Category : SOOC
I went to undergrad with the intention of getting a biology degree and going on to medical school. I did earn a biology degree, but realized very late in the game that medical school wasn’t the best fit for me. I worked full-time in D.C. for a few years after graduating, trying to find my way, (re-)discover my career path. About two years later, I knew I had to go back to school. I realized that psychology was where my interest lie, and that I wanted to go to graduate school. Unfortunately, I had ZERO undergraduate credits in psychology.
So, I went back to undergrad to earn a second degree in psychology and determine what type of psychology to pursue in graduate school. During these two additional years of undergrad, I discovered Counseling Psychology through a fabulous mentor. I was on fire about this field and the work that I could do. I realized that becoming a university professor where I could do research and teach was my ideal career. I then applied to doctoral programs and was accepted at my “dream school,” the University of Missouri-Columbia. I again worked with an amazing advisor who continues to be my mentor to this day. After five years of classes, a dissertation, and then a one-year full-time internship at the University of Oregon, I earned my Ph.D. With the faculty job market being super competitive, I then took a post-doctoral position for a year and half where I conducted more research and worked with clients, becoming a Licensed Psychologist (if you’re keeping count, we’re now at 9 1/2 years). Then, I landed “my dream job,” an academic position in the Counseling Psychology graduate training program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
I started my position in 2007, and not long after, I was diagnosed with cancer. Needless to say, this put a kink in my plans. I took care of myself, stepping back from work to do so, and was able to add time on the proverbial tenure-clock to get better. After a difficult year (and then some), I got back on my feet and got back down to business. And, six and half years later, it’s paid off.
Yesterday, I got the official news that I am promoted and tenured to Associate Professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Huge thanks to so many people who have helped me along the way in this journey. It’s an understatement to say I couldn’t have done it without you. xoxo
If I’m honest, I’ve had a tough few weeks. I’ve been feeling a bit down, a bit untethered. A few set-backs have appeared on my path. My groundedness has escaped me of late, and the swirling has taken over. My one word for the year, secure, seems to have left the building. I’ve been trying to dig deep, to press on, to rely on my one word from 2013. But it’s felt difficult. Not good, friends, not good.
So last week, I could no longer ignore that the swirling and the ever-growing to-do list — especially after having been out of town for a full week at training — had left me feeling depleted. My mat was beckoning me (screaming to me!) to get to the studio, to breathe deeply, and to reconnect to my core. After an intensely full day at work, I made the conscious decision to let the rest of the seemingly-urgent responsibilities await another day, and I headed to yoga. As I found a spot in the very crowded class, took a seated position, and closed my eyes, I immediately felt an internal shift. Then, a few deep breaths, some rolls of my beyond-tight neck, and a settling into the present moment. For the next 75 minutes, I would be here, now. Nothing else to do. Just. Be. Here.
At the end of class, right before savasana (total relaxation!), the teacher guided us through bridge pose and invited those who could to go in to full wheel (or upward bow). Wheel is a full on back-bend — lie on your back, place your palms face-down up by your ears, then push up and into your hands and feet, extending your arms and legs. Viola, full on back-bend. Wheel. Upward bow. Uh-huh. Right. I’ve never done wheel. Actually…I’ve never even tried. But in this class, the woman next to me did it. And in witnessing this, her courage and ability to go for it, made me want to try.
As I placed my hands up by my ears, my yoga teacher happened to walk by and notice me. She came over and gently said, “do you want to try it?” Before I had a chance for my brain to even consider it, my mouth said “yes.” She then stood directly behind my head and told me to put my hands around her ankles for support. Once I had a firm hold of her ankles, she then said to push into my hands and feet with all my strength and raise my hips. I took a breath, and I pushed, holding on to her for dear life. I couldn’t quite come all the way up, as I had too much weight in my head and not enough into my hands and feet. So I came back down to my mat and took a breath. She gently asked, “do you want to try again?” A resounding “yes” came out of me. I took another deep breath, held onto my yoga teacher, and I pushed. And then, I was in wheel. Full on back-bend. With support. And it was amazing.
I felt so exhilarated. So strong. So secure. And in those incredible moments on my mat, I realization dawned on me. I don’t have to do it alone. Yes, there are times when my own sense of groundedness is firm all by itself. Times when I feel and know “I’ve got this.” Times when I am deeply connected to my core and am rooted in secure. But other times, MANY times, I’m not there at all. It’s as if I have amnesia and I never knew secure existed within me. I flounder and flap about, grasping for some reminder that I’m okay, searching for something or someone to hold on to. But my yoga teacher, helping me come in to wheel, literally giving herself to me to hold on to, showed me that being secure with support is okay. Even necessary at times. She showed me, “we’ve got this.”
This post is for all of you who support me, who buoy me, who show me time and time again, “we’ve got this.” It doesn’t get more secure than that. xoxo
As much as I try to live in the present moment and “be here now,” I often find myself living in the past or living in the future. Not very yogic of me, I know. When I’m dreaming of the future or reminiscing about the past, travel is usually the star in these plays in my brain. Today, the lead performer is Paris.
I’m thrilled to be featured on the IMPOSSIBLE Project blog with a Q&A interview! I’m sharing four of my very favorite IMPOSSIBLE film photographs as well as how I describe my work, where I find inspiration, and tips for people just getting into instant film photography.
Click HERE to check it out!
Some days, it all feels hard. Each and every thing feels hard. You know what I’m talking about? It seems to come out of nowhere, the unease, the discomfort, the restlessness. And all you want to do is crawl back in bed…
I’ve been thinking a lot about wishes. Intentions. Dreams. I journal about them as I write my morning pages. They flutter through my mind and heart each day. These wishes feel like constant companions lately. I find myself having deep conversations with the Universe, pouring out my desires, asking for guidance, giving thanks.
I’m developing a deep belief. A secure footing. As I blow the delicate seeds off the dandelion bloom, casting my wishes to the Universe, I am working to trust that all will come to pass. After all, the Universe is unfolding as it should. Please and thank you.
As I sit here alone on this mid-January morning, listening to the mighty wind rip through the Midwest and seeing that it’s -4 degrees outside, I’m not very present. I’m already dreaming of this coming summer, planning a trip to Barcelona and Paris. I’m also reminiscing about warmer days with dear friends, surrounded by sisterhood and inspiration. The bitter wind that blows across this prairie feels so harsh, even as I make the short walk from work to my car, bundled up in goose-down with hat and mittens. I wonder how the Pioneers made it. My escape is looking back and planning ahead. To get out of this moment. Clearly, I’m not practicing off the mat very well. So be it. For today, anyway.
Come escape with me over to Mortal Muses where I’m sharing some more reminiscing photos today.