I'm nearly a month overdue on when I said I would write a new entry but, as my title suggests, it's better late than never. I guess I had been under the impression that I would have loads of free time after classes ended but that has hardly been the case. My days are still filled. Not with the most interesting stuff, albeit, but still filled. When I haven't written in a while, my dilemma is trying to remember everything that has happened. And a lot has happened. Unfortunately, my blogs won't be quite as fun to read as Sara's and Molly's who are in Italy and Iceland, respectively. I'm jealous...I'll be the first to admit that. I'm in Greenville, NC, for goodness sakes. Speaking of which, over these last couple weeks, I've been absolutely itching to get out of the country. I think it's because all my friends are rendezvousing through Europe this summer. It's been far too long since I did the same. My favorite teacher from high school, Ms. Coleman (though she has recently allowed me to call her my her first name, Season) recently joined Facebook and she mentioned a trip to Spain that is coming up in summer 2010. I'm seriously considering making this trip a reality for me. I've never been to Spain and it would be a great graduation gift (that my parents don't know about yet). I long to travel the world!
Ok, so...on to my life update. I will try to be as brief as possible, for your sake. ;)
I finished my first year of grad school. It's difficult to wrap my mind around, especially since we don't have an official break for the summer...so I feel like the year is just continuing (which, technically, I suppose it is). So let me rephrase that. I completed my second semester of graduate school. And can I just tell you that second semester was, to be blunt, HELL. I've never had a more difficult semester in all my school years. On the same day, we started our internships and began seeing clients on our own. Simultaneously, we were trying to wrap up our classes (a.k.a. we had papers, exams, and presentations to make it through) and most of us were completing the last of our assistantships. Some of us (me) were also starting new assistantships with Greene County Healthcare and trying to make time to shadow MFTs at those locations. It was RIDICULOUS. We were losing sleep (I pulled on all-nighter at the clinic with Sam on my 23rd birthday...I should NOT know that the cleaning lady comes at 5am...but I do and how I found out makes for a funny story - ask me sometime), not eating well, and not getting much exercise. I can't speak for anyone else but I had really let myself go and I'm paying now for the bad habits I acquired during those weeks (i.e. eating when I get stressed, which is often, and passing on the gym for a nap - hey, you gotta do what you gotta do). Let's just say that a huge sigh of relief was heard among the MFTs on May 7th when the semester was officially over. For the first time in about a month, we didn't have 10 million tasks hanging over our heads. It was nice. And to celebrate, I headed home for the weekend.
Before I proceed to the next part of my update, I should note that I've started dating someone. His name is James and we met at the Hibernian in Raleigh during my Spring Break. It was a totally unexpected meeting, believe me. I'll explain. The night of Laura's bachelorette party, I arrived back at Meredith and Molly let me in the dorm (darn outdated CamCard). As it was, she and her friend Rasika (who I ended up liking very much) were going downtown to the Hibernian and asked if I wanted to go. I had driven to Raleigh from home that day and had been going ever since. I was exhausted and disheveled...in no shape to hit the bars. But it was my Spring Break and I didn't want to pass up an opportunity for fun. Well, after we arrived at the Hibernian, I began regretting my decision. The three of us were descended upon by a very drunk, very obnoxious man from Boston who was watching the basketball game and being quite vocal about which team he wanted to win. As irritating as he was, he was also entertaining...but as soon as he learned that Molly was from Boston, Rasika and I no longer existed. I was bored and my glass was empty. Crisis. To make a long story short, James and two of his friends, Tadd and Kendall, ended up rescuing us from the drunk Bostonian and inviting us to sit at their table for a bit...which we did until 2am. We saw them the next night (this time with Hillary) and the next night (with Ashley). James and I have been together ever since (though it didn't become official until April 24th). Coincidentally, Molly ended up dating James's friend, Kendall...which works out nicely for double dates and whatnot. :) So, there's the backstory.
