I’ve come to realize that being a social worker requires the ability to let the world constantly chip away at you every day. And a social worker’s whole life is to make sure that they have a strong enough shield to not completely deteriorate.. and when you don’t have a lot to start off with, it makes the process of protecting yourself so much harder.
These past couple weekends have been filled with a lot of happiness. I have gotten to be surrounded by many old friends, friends that I have not seen for 3+ years. School has been something that been put in the back of my mind, as I sit here with a 7 page paper due Thursday morning. It wasn’t until today when I reflected back on what has been happening in my life lately that got me to think that I’m actually happy right now. There are many dark days and nights in my life, more than I care to acknowledge. So, moments when my mind is able to grasp the awareness of happy, it catches me off guard. And it’s the small little things that have added up: seeing old friends, getting drunk, watching the sunrise and sunset, pulling all nighters, having deep conversations, realizing that I’m in a really spot in my life right now, and I’m living in a great city.
I would be lying if I said that “everything is perfect right now” because that’s never going to happen. Even through the good that’s going on, I miss my friends from Wisconsin, I miss sitting on the terrace and having a cold beer, having stupid converstaions, gossiping about people that don’t matter to our lives, not having to worry about anything… This get’s me to my next train of thought, can anyone be truly happy? I feel like people throw the phrase around a lot, “omg, I couldn’t be any happier right now,” “my life is perfect right now,” “I love everything that is going on in my life right now.” Right now, is that defined as the span of 24 hours or is it a week? How long does happiness truly last until a dark cloud comes and washes away all the joy? See, this is my mind…always jumping to the negative.
I guess another part of the happy phase right now is thinking about my future. Yes, my original decision to work in CPS has been challenged but at least I have a job lined up after I graduate next year. And I do love what I’m doing, I just don’t want to be burned out within my first year out in field. I’ve also discovered that I actually really like therapy and diagnosing children, so it’s a good thing I came to a place that has such an emphasis on clinical practice. And in general, just the fact that I’m at Boston College brings me great pride and joy. It is a top 10 social work graduate program! It still baffles me sometimes when I think about how I’m a student at BC. Another part of the future is knowing that Scott was able to transfer to his company’s office out in Cambridge. I am aware that money does not buy happiness but I am also well aware that financial insecurity will cause stress so I’m glad that we both will have stable incomes. Thinking about a life in Boston with Scott (and our future dog, Morrison) brings me happiness because it feels like freedom. The past 22 years of my life have been constrained by expectations, grades, and timelines. Of course, work will be filled with all of those things but at least it’s on my terms. And I have so much more freedom to do the things I love, which is travel. I’m not talking about long distance traveling either. Now that I live in New England, where areas are a lot closer together, I can explore New England so much more; go to Maine, Canada, New Hampshire, go camping, snowshoeing, to the beach. I think about those moments of freedom and all the adventures that I can go on, and it makes me so much happier. I guess happiness to me sometimes is thinking about what will be…