Over three months have passed since my last entry. For 3 months, I've been a resident of Wilmington. For 3 months, I've been a family counselor with Youth Villages. It's just funny where life leads us. Here's the update...
Working at Youth Villages has been one of the most challenging experiences I've ever had. I've encountered lots of things that I certainly didn't see in my grad program. But that's what happens when you're working with troubled teens and their families. In the last 3 months, I've been through the new-hire orientation, attained my prized "Covey" (a FrankinCovey planner that has become my lifeline...Lord only knows what I'd do if I lost it...that thing has EVERYTHING in it - it's a staple at Youth Villages and completely necessary to keep up with our chaos), experienced MST 5-Day training (Live it up! It's MST 5-Day! - sort of our motto for the week), attended my first "booster" training (in Greenville, no less...sure felt weird to be back there), and watched my caseload quickly build. This job has already taught me a ton about what I want...and what I don't want...from a career. It's solidified the lurking feeling that the mental health field isn't a good fit for me. And so, now, I'm kind of floating. While others are trying to move up in the agency, I'm simply existing from day to day, hoping that I'll wake up one morning and suddenly realize what I really want to do with my life. It hasn't happened yet though. And, unfortunately, this job keeps me so busy that I haven't had a lot of time to explore or soul search. It's beginning to look like I'll just have to find the time (perhaps I'll stumble upon some previously undiscovered 25th hour in the day?). Until then, I'll continue floating and simply doing the best I can with what I've got.
Brandon and I are still making it...and we haven't killed each other yet. Living together has been an adjustment though and we've had to make some compromises. We've had our ups and downs but, so far, it's been a pretty successful arrangement. We've made time in our busy schedules (Brandon recently started a new job) to do some fun couple-y stuff too. We went to Texas in September to visit his dad and step-mom (super fun trip) as well as Ashley and Marty's wedding. And we've done some things here in town...Coastal Cupcakes (duh), the Ghost Ship (they turn the USS North Carolina into a haunted attraction for Halloween), and Riverfest. Next weekend, we're planning to celebrate our first Halloween in Wilmington, probably by checking out the downtown scene. In November, Brandon is accompanying me to Brevard, where my family goes every year for Thanksgiving, and we're both really looking forward to is...as is my family. It'll be the first year in a long while that a boyfriend has been with me for Thanksgiving. And for Christmas, we're splitting time between our two families. Working that out was a bit of a struggle because we both have limited time off (the first time I've EVER had so few days off for Christmas...ah, I miss being a college student!). But we figured it out and we're going to (try to) make everyone happy. :)
I recently started attending Port City Community Church and it's been a great experience so far. It's a huge church, which I thought would intimidate me, but I like it. The music is inspirational, the pastor is sincere and funny, and the message is applicable to real life. I've also joined a small group called Step 2 for people who need a little help in their walk with God. This group is really making me stretch because I don't know that much about God or the Bible. I hope to in a few weeks though (it's an 8-week group).
And that's about the gist of it! A lot has happened in the last 3 months but, strangely, it doesn't look like that much on paper. I'm interested to see what the next 3 months will bring!