The weekend after classes ended, James and I both went home (our homes are about 45 minutes or so from each other) and met each other's families. I got off easy on this one. I met his parents and two brothers (Jason who is older and Michael who is younger). Everyone was very nice. Well, I assume Jason is nice. He'd just woken from a nap and, like me, he isn't very conversational after just waking up. I understood though. James, however, had the pleasure of attending my Grandma's surprise 75th birthday party and met about 50 members of my family at once (that may be a bit of an exaggeration but there were lots of people). I think he had a good time and everyone seemed to like him, especially that he's a bit of a country boy. My family is big on that sort of thing. And he had the opportunity to see me dance, which is pretty rare. Below is a picture of when my Grandma realized she had just walked into her surprise party. I love her face.
The next day was Mother's Day and graduation at Meredith, which I attended with my own mother. It was absolutely surreal to be watching the Class of 2009 graduate. I could not (and still cannot) believe that a year has passed since I graduated from college. So much has happened in this last year! I was super jealous too. Class of 2009 was able to have Class Day and graduation in the gorgeous Meredith amphitheatre whereas my graduation was rained out. Meredith students dream of graduating there and I didn't get the chance to. Clearly, I'm still bitter about it. Even so, it was good to see Hillary graduate there. I'm quite proud of her.
So, what's happened since that eventful weekend? I've been seeing clients on my own for nearly 2 months now (also hard to believe) and it's had its ups and downs. I've also started doing integrated care as a Medical Family Therapist at two medical centers in Snow Hill, NC. I have to admit that integrated care has not been my favorite. However, I'm trying to have a more positive attitude about my assistantship. Being negative only makes my days longer. And if the positivity starts to fade, it will all be over July 31st. :) Team began a couple weeks ago. Team consists of watching a live therapy session through the two-way mirror. Damon is my supervisor and I have a great team - Jodi, Kristy, Sam, Jamie, and Marina. Even so, I'm nervous about having my turn in front of them. I don't have a client yet who is willing to do team but I know it's only a matter of time. When that time does come, I will surely be scared out of my mind. I don't like being watched - it makes me so nervous - but I guess it's something I will have to get past. So far, it's been an enjoyable experience. It's just funny to me because, when I first heard of team, it seemed so far away...
Molly stayed with me in Greenville until she left for Iceland last Friday. I was really excited about her visit and it ended up being a great time. It made me realize that I would like a roommate. It was refreshing to have someone to come home to, to talk to at night, to vent to when I had a bad day, and to have dinner with. I'd forgotten how nice that was because I've been living in solitude for so long! She was a great roomie...especially when she cooked dinner or baked cookies (love ya, Molly). The day she left, she woke up to tell me goodbye before I took off for the clinic and it didn't hit me until I was in the car that I was quite sad to see her go. I almost wanted to cry a little bit. But she'll only be abroad for a month and I think I can handle that.
I've been trying to spend as much time with James as possible which, unfortunately, is limited to the weekends due to our schedules. What I failed to mention earlier is that James is in the Army and will be deploying at the end of the summer. I'm sure it just became a bit clearer as to why I'm desperate to spend time with him. I won't delve too much into how unfair this all is and how we're hardly able to be together before we're ripped apart for a year. Nope, I'm just going to say that I'm taking it the best I can. I don't want to think about August. I'm a little bit in denial. I saw him in his uniform last weekend for the first time and it made everything more real for me. Anyway, enough of that for now.
Memorial Day weekend, James and I, along with Molly and Kendall and a friend of the boys', Jesse and his girlfriend, Janna, went to Carolina Beach for a mini-vacation that we all needed. We ate at some really good restaurants, spent a beautiful day in the sun, and just enjoyed being carefree with each other. It was VERY hard to return to Greenville. Summer means the beach for me and I definitely want to go back...soon.
That's the gist of my last several weeks. I will attempt to update with more regularity in the future so as not to write a novel!