Tuesday, May 9, 2017

New Opportunity

Over four years ago, I dropped out of my PhD program. Broken and confused, I was looking for signs of my next step. In many ways, the field of social work fell into my lap. And like the ending of my chance at a PhD, I went with my heart and instinct. I went into a master's program in social work, and two years after graduation, I sit here able to state that it was the best choice I have ever made.

Even more so than four years ago, many changes are taking place in my life now, all of which are frightening. But if we allow it to, change - all change, good and bad - can be exciting as well. Because even the kind of change that breaks us down to nothing of our old selves, strips us of all of our assumptions and comforts, means we get to rebuild ourselves to exactly what we desire to be.

I am returning to school to get a doctorate in social work. A completely different kind of degree, but still planning to return to the world of academia - first, as a student, and hopefully later on as an employee - was something I couldn't even consider for years. But the person I am now gave way to different opportunities and desires, and also different strengths. Somebody said to me recently that every decision we make, we should make with our heart. And I do.

Monday, March 13, 2017

We All Change

Lately, I have become more and more aware of a change within myself. A person in my life, a rekindled friendship, has changed the way I feel about myself, life, and other people. Sometimes, it can be a person, an event, a move, or one single thing that is uttered from a stranger's mouth that can change your entire outlook or who you are. Sometimes, this one small thing can make you realize parts of yourself you didn't know were there.

I have discussed, in the past four years that I have been blogging, many changes that took place within me - specifically when I entered my PhD program, and again after I left it. The process and decision was the hardest by far I have had to make in this life, and it did change me forever. On the one hand, I am less judgmental, more open-minded, less focused on ego and success, and more focused on my relationships. On the other hand, I have less trust in my decision-making and more fear for making the wrong choices.

Not only do experiences change us, but so does time. Have you ever thought "what would I think of myself or my life if I looked from 4 years ago...or 4 weeks ago??!" Recently, I very much have. With age, experience, and time, sometimes we really do change. Sometimes, they are external changes (which we can all expect in life) that alters us internally. And sometimes, they are internal shifts and changes that may or may not permanently alter our outside world. Sometimes, our worlds just can't stay the same.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Being the Best Version of Yourself

In November, I wrote about picking up the pieces of ourselves when we feel broken. Recently, I have dug deeper into that sentiment by discovering long-buried broken-hearted pieces of myself that were just waiting for repair. Even for the strongest, face-your-problems-head-on types, there are small or large wounds that have been buried. Some pain is so tremendous that we suppress it as to not truly delve into it.

But the thing about pain is, that if we don't work through it, it will be buried deep inside of us - it will stay there. One day, now or far in the future, something will bring it back to the surface, and we will never be ready to deal with it. No moment will be ideal. But with that buried pain comes parts of ourselves which are undiscovered and parts of ourselves which are suppressed. Usually, this pain comes from relationships and loss, as not much else can touch our hearts so deeply. The pain is usually in those taboo topics and ignored mentions. 

We never know what we will find when we finally cope with the pain. We may find self-hate, guilt, shame, anger, and we also may find forgiveness, and love. But no matter what we find, we will learn more of ourselves there. And the more we know of ourselves, the more we can work on bettering our true selves.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Licking our Wounds

When we are all going through turmoil, all we want is to get through it. We want it to be over - whether it be the funerals & things needed to be done after a death, the devastation of a national disaster, or the trauma of finishing up a graduate degree, we just want it to be over. What we don't feel and think about until later is the aftermath of it all. After it is technically and officially "over," we have to cope with things which are often much harder than the events themselves. The feelings and the wounds we still have.

This particular week in the United States is difficult. Many hearts are broken and devastated. We all have ups and downs in life, and this entire month needs to remind us that we never know when or what something is going to come crashing down on us. We do not know when the down is coming. For much of America, we must lick our wounds where a skewed people and unfair system made them. 

It is important, no matter what the struggle, that we grieve fully and come back even harder at life. If we lost a fight, we must fight again. If we made the wrong decision, we must determine to find the right one. If someone died, we must heal. Even if it changes our lives forever, we must get back up and persevere.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Volunteer trip

Hello! Family, friends, and whoever else, please help me raise some money for my volunteer trip to Brazil with IVHQ in 2017!

As many of you know, I love my job as a hospice social worker, and I love to travel! This trip and work will be different than any other I have done previously. This unique one-week trip is focused on volunteer work within the Rio de Janeiro area. The work will involve working with a different population and task each day, including: helping landscape a community garden, playing/teaching sports to local children, helping a local NGO with making garments and souvenirs out of scrap and recycled materials, giving English lessons to the local community,  and helping a community sports project.

Money will be used for: flight, registration fees, program fees (which cover housing, food, and airport transfers), Visa fees, and vaccines.

There is no real goal! ANY donation is appreciated and contributes to this good cause, and I pay the rest!

Love to you all,
Brittany

https://www.fundandseek.com/e5ffd0e7

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Pushing through the BS

While contemplating issues I have had at work recently, words came into my head: nobody moves up without losing favoritism. I have only been at my company less than a year but have made a few personal and professional strides, and I often get negative vibes from others - vibes I didn't get when I was a non-threatening newbie. One of my co-workers was discussing similar issues she has with people gossiping and feeling negatively toward her, and I was shocked by this. Having worked beside her, I couldn't imagine anyone acting this way toward this sweet, compassionate, hard working individual. She laughed when I expressed this and stated that, in essence, all of her good traits are exactly why she receives the negative attention.

Never be a person who compares yourself to others. Be a person who is too busy improving yourself to give a second thought to competition or comparisons. Some of us are pushers, some more laid back. But accept this about yourself, love it, and if you do not, change it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Throwing All Expectations Out the Window

So much of our lives are made up of expectations. From how often to shower to what kind of job to seek, we probably don't even realize that expectations guide most of our actions and thus, our lives. Some of us are more guided by others' expectations and some of us, more by our own expectations.

People sometimes ask me whether my family's expectations pushed me to get a PhD or go through everything that I did. They expect that for me to push so hard, something external was pushing me. But it was always my own expectations. Where to live, what kinds of people to be friends with, and most of all, who to be.

Today, many of these standards for myself are out the window. Salary, status, and profession. I am a hospice social worker and day by day, I accept and greatly appreciate what I get to offer the world. I still have goals for my future, but I am OK with today - something that I never was before. Now, I deal more with the expectations of others, as I stopped being tunnel visioned by my own. My mother's, my husband's, my boss's, and my patients', to say the least. Something happened the other day and it was a wake up call for me. I realized that though I haven't allowed these expectations to change a whole lot, they have guided my mind, my way of thinking of certain things, my hesitations to do and be me. No longer will we allow this, and we can only fight the expectations by acknowledging and letting go of them.