Well, it’s summertime in the city. A lot has happened since I last wrote. And I mean, a LOT. I hesitate to write in depth about everything, so I think perhaps a bulleted list will suffice:
- At the end of April, my partner and I decided that we wanted to pursue an open (non-monogamous) long-distance relationship. This has been a major whirlwind of emotion & learning. I knew it would be complicated, but I didn’t know it would be THIS complicated. But, we’re working on it together.
- I graduated with my master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling. I graduated! I’m DONE!
- I traveled across Europe for 10 days, mainly in Italy, and spent an amazing long weekend with one of my best friends in the Cinque Terre region of Italy. This trip also included brief visits to both the Boston & London areas. While in London, I went on a really fun date that included an art museum and Indian food. Overall, an amazing trip with unforgettable experiences.
- I got offered a job in my new field just a few days after getting home from Europe. I accepted, and am now working as an in-home therapist with adolescents and families in my city. This also means I’ve finally stepped away from my former career in marketing/software. It’s weird and still doesn’t feel quite real.
- In late May, I sat for the licensure exam for clinical mental health counseling, and I PASSED!
- My 30th birthday (and golden birthday!) is coming up in 2 weeks, and my 3-year sober anniversary is in 3 weeks.
All of this change has been good. Let me repeat, it has been good. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been overwhelming and scary at the same time. Particularly in the realm of relationships and diving headfirst into a new career, I sometimes feel like I don’t know which way is up or whether my flailing is pushing me closer or further from the shore of certainty I used to know and cling to.
In all of this, I am having to learn and re-learn and re-re-learn compassion, patience, boundary-setting, and trust. I have had to reel in my endless worries about whether I am the “right” person for this new career of mine. Regardless of whether I feel like I’m the right person or not, I am here, and I am going to do the absolute best that I can.
Along with these wonderful changes, there is an undeniable undercurrent of loss. I’ve lost a sense of certainty; I’ve lost a feeling of being competent and fully knowledgable in my job; I’ve lost my relationship as it was and in its place, I’ve gained an entirely new relationship with new circumstances, new needs, and new pitfalls; I’ve lost a framework for how relationships are “supposed” to work and gained a wobbly roadmap for how non-monogamy might fit into my new life; I’ve lost an identity of “student” and “software architect” and gained the identity of “therapist”; in a few weeks, I will be kissing my 20s goodbye, which is the loss of a very turbulent, experimental, emotional, and life-changing decade in my life; I’ve lost the way life was, and am in the process of building what life is now going to be.
Y’all, this is the season of change. Life is a season of change. In a couple of months, I will be moving into an apartment with one of my best friends, who I lived with way back in 2015 when I was fresh out of my marriage and learning how to be a single woman in this world. Around the same time, I will be starting my yoga teacher training. I think that despite wishing so desperately for a sense of calm and routine, I am very much driven by novelty and new experiences in this world. The trick is finding a way to anchor myself without becoming completely stuck. Striking that balance is a practice in self-compassion and a willingness to admit when something isn’t working, or building off of the good things when they do work.
If I could describe the feeling with music, it’d probably sound a lot like this:
Love to you all.