When Life Gives You Citrus

If I said I hadn’t gotten behind in life, I would be lying.

I’m one month away from finishing my generalist practicum-which means from here on out, it’s Chaos City. Client sessions that need terminated, logs to fill out, papers to write, and a book to finalize (I’m in the final stages of edits and I am SO thankful for that!).

As I’m wrapping up my practicum, I was asked to reflect a bit and I wanted to talk through that with you lovely folks.

Stress levels are a funny thing. I always thought of them as something you could just feel. Physical symptoms that let you know about your mental wellbeing. But as I’ve come to understand, stress doesn’t always look like one thing. Sometimes it’s getting to the end of your shift and realizing you’ve had your shoulders clenched for 8 hours. Sometimes it’s being fine all day and then as someone else comes in, you bolt out the door because you need some air. Sometimes it’s the knotted stomach too. But nihilism is a really comforting thing if you think about it. Everything ends eventually. As for coping strategies, well, I’ve outgrown a couple, reintroduced a few and discovered the difference between routine maintenance and self-care. I spend every weekend doing a face mask and meal prepping because it makes me better. That’s routine maintenance. I take breaks in my day and color or take pictures of beautiful things or work magic or do social activities or work out. That’s self-care. I tell my clients that they have to allow themselves to be human. Strong emotions aren’t bad emotions. They are deserving of being felt and acknowledged. If I need to cry, I do so. If I need to scream, I do that too. I keep a journal, I listen to what my body needs. And that is something I’ve never done before, but will continue to do. 

I took a partial shift at one night and in the span of 3 hours, I had to deal with 4 crises. I kept waiting for the moment I could catch my breath but it didn’t come. Each crisis was interrupted by another one. And I kept wondering if I was cut out for that. But at the end of the shift, I couldn’t help but smile because I’d knocked it out of the park. Had I made some mistakes? Absolutely. Did I do my job? Sure did. And that’s when I realized just how much I’d changed. I mean, last year I was just coming out of law school and I had no confidence in myself whatsoever. I thought I was going to ruin people’s lives and that I couldn’t possibly handle things by myself. And here I was, rocking a crisis cycle like an old pro.

I start my clinical year in just 2 months. And I know that’s when I start my specialization (and career goals). I go into it ready (which is SO nice).

Coming up for me this summer:
Finishing my generalist
Finishing Summer Classes
Moving
Family visits
Clinical Orientation
Clinical Year
Finishing my novel edits (and then its time to get hyped!)
Bringing y’all some sweet previews and spoilers for that novel

I’m still here. And great things are coming.

This One Has an Update In It

I figured it had been a while, and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t leaving anyone high and dry.

I’m now successfully beyond the caffeine-and-preservative withdrawals. I’ve been off soda (pop) for 2 months now and it’s going well. The longest I’ve been without it is 6 months, so still a while to go before I beat my record, but darn it, it’s a start. Next steps: remove the sugary drinks from my life: like pre-made tea. This one is going to take a WHILE. Especially because I actually enjoy them for taste not energy.

I had a super successful KissPitch-with 5 likes on a single pitch! I’m approaching 4 weeks on a few queries and I’m (im)patiently waiting. But I’m also writing a new book, just in case I get lucky!

What else? Apart from the snow days, my MSW placement is going super well! I’m learning a ton and I really feel like I’m reaching new levels of awareness. I told everyone in my private life and now I can talk about all the reasons I left law school with all the people who want to know.

And speaking of school, I’m closing in on the halfway point of my program! It feels like I’m ready to get out there and make changes. B got into his PhD program! So this summer we’ll be moving once again (for the last time for a while). We’re both super excited, and I look forward to getting back to culture!

I’ve been focusing on self-care lately, and it’s been paying off. I’m mostly just ready to be moving along in the process.

Anyway, I just wanted to pop in and say I’m still floating!

I’ll have more fun articles soon!

Time Flies

Heavens! Where has the time gone?

I finished undergrad!

Mercury retrograde ended!

I’m running a book giveaway! (Check it out: here!)

I’ve opened my Etsy shop! (Check it out: here:))

I’m preparing for law school-going about my daily duties like a mad woman. I’ve applied to jobs-which will be something. I don’t know that I’ve had a chance to accept that I’ve successfully completed a huge milestone-but I’m confident that will come up soon.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month ended, Mental Health Month began.

I’m going to have a couple excellent posts coming up: one about healthcare, one about a new book press, one about…well, you’ll have to stay tuned!

Stay safe. Stay valid.

M.

Three Year Blog-aversary

I’ve been working on changing the world for three years now. How fun is that? And recently it seems like every time I log into WP, something has changed. Call me old fashioned but slow down a second, eh?

Anyway, I’ve been delightfully busy, the school year is well on its way and I’ve managed to stay afloat. I haven’t heard anything from two of my schools, but that’s alright-there’s still time. I have officially applied for graduation and received it-so come the last week of April I’m done with my bachelors! I will have succeeded in that way. I’m working, and I cannot speak highly enough of my lovely coworkers and boss(es). They make the sunshine.

