Saturday, December 22, 2012

Annnddd Then I Graduated...

Holy bologna.

Have you ever had that moment driving down the road when you realize, "Life is rushing by me and I feel powerless to stop it?"

Happened to me today.

First, I can't believe that it's December 22nd, and in 2 days Santa Clause comes to visit.

Second, I can't believe that it's been so long since I've blogged.

Yea....about that...

Two reasons for that friends.

Graduation.

Anddddd...

I went to go visit my parents for a few days right after graduation.

So back to that whole graduation part.

I officially have my Master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Memphis.

WOO!

It's a weird feeling.

On one hand, I feel like I just started the program and I think, "Where did the time go?"

And on the other hand, I think, "Wait, I remember all that time. It was spent writing papers upon papers, attending classes, making some of the best friends I've ever had, stressing out more than I ever have, planning and paying for a wedding, dreading Dr. Priest's class, preparing a ridiculously heavy portfolio, presenting said portfolio to Dr. Priest (my amazing adviser) , practicum, internship, crying, laughing, crying some more, and ultimately feeling forever grateful for the lessons learned not only in the classroom but also outside Ball and Patterson Halls."

I've learned so much about myself these past 3 years. I realized that before I started this journey, I was quite the pushover and was someone who had a tendency to be taken advantage of because I didn't realize it was okay to say "no." This program requires all the students to do a lot of self-reflection. And while it seemed daunting and repetitive at times, I don't think I would have made a lot of critical self changes that needed to be made. Ask my husband, I'm a lot more outspoken and honest now. 

And now I am given the opportunity to go out into the world and use those lessons to try help others utilize the strengths  that they have to live a full and healthy life. 

I don't take this responsibility lightly.

And don't get me wrong...there are still days when I question whether or not I made the right career choice. I know there will be many more days like that in the future. But I know God has a plan for me. And I think that as long as I remember to keep both ears tuned to listening to where he wants me to go and what he wants me to do, I think I'll be okay. He's never let me down so far, and I don't think he's going to start anytime soon.

I'm so grateful for this experience. Three years ago I was feeling so so incredibly lost. I honestly was depressed. Once I finally let go and let God, all the cards fell into place. It was truly the lesson I needed to learn. And I've carried that lesson with me ever since. Most days it's a struggle, but I never forget that he's in control and ultimately knows what's best for me. 

Here's a little pic recap from the big day:

Notice the "awesome" wings on my arms. What are those things anyways???

A dear soul...Ms. Claire and I went through our practicum class together. I  honestly don't know what I would have done without her during that time! Claire you're going to do great things in this world! So proud to know you...you are truly a beautiful person, inside and out.

Some more of our counseling buddies before the ceremony. We did it! Annnddd...with our hoods on properly...haha!

Officially a Master's graduate. :)
 My parents felt so disappointed that they couldn't make it to the ceremony. But, there was just no way with everything going on health wise with my mom. But, I carried them with me every second of the day, as I do with me always. I'm so glad that my Aunt and Uncle came though! :)
My dear Aunt and Uncle.

My amazing friend Amanda....in a land far away, we plan on opening up our own practice...watch out world. ;)
And finally, a mountain of gratitude goes to my sweet husband. I told him that while although I know I could have accomplished this without him, I'm not sure I would still be sane. So for that, I'm forever grateful to him. He was and is my biggest cheerleader. On the days I cried and wanted to give up, he reminded me of the strength within myself to keep going. And he also celebrated every victory...and was probably more proud of me than I was of myself. He asked me to marry him 2 days before I started this scholastic journey, and we've done it all together. I feel so lucky to have him by my side. Thank you honey for everything....remember, you're next!

Check out the ghost to the left. Weirrrd.

I thought I'd be really emotional during the graduation ceremony. But, I wasn't. I was content. The only time I felt like I might get emotional was when they asked all the spouses, parents, and children of the graduates to stand to be acknowledged for their support. I turned around and blew a kiss to the hubs...and he blew one right back at me. I hope he won't be mad at me for saying this, but he confessed later that he cried at that moment. Love you babe.

And then like that it's over. It's a tad anti-climatic (the ceremony that is). 

But, I'm glad I walked. 

And I'm super proud to be a twice graduate of The University of Memphis.

It's still a little hard for me to comprehend that I'm no longer a student. 

I'll miss campus. 

Guess, I'll be making a run through campus a priority so I can still feel...connected.

Tiger blue...through and through. 

Much love, ;)

P.S.- I can now officially say that I have accepted a position as an IOP therapist with an outpatient clinic here in Memphis. I am so excited to begin a new journey and my career January 2nd, 2013!

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