unnamed-2

Palm Trees & Warm Sand.

What did I do this month? Because nobody asked and I’m going to tell you anyway, I moved 4,000 miles across the globe to an island in the Pacific ocean. I live in Hawaii now. It seems unbelievable, but it’s happened. I live in a town called Kailua, on the Windward side of Oahu. It’s green, tropical, rainy, and everything is less than a half mile from my house. I’m sure you saw my Instagram feed blowing up with photos of the new digs. Honestly, I call it The Land of Athleisure. Healthy people. Yogies. Lulu Lemon. Local organic markets. Healthy people and Yogies wearing Lulu Lemon and eating at local organic markets everywhere. Our Whole Foods actually has a waterfall in front of it. & thank the nine divines.

…but I’ll be damned if I spend $24 per yoga class.

20130806090700.jpg

This beach is a 0.8 mile walk from my house. The two little islands are what make this location, Lanakai Beach, memorable. Right now I am getting the house set up and toeing that decorating fine line between tropical and tacky. But hey, where else would you do tacky tropical besides Hawaii? Anyway, Christmas is next week, I think… and it’ll be my third one in the Pacific (after two in Guam). Larry made reservations for a nice Christmas Eve dinner at Japengo in the Hyatt Regency Waikiki. He showed me Waikiki my second day here. I am overjoyed we chose to live in lush, green Kailua. While the tourist stuff is fun, I’d rather live in a real jungle than a concrete one.

life.jpgLastly, I’m finishing my MS in Counseling from LSU here: All I have left is a semester of internship and I graduate this May. I have two different internship sites here. I’ll be working in local transitional housing for those who are exiting state psychiatric care (leading groups and teaching meditative yoga), and I’ll also be working for a reputable forensic psychologist who specializes in military courts martial. So I guess the two-year break will be drawing to a close; I have to start looking for a job in March. Dang. What do you mean I can’t be a career student? I think if I find the right job fit I’ll be less anxious about it.

So yeah, Mele Kalikimaka… Better photos soon. There’s a hike I want to do this weekend, and of course, scuba and snorkeling are on the agenda when it’s not so cold. Cold. Ha.

 

 

 

 

 

unnamed-2

Take II

So in exciting news, I am leaving Shreveport, Louisiana for a second time. Larry is being sent to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii for his next assignment. I suppose I’ll go with him. Twist my arm. The notification came down rather quickly to the move date, so I am in a bit of a free fall; like a cat – I’m trying to instinctively go with the flow and land on my feet. It’s working so far. I’m moving after the semester ends at LSUS.

IMG_0875By the way, I finish all my coursework for my MS in Counseling this fall. I’m currently interning at the VA Hospital here in town. It is an absolutely joy to work with these veterans. I’ve been working in the Vocational Rehabilitation program on my first rotation: I have an interest in career counseling and wanted to be involved in a little social work to groom myself for a career at the VA or military bases. The veterans I work with are fabulous and I can’t say enough about how great the people are: just like being in the military. Sure, you don’t always get the funding or first rate resources, but you make do and you’re in it together. It’s the people that make it worth doing. I’ve been leading a group since my second or third week there; the feedback I’ve heard through the grapevine is that the guys say I “treat them as an equal,” “don’t talk down to them,” and “make you forget that your problems may seem hopeless.” They call me “Captain.” That nickname is fine with me! I’m going to really miss these guys when I leave. Man. To finish my last semester of internship in the spring, I’ll be transferring to the Tripler VA Hospital on O’ahu, so it shouldn’t be too much of an upheaval. Then I’m graduating May 2018!

But if I want to move to Hawaii I have to work for it. I’m taking 15 credit hours of master’s work, including internship and finishing my thesis, I will need to take my Comprehensive exam for Counseling, pack up my house and move, and secure the dog’s passage to Hawaii. I’m scared to ask what else might pop up.

IMG_0937

Earlier this month I went to Washington, D.C. and was a student aide for the American Psychological Association’s annual conference. I love networking, and even met a woman attending from O’ahu: she was 74 and just finished her second Ph.D. #Goals. You never know who you will meet! Let’s be real: Larry and I visited D.C. so we could see the Game of Thrones pop up bar. It was crowded, lively, and the drinks were awesome. I’m not sure the Lannister theme song really gets the mood shaking though. A little macabre.

Hey, if nothing else, my Instagram is gonna be fire in Hawaii. Can’t wait to scuba dive and bike and hike and all those things I did in Guam. Larry insists Hawaii is prettier; I insist Guam has its own dirty, yet charming appeal.

There are so many more things I’d like to chirp about, but I am heading out to hang out with my boyfriends at the Veterans Home and play some jazz. Life is good and I have much to be thankful for. People are what make my life worth mentioning.

unnamed-2

Unpacking & Cracking.

FALL. So with Louisiana’s nine month gestation of mosquitoes, humidity, and 95°F oppression drawing to a close, it is almost time to unpack boots, scarves, and everything that makes me a white, upper-middle class coffee-drinking American female. Or whatever stereotype works. And by that I mean boots, scarves, and baller grades in graduate school. This semester is focusing on theoretical approaches to counseling, and we have to basically select our model we will be using… forrrevverrrr. The one I am most interested in is, of course, abstract and scares people. Let’s talk about how you feel about what you’re doing with your life… & death.

200_s-1200_s

Anyway, it makes the most sense to me, and seems pretty useful for counseling military, veterans, and couples, with an emphasis on remaining respectful. So many therapists seem condescending or frankly, insulting that it frustrates me to no end. Acknowledging independence and encouraging personal responsibility always seems like a fair bet.

tumblr_o8kz2jJAxn1qiuiebo1_1280.jpgPROGRESS. I really believe this dumpster fire of an electoral process should just be summed up by who has the most clever memes…because that’s really all you see around the internet anyway to sway voters. Hills allotted like $125 million to make memes. Trump and Johnson have people doing it for free on Reddit, although Johnson did allot funds to make hilarious viral videos like this one. Dead Abe Lincoln should win a medal. Anyway, I sent my ballot in absentee last week. Pretty sure Hillary will steal it and use it as kindling to light a bomb fuze to kill Syrian civilians. And Trump will try to steal it and somehow write it off his tax return to avoid taxes. I told Larry I want to be a psychologist on Mars; Earth’s problems would seem so tiny when you have to worry about your potato crop getting wiped out by one teensy Mars outpost explosion.

The last “debates” were a snark fest. If I wanted to watch two people hurl clever jabs at each other, I’d watch an instructional video on marriage counseling. There was absolutely no debating, just insane claims and the so much fact checking that it’ll be completed by next election cycle. The New York prisoners’ debate team that defeated Harvard’s would be great coaches for Trump and Hills. Maybe they can both be sent there for charity fraud and improper handling of classified, respectively.

This Sarah’s Scribbles comic makes me sad. So much progress was made, and a year later, so many steps back… into the burning inferno of uncounted 2016 Presidential Election absentee ballots.

Continue reading “Unpacking & Cracking.”