My books are coming along at an incredibly slow pace, but that’s alright. Any progress is some progress. And speaking of books, if you haven’t read Being Emily by Rachel Gold-now is the perfect time. She has another book coming out in May and I’m very excited for it!

I’ve got to run, but I just wanted to make sure I stopped by and said hi!

Updated Thoughts

buffering

I was able to pick a final project for my social work class that I am beyond excited to do. I am writing a bill of rights for sex trafficked individuals, akin to the one which was introduced for sexual assault survivors. My bill will be able to be sent in (which I intend to do) to government and hopefully become a bill. Now, I know there is a lot of work to be done between now and then, but I am incredibly excited to work on it. I’ll be using this as a stepping stone for my IMADTTO project’s continuation.

On a similar side note, there’s still no word out from the law schools I applied to. The earliest I could hear from someone is February 28-which is just about three weeks away. Trust and believe, I am counting down the days and I check every day to see if there is an update. I’ve got so many balls in the air metaphorically that I know one of them has to be a keeper. So I wait. I’m not saying I’m patiently waiting, but I’m waiting.

I applied for a scholarship program with one of the schools I applied to that could give me full tuition in scholarships. I have never (and I mean never) hoped I get something more in my life. This would be a complete game changer and is something I am very hopeful about. I’ve also applied to a few opportunities which are similar, and I’m very hopeful for those as well. It will directly determine where I am going to law school.

I’m working with my department at work to host a drive for the homeless shelter at my school (Star House), so I’m pretty excited about that. If you’re interested in learning more about it, you can do so here. We’re going to be collecting very necessary items to keep the house running and I won’t lie-it feels great to be able to do some good in the world. It keeps me going.

I am also working on two novels. One of them is well on its way, and emotionally wrecking so I have to take it in slow paces. The other is an epistolary (letter based) novel which is thrilling and terrifying all at the same time. I enjoy them dearly and I will let y’all know when I’m closer to making important headway.

On a final note for the day, support each other. Help others out. Be kind-not only to others, but to yourself. You matter. You do.

Well, we’re 1/52 done.

Alright, so that sounds a little pessimistic.

I hope y’all have had a safe and pleasant first week of 2017. I hope your stress load wasn’t too high and that you found time for some self-care.

I’m not ready to come back from my little hiatus, but I didn’t want y’all to worry, so I thought I’d pop in and wish you all some hearts and hope.

Please be safe. Please stay alive.

You are valid. You are loved. You have worth. You are irreplaceable.

See y’all soon!

M

There are only so many words-None of them pleasant.

TRIGGER WARNING: Rape/Sexual Assault. (For those of you who are new here-this is what I report about. I bring tough situations to light, becuase knowledge is power. I know it’s not pleasant, but sometimes that’s life-and it’s got to change.)

What seems like a very long time ago, I brought up a story which made me sick to my stomach in ways that I knew all too well. It was the story of a young African American football player with a mental handicap who was brutally attacked and raped with a coat hanger. Race came into play, as many slurs were used, his handicap status came into play. And the part that frustrated me (back when this story was new) was that it was a MALE football player and still people were brushing it off.

Now, not to derail from this story, becuase there are new pieces of information, but surely it is worth pointing out. When a woman is raped or assaulted, the blame is placed on her. Almost no jail time is placed on the perp (see: Rapist Brocker Turner) and on the whole, the victims are not held in high regards. With this being not only a male, but a jock-an athletic male, surely rape culture would pause for a moment and take note, right? But no-there was some outrage, but it was the same voices who have been yelling for years: women. And no one took note but the few.

So now, let me bring up some of the “new” details. The victim was pulled into a hug, his pants were pulled and a coat hanger was inserted and then kicked into his rectum. There were three individuals at fault here. The ring leader, whom I will solely refer to as Rapist John RK Howard, will “not receive any jail time or be classified as a sex offender” (read the full article Here). His plea was to one felony account of injury to a child, with probation and 300 hours of community service. He is allowed to maintain his innocence, and he will probably get his conviction dismissed.

So why was this the ruling?

Well, according to the article I linked above, it’s because of Rapist John RK Howard’s “athletic ability and community connections”. Once again, we find that just as in the case of Rapist Brock Turner and the ruling in the Steubenville Rape Case that if you have the ability to play a sport with some decency, you are exempt from the law. Which is the biggest pile of unequivocally ignorant bullshit I may ever hear in my life.

I lettered in Marching Band in high school. I was the field commander/drum major/director (I led them). I was exceptionally good at it. Does that mean I can rob a bank to pay off my student loans and not get sentenced to jail? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Does it mean that I can murder someone and get off with a warning? ABSOLUTELY NOT. It means that I was in an athletic and leadership position and I was good at it.

Being good at something does not give you the right to be a monster. It’s one of the reasons I got into law in the first place. Because I can’t stand around waiting for the world to change. If I want to see change, I have to be there helping it happen.

If you want to be somebody.

If you want to go somewhere.

You gotta wake up and pay attention.