Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Mantra

So I am in the middle of writing a paper (that's due at midnight tonight) and it brought up so many unrelated thoughts that I wanted to get those down in writing too. These psychology papers tend to do that. I start thinking and stray waaaay far from what I am supposed to be writing. Sometimes I think that's what the professors want us to do-- the courses seem to be as much about self-exploration and discovery as they are about the content of the course.

Since I sent out my first blog I have received such awesome responses, reminding me what wonderfully supportive friends I have. It was so great to hear from all of you. But, I also got a lot of "What in the world is going on with you???" emails. I guess I shoulda thought about how this would probably throw some of you for a loop if I haven't talked to you personally for a while.

So let me rewind a bit... My life has changed pretty drastically in the past six months. After 7 years in advertising, I've decided to go back to school for my Master's in Counseling Psychology. Naturally, right? I'm enrolled in a 2.5 year program at Seton Hall University, and can do the majority of my classes remotely. I graduate spring of '09, and will then have to become licensed (so I can be reimbursed by insurance companies). Ultimately, I'd like to have a private practice, but that'll take a while to build. I'm not even sure what type of counseling I want to focus on yet--marriage and family, mental health, addictions, etc...maybe this trip will help bring some clarity to those types of questions.

Sadly, after almost 4 years of marriage, Leslie and I are no longer together. I moved back to Columbus from Salt Lake in December. Since then I've been living with my parents...uh, yeah. Love you mom and dad. But still...yeah. I'm 29 going on 16 right now.

I went to visit Tiffany in Thailand in Dec/Jan for a much needed vacation. She’s been living there for the past 5 months (A whole separate blog...) and has invited me to do some traveling with her. She's on a 2 yr trip around the world and things have miraculously fallen into place to allow me the time and the means to join her for a bit. Leslie and I sold our condo in Salt Lake so I am taking part of the profit to fund my trip. (Had to be responsible and save some of it for school loans...) Incidentally, the lease on my car is up and my second semester is ending, all at the end of the month. (Although a new one starts a week later, so it’s going to take some serious discipline to keep up on my school work while traveling) But really, timing couldn’t be better.

Needless to say, sometimes I still feel like my head is spinning. So that's where this paper I am writing and my in-a-nutshell recent history tie together. My paper is a Career Conceptualization paper--where I am supposed to take a counseling theory and apply it to how I got to where I am right now career-wise. Ha! Career?? I am currently working 25 hours a week at a bank... and I am complete mess when it comes to all things finance. (Thank God the people I work with are fantastic and very patient with me.)

Anyway, in researching theories I came across one called the LifeCareer Process Theory. It basically states that life is your career and your job is simply a part of it. It goes a lot more in depth, but that's pretty much the gist. The theory, created by Anna Miller-Tiedman, talks about rolling with all life throws at you rather than trying to fight it. It suggests that all decisions (career and otherwise) whether you believe them to have been good or bad are ultimately good because you've learned something from them. And by trying to plan too much just adds undue worry since life is going to deal you what it chooses despite how in control you think you are. (This lady is a genius!)

Since I have been back in Ohio, my friend Jenn has been my single biggest support, as she is going through the exact same thing I am. There have been many days we've had to pick each other up-- almost literally, and talk one another off the proverbial ledge. But one thing we constantly remind each other is:

"You are exactly where you are supposed to be."

Our mantra. I mean think about it. If you live life with that in mind it certainly helps to alleviate some of the unnecessary stress that we put on ourselves. If we are at our happiest, saddest, most scared, or bored, it's the exact necessary state we need to be in--because like the theory infers, we're going through that state, at that time, for a reason. So if we make a bad decision we shouldn't dwell on it or beat ourselves up because ultimately it will lead to having to make more decisions, one eventually ending in satisfaction. And all of it, the happiest and saddest times, the best and worst decisions lead to heightened awareness and hopefully some nuggets of wisdom as to what to do next time we are faced with something that feels insurmountable.

So I guess instead of looking at this trip as an opportunity to run away from reality, I should look at it as an opportunity to start a new reality. Maybe I can't see the reason for being where I am right now, but if I trust my new philosopher friend, Dr. Miller-Tiedman, then I should just accept it. And if I am accepting it, I may as well make the most of it, right??

Whew. Ok. A little of where my life is right now, and a little of where my head is. Back to my paper...


darling24_7 said...

Im sure things are exactly as they should be. :)

All the best.. and its a good mantra to have.

Change is good. You only live once.

Jennifer said...

Thanks Maggie. I needed to be reminded of our mantra today. Our lives - craziness and all - are exaclty as they should be. We surely didn't plan this...hell, people can't think up the stuff that actuall goes on in our lives...but if I have to take this road with anyone, I'm glad it was you :) Should we have a community potluck for you before you leave? :) I love you Tiff!

Sue LeVeck said...

Hey Maggie
Can't wait, once again, to live vicariously through one of our children! Your trip sounds so exciting and most definitely a learning and growth experience. Probably a good choice not to go to Nepal and you may want to talk to Todd & Micaela about staying quite so long in Morocco. I was watching the History Channel about Ancient Egypt the other day and it was so interesting - maybe that's a place to look into. Anyway, we're all looking so forward to seeing your pictures and reading your blog. Your mantra is great and definitely one we should all adopt. Have fun, take care and BE SAFE! Hi to Tiffany!

Aunt Dolly

Emily said...

Hey Maggie,

It's so good to know that you are doing well!! I haven't spoken to you in so long. I tried to get your phone number but was unsuccessful. Sounds like such a great adventure that you are embarking upon, I am looking forward to reading about the adventures that you are going to experience during your trip. I hope to see you when you return back to Ohio....Miss and Love ya!!

dena said...

Hey Mags!!! So happy for you! I cannot wait to read your entries and hear about all the crazy things you are doing!