Tag Archives: grad school

Upward trajectory

Lawdy this has been one hell of a year, no? Early in the year I was told that 2012 would be a year of transition and holy hell was it. New career path, new apartment, new relationship and profound loss. Only one of these was expected.

I did my damnedest to face all these changes with an open heart and mind but it got to be a bit much at times. And in those moments, I was lucky enough to have someone so wonderfully supportive and honest and funny and kind to get me through and help me realize that challenge is what I do, again and again and again. I don’t take the easy road. I do hard things because I’m compelled to, because I’m not content to settle in any aspect of my life, even if it means walking away from something seemingly certain and safe, which is exactly what I did.

Speaking of that someone, sometimes something that doesn’t look good on paper ends up being a pretty perfect match. And that’s what I got…someone who encourages me and calls me on my shit and makes me face the hard stuff but faces it with me. Someone who is willing to talk it out and deal with problems rather than burying them or shutting down. Someone who makes me laugh every day but lets me cry when I need to. Someone who gives me room to grow and genuinely wants to grow with me. I am completely, ridiculously in love and finally in a healthy relationship. I couldn’t be happier.

My first semester of grad school is under my belt. Career goals are starting to solidify. Cohabitation in a new apartment is on the horizon (and I’ll be living with a dog again!). I am thoroughly excited to usher in the new year, not because I’m dissatisfied (or worse) with the current one but because I’m eager for what’s to come. It’s gonna be good, trust.

Re-entry

Well, I made it. I’m now 25% finished with grad school. I would love to say that I had a great time and am excited and energized about my new career path but that would be a lie. This semester was rough. Getting back into student mode was more difficult than I had anticipated. The amount of reading required was overwhelming. I’ve struggled with intense anxiety all semester, finally caving last month and going back on medication. Classes were not as inspiring as I had hoped they would be, in fact one of them was downright disappointing. My field placement suffered a snag about 3 weeks into the semester and I had to switch agencies. While my new placement is exciting (I’m part of a brand new program at an agency and seeing it built from the ground up), it’s been super slow going and terribly frustrating at times. I’m exhausted, physically and mentally, and I’m beyond ready for a break. Someone told me that grad school is designed to break you. I won’t argue with that, particularly with regards to MSW programs. But I made it, and with a 4.0 to boot. My career goals are still murky and I don’t yet have a firm decision on which concentration I’m going to choose next semester but I’m at least feeling mildly accomplished.

And so it begins…

Or rather, it has begun. My Life Overhaul, that is. I really did mean to make a post prior to things getting hectic but I never found the time. So now I am here to explain my absence, both past and future.

The summer of 2012 has been So Much. Pain and trauma and fear and frustration but mostly joy and fun and laughter and friends. I think for the first time since moving here, I truly and thoroughly took advantage of Chicago’s summer. Days spent at the beach, road trips to Nashville and the north woods of Wisconsin, music festivals and dance parties, along with the painful last few days of my career in veterinary medicine, left me with little time or energy to blog.

And last week my new life, the one I’ve been anticipating for months and months, finally began. I am officially a graduate student. It is terrifying. I’m pretty rusty at this school thing and it’s been difficult trying to ease back in. Because there really is no easing when it comes to grad school, especially in an MSW program. You jump in and get runnin’. Classes started last week and my field placement (aka internship) starts this week. My free time is already being consumed with reading (and reading and reading) and coordinating with fellow students on group presentations. To say I’m overwhelmed right now would be an understatement of epic proportions and I know the feeling will only be compounded. Or maybe not. Maybe I’ll get better at shouldering the workload with less stress. At least that’s the hope, right?

My latest tattoo, done by the amazing Robin King at Metamorph Studios in Chicago’s Wicker Park. Couldn’t have finished it at a more appropriate time.

All this is to say that I likely will (continue to) not be around these parts much. I’ve got a rebirth to attend to. Time for this phoenix to get up out of these ashes and get to flyin’.