Treat yo self


Canada Goose jacket; 7 For All Mankind jeans; Sorel boots; L.L.Bean tote bag

Can I even call myself a blogger anymore? Seriously, I suck at it. My lack of posting is nothing new, and if you had to guess the reason, yes, it’s school. The first week of January was Block Week at the University, so school didn’t officially start until last Monday. There’s no such thing as easing in, so you just hit the ground running the second classes start.

If you can believe it, I’m already behind. For some reason, I thought this semester would be slightly easier, but then I was “surprised” by all the work required for only the first week. Like reading. And more reading. And lectures. And learning exercises. And thinking. And processing. And reflecting. And writing. And MORE writing.

Basically, I had forgotten how to do school, and I think my brain blocked out the memory of how grueling last semester was. I’m afraid to even say that I think this semester will be even harder. I’m taking two courses again. Last semester, I took counselling theories and learning theories. This semester, it’s ethics and human development. There’s so much more to counselling than just listening to people talk about their problems. If only it were that easy.

Jon is back from a week long trip in Peru for Charles’ bachelor party. If you know him at all, you’d know he’s not exactly the outdoorsy type. So the fact that he survived the Inca trail to Machu Picchu is quite impressive. I’m sure he’ll write a blog post about it eventually. Now that he’s home, he’s determined to begin his new three years resolution. While I’m glad he’s home for many reasons, I’m excited to have him resume his duties of taking care of the humidifier. Priorities, you guys.

I know I didn’t follow through with a lot of my plans for the blog in December, and while my heart always longs to write for this blog, it continues to be increasingly challenging because of school. If I have a little bit of breathing room this semester, I will be sure to pop in.

C.


Picture or it didn’t happen.

Feels good, man


Joe Fresh tunic blouse; TNA leggings; Burberry folding wristlet; Nine West boots

Four months ago, it seemed like grad school would never start, and when it did, I was convinced I was going to fail. Now I’m done my first semester, and I can hardly believe it. I feel like writing an Academy Award speech, but I’ll save it for when I graduate. ;)

As if starting a new program at a new school weren’t already hard enough, looking for work and starting a new job definitely added to the stress and pressure of this first semester. How I managed to sort out my life and still get good grades is seriously a mystery to me, but I certainly couldn’t have done it alone. Jon wrote a humourous and touching blog post on what it’s been like for him with me in grad school, which you can read here. It’s an honest recap of our life over the past eight months and gives you a little bit of insight into how we’re balancing work, school, and marriage.

I meant to check-in last week, but I’ve been busy working at my evening job and catching up on home chores. I will do my best to update this blog as much as I can over the next little while, so definitely check back.

C.

Surviving life, work, school, & everything in between


(instagram.com/annawatsoncarl)

A friend I made in grad school shared something with me, and I want to share it with you guys as it perfectly describes what I’m going through right now. To give a little context to her situation, she is a wife, mother, grad student, and works full time. She is also a beautiful writer.

“When I get discouraged because the volume of work seems too much, the competing demands too many, my resources too low, I remember that this is what growing and succeeding looks like at points. It’s messy. It’s imperfect. It’s fighting through, identifying what actually needs to be done, under the pressure, with competing demands, finding and building networks, asking for help, negotiating and making compromises to creatively get to the finish line. And some days it just sucks. But in the end, it is a privilege to have such problems in the first place. And it will be over soon enough. And it will be worth it. And the first friend who points out that proper sentences don’t start with And or But are getting whip cream pies in the face.” – KN

For those in a similar boat, I hope you find comfort and encouragement in her words as I certainly did.

C.

And I am done with my graceless heart

- Florence + the Machine


It’s always darkest before the dawn

On the home front, things are improving. I totally burned Jon out while I was recovering from my own burnout, which he briefly wrote about here. Our marriage has been put through the wringer since I quit my job, and while we’re not out of the woods just yet, I think the worst is behind us.

My new schedule these days is pretty jam packed. I’m working full-time during the day, which is a refreshing change from working a couple evenings a week for the past four years. I much prefer the 9 to 5 lifestyle. Thus it’s kind paradoxical that I’m also working part-time in the evenings doing counselling work. It’s a casual position that’s flexible, and it allows me to pick up shifts as I choose. In addition, it’s close to home, pays really well, and I’m able to continue practicing counselling.

As for school, I’m taking two courses, which people like to think is equivalent to two undergraduate courses. I’m here to tell you that it’s actually more like four. Even though the program is part-time, I’m pretty much a semi full-time student. Basically, I’m working full-time and part-time, and schooling more or less full-time. It’s crazy, but fortunately, my day job allows me to do school work when it’s slow. Hence, the sole reason I accepted the position, despite compromise in salary and location.

I’m also using public transit to commute to work. As a grad school, I have full-time status, so I was able to opt in for the UPass. I love driving everywhere, but economically, the UPass makes transit way more affordable than paying for parking, gas, and insurance. Although there’s a lot of little annoyances like delays and standing/sitting close to people, it’s actually not that bad.

And that’s my life update for now. I write so much for school that writing leisurely is impossible. Nonetheless, I felt the need to catch you guys up on current events. I’ll return in December to breathe life back into this blog and hopefully finish writing about Europe.

C.

The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go

- Dr. Seuss


coffee & psychotherapies

In case you’ve been wondering, school is going really well. First month was crazy, though. We had an assignment due the first week of school, and since then, it’s been nonstop reading and paper writing.

I didn’t always love learning growing up, but I always tried to do well in school. It wasn’t until I got to university that I actually started to enjoy learning. Traditional subjects like math and science were never my strong point, so getting to pick the courses that I wanted to study during my undergrad allowed me to really explore and learn what I was interested in. Thus, my time in university ignited my passion for learning.

On the other hand, working is great, especially getting paid. Plus, school is incredibly stressful and costly, so when you finish, you never want to think about going back. Although there are other means of learning that don’t involve school, I believe school is great for learning when you’re truly passionate about the subject. I also acknowledge that it’s not for everyone.

Admittedly, I applied for grad school for professional reasons and not because I actually want to be in school; I really like working and making an income. However, two pages into my first reading assignment, I realized that school isn’t all about obtaining the necessary credentials. At the very heart of why I’m in school is my love for learning, which runs deeper than anyone will truly ever know.

That said, I am really enjoying my program thus far, and I know I made the right choice, although there was never any doubt. However, it’s been a huge learning curve. Switching to a graduate level of schooling has been an adjustment. At an undergraduate level, you only skim the surface of major theories and concepts, whereas at a graduate level, you have to learn to analyze and critique readings and research literature, as well as apply theories and models to clinical practice. It’s definitely intense and there’s a lot of pressure to perform.

I have my days where I feel confident that I can do this and days where I feel crippled by inadequacy and doubt. By no means is school easy for me, and I actually have to try at it. I was never one to brag about getting an A on an exam I didn’t study for. I struggle everyday with the belief that I can do anything and the fear that I’m going to fail. Nothing in life has ever come easy for me, and I have had to work hard at everything, especially school.

Now that it’s mid-November, I’m approaching final projects and papers, so it’s going to be a busy month. Got one more post to share with you guys tomorrow so check back.

C.