Man, what a week. There is something about that phrase–what a week–that doesn’t really do justice to the emotional rollercoaster it’s been; and, yet, my life still feels comparatively mundane next to those of most people.
Where to begin?
My job is going well. I feel like I don’t write about it often, mostly because I’m not allowed to talk about any of the good parts—people’s personal lives. But I do think it’s worth mentioning every once in a while how much I love it. Some of the things I remember people telling me in grad school about what to expect in the coming years are starting to click into place.
For example, when starting out, we are given so much information to absorb, process, and apply; inevitably, it’s pretty sloppy at first. I remember my supervisors telling me that, over time, I’d start to learn how to trust myself in the sessions, and how to stop behaving in such a choppy, robotic manner—trying so hard to say the right things at the right time. I think the most universal comparison I can make is to say it’s like driving a car. If you think about every little thing you’re doing (turning on your blinker, turning the steering wheel, checking your mirrors and blind spots), you’re going to feel totally overwhelmed and it will probably be reflected in your driving performance. But, once you’ve practiced enough, you start to do the right things without even really thinking about them. That’s how doing my job feels.
Other than trusting myself, the only other key factors are being authentic and genuinely interested in what people think and feel. If I do those three things, everything generally goes smoothly. Not only that, but I feel utterly fulfilled by what I’m doing.
I have run into a bit of a bump in the road with the whole racial identity thing. It’s a bit awkward, because first I told my supervisor that I’m having trouble connecting to my African American clients. I explained how, when I sense they’re judging me for being white, I have an emotional reaction that I struggle to navigate in the moment. It’s disruptive to the process. After I told my supervisor, she left and my new supervisor, who is also my boss and the clinical director of the organization, stepped in. This woman happens to be African American. I told her the same thing I’d told my previous supervisor, only I started to have the emotionally dysregulated feeling while telling her. She suggested I talk to the program director, who is also African American. I looked at our company website so I could learn about who the program director is before speaking to him, and that’s when it really sunk in: the organization I work for is run by African American people, and it is intended to service primarily other African American people, and I just told my boss I’m having trouble with my work with African American people. Ugh.
The truth is, I think this is a good thing. I’ve had discomfort in this area for a long time, and I don’t know if I ever would have addressed it so directly if it weren’t for these exact circumstances. So for that, I’m grateful. But I would be lying if I didn’t admit how deeply uncomfortable it is!
Other than that, things around here are, like I said, mundane. Tonight is my date night with my husband. I’m looking forward to spending some one-on-one time with him. We’ve picked out a restaurant we want to go to, and when we get home I’m going to try to talk him into binging the last 3-4 episodes of The People VS OJ. We’ve been watching the mini-series this week, and it’s pretty intriguing.
Tomorrow is my weekly study day, and I believe I’ll be able to officially catch up with the studying I’d fallen behind on. So that feels good.
When I look back at my recent diary entries, the content of them is a reminder of how lucky I am. There really isn’t a whole lot going on, but the things that are going on in my simple little life make me feel so full. It’s exactly the life I always imagined for myself: high quality and ordinary.
I feel better now. When I started this entry I just got done screaming and yelling and fighting with my toddler who has been defiant with every. word. I have said to her today. I love her so much and can’t emotionally cope with her at the same time. I seriously wanted to shake her, but I would never hurt her. It’s just hard to explain how such a little person can evoke such strong emotion. But she’s in bed now, and I have had this time to write. Thank, God.
Last updated March 16, 2021