It's January 4th, 2017 and i've decided to write a brief post. I just watched a documentary about a man with ALS named Steve Gleason which inspired me to write a post to document my own present. His documentary inspired me to make this post real, and not pretend to be anyone I am not while writing it. I'm not going to try to say anything profound or meaningful, but instead write in a matter of fact way, in a way that depicts the real me. Sticking to the same mindset, i'm not going to go back and edit, or worry about grammar, punctionation, or making complete sense. Instead I'm going to do more of a steam of consciousness style to depict my real current thoughts. Pretending to say something you don't mean isn't worth it. I am me, and life is short. Anyway, I wanted to breifly reflect on 2016 and express my thoughts going into 2017 while I still have the motivation. Since the motivation struck me, i'm going to take advantage of it. I don't often have the motivation to write anymore. Maybe that will change though in the coming years.
2016 has been quite the year. I graduated college, moved into my first apartment, welcomed a furry creature into my life, got my first job, had a major life crisis, got a new job, switched career plans/paths, and got into graduate school. It's a mouthful to say the least. I didn't know how crazy that would sound in one sentence. I'm looking ahead to 2017 with an open mind and an open heart. Standing in my parent's bathroom, my mom read the first page of her daily quotes calendar and it said to pick one word you would like to live by in 2017. My mom choose listen and I ended up choosing growth. If there is anything I have learned from the past year it's that life is a lot better when you try to look at all experiences as an opportunity for growth. Yes, painful experiences will always be painful in the moment and there is nothing you can change about that, but looking back on them feels less painful if I keep the idea of growth in mind. Going forward I hope this idea of growth can help me grow as a person. I want to continue to develop my mind, my personality, my ideals, and my inner self through everything I encounter. When I think about my current work doing ABA , I think about the children that are the most challenging often. Working with these children can be frustrating and trying at times, but I have tried over the past few days to think of my experience with these children as a way to learn how to deal with those patients I may have in the future who I find most difficult to treat and interact with. Even if not talking about patients, there will be frustrating moments, frustrating situations, etc and the more I encounter them now, the better I will be able to handle these patients/situations in the future.
My favorite moments of 2016:
- Graduating from college. It feels like so long ago already. Loved taking pictures with Natascha, Ruth, and others in front of brookings after the ceremony. the ceremony was in the quad and I sat next to Natascha since we were both PNP majors. Afterwards I went with my family, mom, dad, jacob, grandpa teddy, ellen, grandma marcia out to eat at the cheshire.
-Snuggling with Zeek on my bed in my apartment on Saturday mornings. I love when he curls up next to me, stretches out his paw and lays his little arm on mine. When he flops his head over to ask me to scratch under his chin.
- Getting starbucks with mom and talking about work, graduate school, my future as an OT. The barista's all know my "usual" at the clayton starbucks. Mom talks too much to random strangers, lol but that's my mom for you. I love sitting with her and talking about just about anything. Today she opened up a speech magazine where you could buy different card sets, we talked about her job at Hazlewood and how she loves it, and I talked about why I think OT is the right field for me and how I can make my sessions with the kids creative, interactive, and bring language, cognitive activities, and social skills into our lessons.
- Getting coffee with Gowri at the CWE starbucks and going out of Friday nights/ watching TV and movies at my place. I enjoyed the night when we watched JSTU studio "worst prank ideas", which she loved, and then we walked to get ice cream even though it was freezing cold. Before that we went to Mission taco and she talked about how she never wanted me to be embarrassed to talk about my OCD because she never judges me and she accepts me no matter what. She at the same time understood why it is hard for me to talk about because all that I went through with it in high school.
-Working with a G man and watching him make leaps and bounds in his progress. At the beginning of the year, he barely spoke or communicated with others. Now we consider him the "social butterfly" of the class! I love how he greets me with his "HI Miss J!" and loves to take me hands and jump. The first thing he does when he comes into a room that i'm in is run to me and say "Hi Miss J!". Others have said it's like he only sees me in the room, lol. I love our bond, but I also want to see him make this same bond with so many others, like peers.
- Getting into the OTD program, of course!
-Moving into my first apartment and setting up my Ikea furniture with mom and Zeek! Zeek liked jumping on the peices and lounging on them as we set them up.
I'm sure there are many more wonderful moments from 2016 that i'm not thinking of now, but those are the ones that come to mind. I successfully wrote those memories while passing little if any judgement on myself. I'll be the first to say it, one of my flaws is that I judge myself too harshly. I judge myself for not putting myself out there enough, for not having as many friends as I think I should, for not stepping out of my comfort zone, and for choosing the option that feels "safe" more often the not. However, this was the first time in a while I was able to look at my life without judging myself. I know that my TS and all of it's accompanying conditions, particularly my anxiety makes my life at 23 less "typical" than your "average" 23 year old. However, it is so hard for me not to judge myself for this. I feel the need to explain it, even to myself so that I don't feel "bad" about the fact that I don't live my life like my mother did and my brother does. I've never been the life of the party or the person with a wild and free spirit. I am more one to have a small, tight nit group of friends and enjoy spending time with a small group of friends instead of a party. I know my anxiety has prevented me from putting myself in certain social situations, but why can't I be happy with the friends I do have and the life I am living? After all it's the only life I have. They always say your body is your temple and therefore you should love it and treat it with respect. But how about your mind? isn't your mind just as, if not more important? If you aren't at peace with your mind, well all sorts of things can go wrong. So right here i'm making another goal for 2017. Love myself for who I am. Don't judge myself. I must at least try. Treat my mind with the kind of respect I would treat others with. It's not an easy goal, but here it is.
Grow and love myself.