It’s a beautiful, 50-degree, sun-shiny spring day today—finally. I’m sitting at one of my favorite cafes, looking out at the 4-foot tall piles of snow on the street corners, anxiously awaiting the arrival of our first 60-degree day this weekend. After what has felt like the longest winter in ages, the spring sun is a bittersweet addition to this snowy, slush-filled urban landscape.
My semester is quickly coming to a close, and I’ve got only 4 days left at my internship site after today. After next Friday, I will be free for the summer and back to a somewhat “normal” routine – working 40 hours a week at my paid job, taking a single class, and enjoying some goddamn rest on the weird, busy beaches of Minneapolis.
I will miss being a therapist for the 3 months I have off. As much pain as I’ve been through over the past 9 months, there has been a mind-blowing amount of growth and change in my heart that is hard to explain, and I’m going to miss running off the momentum of that. Not only do I feel closer to myself as a student and a professional, but I feel closer to myself as a person, myself as a girlfriend/daughter/friend, and closer to my own sobriety. I feel closer to my reasons for staying sober than before–what’s strange is that those reasons aren’t all entirely internal; they’ve grown outward as a result of the work I’ve done with my clients over the past 9 months or so.
In working with clients whose lives have been completely ravaged by addiction, I see the potential of my addiction reflected in their stories, and it scares me. I also see their strength and their determination to fight that demon with all they’ve got. It also inspires me to remain sober—for myself, for the people in my life, for the clients I work with, and for my community at large. I am a better, more attentive, less reactive person when sober. I am developing more self-compassion and self-love, and I’m recognizing my own humanity and mortality. I am starting to manifest a deeper sense of humility. While I’m still so imperfect and flawed, just because I’m human—I’m okay with that. And it’s getting easier and easier to accept every day.
After this semester is done, I will officially have 1 year remaining on my 3-year journey toward becoming a therapist. I will also have a little over a year left before I turn 30. Yikes. I am trying to mentally prepare myself for one more year as a student and one year left of my 20s, as well as life after graduate school is done.
What will be next for me after I’ve got my diploma and I’m working toward licensure as a therapist? I’m thinking Yoga Teacher Training. As if I need to start another program right after finishing grad school–haha! In all seriousness, though, becoming a yoga teacher is something I wanted to do before I even seriously considered becoming a therapist. It’s exciting to me because I can envision such a beautiful convergence of the two disciplines, where mind and body meet to create mutual healing and respect. Of course, I can’t be a therapist in the yoga studio or a yoga teacher in the therapy rooms, but I think there is a wonderful crossover between the two practices that I think will create healing and peace not only in my client’s lives, but in my own life as well.
But that’s a year out, still. I can’t even begin to consider taking on another program before I’ve even graduated from this one. But the dream has taken root and is starting to grow.
For today, I’m off to see my therapist again, and then more school work. Maybe I’ll grab a donut to reward myself along the way.