I woke up this morning shaking, sweating, and horrible stomach cramps... literally thinking I was pregnant.  I laid in bed and thought about it, and yes, in fact... I had just had ANOTHER prego dream.  The dream was so real and so intense that I actually felt the labor pains in my sleep, and I actually thought I was pregnant when I woke up.  Having a traumatic dream like that, of course it threw my whole day off kilter.  I showed up to my 1o'clock class where one of my classmates was scheduled to do her presentation.  It just so happened that her presentation was on Salvador Dali and dreams.  Coincidence?  I think not. 
          Being the person that I am, I usually just ignore it and go on with my life.  Since everything was so "coincidentally" occurring, I decided to look up the reason why I am having these dreams.  According to one website...If you're not worried about pregnancy (which I am NOT...unless of course God wants me to be the next Mother Mary...psssh. Ya right, right?), a dream of being pregnant symbolizes an aspect of your personality or personal life that is growing and developing, but is not yet ready to be talked about or acted on. It represents the birth of a new idea, direction or goal.  Me and my new internship... realizing how to overcome certain things in my life...pregnancy dreams?  Coincidence?  I think not. 

Growing into a "Therapist"... I can say that right?

        I recently started my first “Big girl job”... or so I call it.  Technically it’s my not so easy internship, and also...not so paid.  However, I’m grateful that I have it because all in all, it’s really taught me about who I truly am.  Since I’m on route to being a therapist, I’m looking for a “therapy” for myself... that’s where this blog sets in.  It’s been a huge debate in my head because sometimes I worry what other people think about me, and sometimes I struggle with expressing myself through words...but it’s not going to kill me, right? 
It’s the end of week 3 of being an Art Therapist.  Thus far, my life has been an absolute roller coaster and I’m finding myself burning the candle at both ends.  I’m not the type to ever slow down, and I’m told I get that from my father.  I’m usually awake to greet the birds out my window before my alarm goes off, but this morning.. it woke me, and let’s just say... I wasn’t too thrilled to hear it. Let the marathon of classes, work, no social life and internship continue.  
Each client I have met and worked with so far, has presented me with different challenges since each individual is in a different spot in their treatment.  However, I’m finding it a lot easier to remember details about their lives than I thought I would.  Before I started, I had so many concerns about how the kids were going to react to me, how I was going to juggle everything.. all my processing notes, keeping the kids straight from who’s who, do I have enough material for everyone, is the material beneficial for everyone?  Always asking myself, I can say that right?  Can I say that?  But, what I’ve really discovered is... kids really like art and they reaaaally benefit from it. Sometimes I think they’re teaching me more than I’m helping them, which is a-ok. In fact, they have made me realize one of the most delightful, yet challenging aspects of my work in seeing these kids and adults come in dealing with the same stress and issues that sometimes.. Frankly, I’m learning to deal with in my life too.  These kids and teens keep me honest, and I’m not kidding when I say that I’m just a couple steps a head of them in learning how to deal with one of my own malfunctions.  I was told that the best therapists are those who have learned from their own experiences because the wisdom you need as a counselor doesn’t only come from books.  That is something that I truly live by.  So, being a therapist to me means: always being able to take that next step in my own personal growth, and to be able to confront that next issue that is often looked at as a “problem”.