Going Forward in Reverse

IMG_0301Cue “something, something, whale noises.” Totally metal.

Things have been happy and healthy around here. And by happy I mean incredibly busy with school, volunteering, and the revelation that I will be moving in December. Where, you ask? Not sure yet. Ask Uncle Sam. He may know, but he’s not telling me yet.

Fair enough, and so it goes. Although the chart toppers were Honolulu, Washington D.C., and Virginia Beach, let’s face it: Wyoming or Oklahoma are the most likely outcomes with my track record. But you know what? I’d like to think there would be immunity from North Dakota… but nothing is written.

Man, I’m all over these quotes today.

Fotor148918534056038_99a3fbca-5c10-4251-a571-024ac835c2b5Anyway, staying positive over here. In fact, there has been too many episodes of “My Island Life” and “House Hunters” about Hawaii and Washington, D.C. going on in this house. It’s always fun to dream, but as the last 10 years of military moving experiences dictate, one must be aware of the gravity of 100 people duking it out Celebrity Death Match style for one placement at Honolulu… or any place not Kansas.

As for healthy, I’m back in the gym! I do lead a fairly healthy lifestyle, but there’s always room for improvement. I got a really cute exercise and food planner from Fox & Moon and am loving the organization of everything. It’s so calming to me to know my plan and stick to it. Takes out the guess work.

I’ve been updating my Instagram quite a bit these days. I know the feed shows up below, but most fashion and lifestyle pics will be displayed there.

I returned from Central Florida this past Sunday. My grandmother passed away recently and I flew over there for her memorial service. During the service, I played the piano and my sister sang. FullSizeRender-8I was very proud that she was able to do such a great job: my job was easy. I can concentrate on music and not have to look at anyone, much less talk or sing. It was a beautiful celebration of life ceremony and I’m so happy I could give a little music back to Grandma. I also got some great time with my extended family, including an early birthday celebration at the Chart House in Melbourne. Dolphin watching was beautiful, as was the sunset, casting orange and pink hues across the Indian River.

Funny thing is, each time I visit Florida with Larry, we have some amazing wildlife experiences. On his first trip to Cocoa Beach, we witnessed about sixty Green Sea Turtles hatching and crawling to shore. This trip, we saw manatees. He must think Florida is this idyllic place, chock full of unique flora & fauna. I guess it really is. Nothing like a few years—all right, a decade—in the Central Time Zone to help you realize your good fortune.

After much wailing and gnashing of teeth (and today’s entry brought to you by cliches), I have secured a mental health internship at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Usually, students select their potential site from a list maintained by the faculty at the university. However, I wanted to get the experience of cold calling and well, let’s face it, begging for placement at various private practices and other clinical sites. Nothing worth doing is ever easy, right? What? It can be? Oh…

Anyway, after enduring a few rude and unprofessional staff members of local clinics, I settled on a local private practice with a very knowledgable PhD with military experience (an Air Force Reserve retired combat pilot, in fact). Unfortunately, the clientele wasn’t sufficient to obtain the hours I need (700!) for my internship. The other sites at the school had been filled, so I was left with few options.

Ready to tackle the red tape, I called the Department of Veterans Affairs’ behavioral health clinic. They had returned my call about obtaining an internship a week after I had agreed to work with the retired combat pilot, and now I was calling back to explain what happened. Earlier that month, I had personally invited the head of Behavioral Health to a networking event at our university. She was unable to attend, but was kind enough to dig around for an internship for me at the clinic. In fact, my university hadn’t sent students to intern there in over two years. As soon as I accepted this internship, a private practice I had called returned my call (three weeks later) remarking they had liked my resume and wanted to offer me an internship. Such is life.

I am very excited to start at the VA tomorrow. I asked if I could do some social work in addition to clinical mental health counseling, to better round out my experience for future employment…and management. I am leaning toward a PhD in Behavioral Health Management…or medical management in general. After I get my Counseling licensure, this will be the next goal.

The thesis is going along very well. I began in late January with a proposed finish date in November. It required a survey and I was surprised to see 108 responses. That’s huge for a Graduate thesis project. I have much data to explore and am enjoying learning about how utterly dysfunctional the entire VA actually is. Got lots to do.

I got accepted for a position as a graduate student aid for the 2017 American Psychological Association Conference in Washington, D.C. this August! My friend Ciara just moved there in March and is working with the FBI. I am excited to sightsee and get smart on various current counseling topics… for free.

Lastly, I am so thrilled Netflix has just announced their original series take on “The Witcher”! I am a fan of the books and video game franchise, so this will be so awesome. Since they are working with the author, Andrzej Sapowski, the mood, tone, and story telling context will be high quality.

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