Wednesday, September 24, 2008

faith and fear

Wow. I feel so confused right now. Actually, confused doesn't even begin to describe it. Perhaps terrified is a better word. I have had a pretty defined idea of what I wanted to do with my life and my education for several years now. And now...I'm just not sure. I began questioning all of my plans today.

I have always been pretty sure that I wanted to be a counselor. I've never been sure specifically what kind of counselor I wanted to be, and I figured that was okay since I'm not very far into my upper-level psych classes and would have time to figure it out. But in general, I've always gone back and forth between marriage and family therapy or something to do with adoptions.

But today at the institute dollar lunch, I had a conversation with Brother Wright that absolutely terrified me. Brother Wright, in addition to being the institute director, is also a marriage and family therapist--a fact I did not know until today. I was immediately interested and began peppering him with questions (he was doing the same to me so I figured it was okay). One of the things he told me that shook me to the core was that he hates doing marriage and family therapy. He hates it. And when he told me why it completely made sense. He started talking about the things they don't teach you in school--the on-the-job-training type of stuff. He told me his first client was a transvestite who was married but didn't want to fix anything about his life. He talked about sex addicts and physical and emotional abusers. Obviously I knew all that stuff existed and that I would have to deal with it, but I didn't realize that I would need to be dealing with it on a daily basis.

Honestly, I'm just not sure I have what it takes. I'm scared that I would be bringing that stuff home with me every night. I'm scared that I'll become hard and de-sensitized to the things of the world. Basically...I'm just scared.

I also talked to him about my desire to work with adoptions. He told me a good idea for that would be to continue what I was doing right now and get a bachelors in psychology and then a masters in social work. I feel like that's probably what I'll do. Even then, I'm scared that I'll be bringing home all that baggage every day.

Regardless of how scared I am right now, however....I still feel pretty sure that I'm supposed to do counseling of some kind. Maybe I'm just going to have to make sure that it's something I'll be able to handle--that I won't be an emotional wreck every day for the rest of my life. I'm far too sensitive for that. I guess the biggest thing is that I'll have to pray about this. I'm sure nothing will help more than that. Faith. I need to have faith.

Monday, September 22, 2008

pure enjoyment

Sacrament Meeting is one of my favorite hours of the entire week. I have not found one other hour of my 168 hour week which uplifts and edifies me more. One of my absolute favorite things about this hour is the chance I get while the Sacrament is being passed to reflect on my life--on the things I have improved on as well as the things I need to improve on. Yesterday, however, as I was sitting and pondering, a thought came into my mind that was most unexpected. It was that I needed to start singing again. Honestly? Out of all the other things I could be thinking about? And I thought, "I need to start singing again"??

This caught me completely by surprise. I haven't thought about singing--really singing--in...well, in months. The shocking thing about this is that for about six years of my life, singing was the main focus of it. I was completely certain that when I went to college, I was going to major in vocal performance and go on to be a singer at the Metropolitan Opera. Despite my certainty, however, as high school went on and my voice competitions became more regular, I realized that singing should NOT be the main focus of my life. There were many reasons for this, one of which was that I did not like the person I became as I exercized this particular talent in such a competitive way. So I decided to move music as one of my minors, and when I started my first semester of college, that idea became only a vague memory as I got busy and almost quit singing altogether.

This summer, I started singing again as I recovered from a very extended illness that I had. Since I had a lot of time in a day in which to do nothing, I spent many hours at the piano in my dining room playing and singing out of pure enjoyment. I finally remembered why I had started singing in the first place, and it was a great feeling. Despite my newfound excitement, as things got harder and I got busier, I stopped singing again. I realized something about myself as I was reflecting in Sacrament Meeting yesterday: I am a very tempermental musician. As long as things are going great and I am happy, I love singing. But as soon as things get a little bit hard, I immediately stop and wonder why I liked singing in the first place.

Perhaps the biggest reason I am writing all of this is that I've heard a million times that if you're actually going to accomplish something, you need to write it down. And this is something I want to accomplish. I want to get back out all my classical and Broadway music and dust it off. Because I really do love singing. It allows me to feel things that I do not ever feel otherwise--intensities of emotion that only express themselves when I sing. I go. This is something I really want, and I'm going to have to work at it. I know my voice is far from what it used to be. But it's going to be worth it. And maybe, just I start to sing again, I'll be able to find a piece of the happiness that I lost before I decided that I didn't want to sing anymore. This is going to be so much fun.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

getting sweaty and not sweating the small stuff

I have never been more scolded for not doing something than I have for not writing on this blog. I didn't think people cared so much about the strange workings of my mind. Apparently, it's more for amusement than actual curiosity as to my doings; however, to appease the nagging I will write. You win.

One of the biggest reasons for my lack of consistency on this blog is...lack of time. I feel like I am never home. I spend most of my life on campus (when I am in-between classes, I can usually be found at the institute building, and when I am done with classes, I am at work--still on campus). I love my school, but honestly. This is just getting to be too much. I am fully aware that there are those people who are much busier than I (my roomie Madi being a prime example of this), but for me, this is getting to be just a little too much. I am very much a home-body. I love being able to just sit and vedge on my couch and read a good book. Instead, I sit under a tree outside the MU and read a good book (which has its advantages and disadvantages) when I find the time.

Furthermore, my lack of time (among other things) has been leading to some strange behavior on my part. Case in point: this morning when I woke up, I was terribly tired and very groggy. I stumbled (literally) out to the kitchen and decided I actually wanted to eat breakfast. So, I poured myself a bowl of cereal, reached into the fridge, pulled out the crystal light...and then proceeded to pour it on my cereal. I took me several seconds of pouring to realize that something didn't look right, so I stopped pouring and put the crystal light back in the fridge. Then I realized we didn't have any milk, so I just poured out the crystal light from my bowl and ate my soggy cereal. I feel fairly certain Heavenly Father got a good laugh out of that one. I know I did; I giggled through my entire breakfast.

I think part of the reason I have been so tired lately is because I have been having a lot of trouble sleeping--something that has never really happened to me before. I've been having a lot of bad dreams that wake me up constantly during the night so that even if I go to bed at a reasonable hour, I definitely don't wake up refreshed. Hmm....I'll have to think about that one some more.

Something I'm very proud of as of late: I have been going running! Okay, so maybe it only evens out to 4 or 5 times a week, but I still feel really good about this! It makes me feel better throughout my entire day and gives me a strong sense of accomplishment. I have a new goal every week so that my time will keep increasing. It's great.

Something I'm very grateful for as of late: my roommates. They will never know how much they mean to me. They get me through everything as they offer perspective, comfort, and best of all: humor. Whether they mean to or not, they make me laugh every day. I've always heard that laughter is the best medicine, so thank you Ashley and Madison! :)

Something I want to do better as of late: have more faith. I know Heavenly Father is in control, so I just need to stop sweating the small stuff and have faith that everything is going to turn out exactly like it's supposed to. I need to keep the eternal perspective and remember that even when things go wrong, it's okay. I'm gonna learn something from it, move on, and hopefully be a better person. As long as I'm doing what I need to--what Heavenly Father wants me to--I can (and will) be happy. I know that's true, so I just need to remember it.