Endings and Beginnings

Dead Horse Ranch State Park: Photo Credit Doree Weller

Dead Horse Ranch State Park: Photo Credit Doree Weller

 

“He who rejects change is the architect of decay.  The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.”  ~Harold Wilson

I’ve worked in Mobile Crisis for 3 years, and it’s time to move on.

That may not seem like a long time to most people, but this is a job where it’s not uncommon for people to do a ride along, or work one shift, and then never come back.  It’s clearly not for everyone, but it’s in my blood, and I love it.

I’m sad to move on.  The hours are awful.  I go into all sorts of homes, with bedbugs (and other bugs).  I stand outside in the intense heat, and sometimes the cold.  I also meet wonderful people.  People who are struggling, and they call because they don’t know what else to do.  I’ve met vets.  Mothers and fathers.  Children, teachers, doctors, lawyers.  I’m going to miss it.

I’ve been talking about moving on since the day I started.  You see, I’m a Licensed Associate Counselor, and in order to get my Professional Licensure, I need to have a certain type of supervision and a certain type of counseling experience.  Although we meet everyone with every type of issue in crisis, we don’t do intake assessments or treatment plans.  I can’t get my Professional Licensure if I stay.

I could stay at crisis.  It would be easy.  I love it there.  I love the people I work with, and especially the TV Guy.  I could see myself staying on at this job forever, but that would mean leaving my long term goals behind.  I didn’t want to wake up one day 20 years from now and wonder what happened.  I didn’t want to stay past when I was happy there.  Why wait until I wasn’t enjoying it anymore?

I think this sums up my feelings:

“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.”  ~Anatole France

I have to buy new clothes.  Grown-up clothes, I’m calling them.  At crisis, we wore jeans or shorts and our uniform polo shirts.  At my new position, I’ll be wearing business casual.  I tried on dress pants, and I swear, they felt like pajamas.  Everything is going to be different.  Different clothes, different co-workers, different commute (shorter!), way different hours.

I don’t like change.  Change is hard.  But, I want the end result, so that means I have to do the work to get from point A to B.  So, I can choose to complain about it, or I can move forward, determined to enjoy the next leg of my journey.  No matter what, it’s a wild ride!

A Little Encouragement

Vancouver, BC; Photo credit: Doree Weller

Vancouver, BC; Photo credit: Doree Weller

Most of the people in my life aren’t readers, and they mostly aren’t interested in reading my stories or talking sticky plot points through with me.  I’ve come to terms with it, and since I mostly write for myself anyway, it’s okay.

When I submit something for critique, I ask for honest, unbiased feedback because my goal is to be published, not to get a pat on the back or get compliments.  My skin is thick, so I can take the negative and channel it into something positive and constructive.

I recently submitted Chapter 2 of the novel I’m editing.  Again.  I love this story of mine.  I love the characters.  I love the dialog.  And I love the plot.  I love everything about it.  I recently got three critiques on the story, two of which were helpful.  The third person who critiqued me gushed about my story.  But it wasn’t just, “Hey, I loved this chapter.”  He got specific about what he loved, quoted dialog he particularly liked and told me that my descriptions were great.  I struggle with descriptions, so this was so nice to hear!  He asked good questions about the story that will help me make it better.

It re-energized me.  I’ve started to feel a bit apathetic about writing, and I wasn’t sure why.  I think that in part, it was because I’ve lacked any kind of encouragement for so long.  I really didn’t even know I was missing it.  A little encouragement goes a long way.  I guess I need to remember that.