Patient – “bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint; not hasty or impetuous; steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity”. (Definition found here.)
It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, guys. 2016 is over. My yoga teacher training is complete. Donald Trump was elected President (which I started a blog about, but never finished. If you want to talk politics, I’m game. Just shoot me an email).
And, I quit my job.
I’ve decided that 2016 was the year of soul searching. Diving deep in to who I really am and who I want to be. I left a job in March for a job that was four 10 hour days, which always gave me 3 day weekends. I was ecstatic. I thought this job was going to be the answer to all my prayers as a therapist. I loved my job that I started 2016 with, but I was driving all over the county to visit my clients and it was getting very tiring. This new job was going to be in an office, where my clients would visit me, and I would only work 4 days a week! Score.
I did love my job, I really did. I loved the clients I worked with. I loved the growth it offered me as a therapist. I love the co-workers I was able to collaborate with and connect with. But I was tired. Working four 10 hour days is really exhausting, you guys. There were weeks I had back to back clients all day and then ended the evening with my group. There were nights I wouldn’t get home until 9:30 or 9:45 PM. Then I would wake up and do it all again. I thought having Fridays off would give me time to go to yoga, see friends, prep my food for the week. If I even had the energy to get up off the couch, I usually spent that day running errands and squeezing in things I didn’t have time to do during the week. My health was deteriorating. I had gained back the 20+ pounds I had lost right after college. I was eating like crap. I wasn’t exercising regularly because the only time I had to do a work out was at 5:30 in the morning and you try working up at 5:30 AM on a day you know you’ll be at an emotionally draining job from 9 AM to 8 PM. It’s tough. I felt like I never had time to have a social life during the week, let alone have a decent conversation with my husband in the evenings. It was wake up, work, TV and pizza, sleep, repeat.
A little over a year ago, when I was starting to feel burned out at the job I had in the beginning of 2016, my husband asked me if I even wanted to be a therapist. I thought about it. And I had some soul searching this year about that very question. But every time I give this question thought, I think a resounding “hell yes”. I love what I do. It’s very rare that I’m in a session and I’m not IN it, know what I mean? I can be exhausted and drained and emotionally done when I’m doing documentation or in a meeting, but put me in with a client and I am buzzed all the way up in to the crown of my head. I love being a counselor, and I know I’m really good at it.
The end of 2016 was a blur. A lot of things happened. And you know what? I reached my limit. I got to a point where I just couldn’t do the full time grind anymore. I drove home that day and sobbed with my husband that I was so unhappy at my current position that I felt like I couldn’t do it another day. I knew if I continued on the schedule I had, that I would be burned out. I didn’t want to be one of those therapists that gives it her all for 3 years then quits because she can’t take care of herself. So I went in the next day and I gave my 30 day notice. I didn’t really have a plan, but I knew I wanted to try to teach yoga and I knew I needed to do something for my health. My work was shocked and sad and disappointed, I’m sure, but it felt really damn good to put that notice in. I immediately felt a sense of relief and I knew I had done the right thing.
I ended up accepting a part time contract position at a private practice. I now work 3 days a week and I already feel a million times more like myself again. However, I’m feeling…restless. Anxious. Nervous. Scared. Guilty. And restless again. Why would I feel all those things when I made a decision that was best for me? I figured out why.
This is the first time since I graduated college in 2010 that I haven’t worked full time or been a student full time. I was a full time nanny right after college graduation, then was a full time graduate student for 2 years, then worked full time before I even graduated with my Master’s (side note: I don’t recommend working 40 hours a week while wrapping up a graduate program…that was tough). I’m so used to being occupied or having a place to be for 40 hours out of my week that I now feel guilty for being at home 2 days out of the work week. (Mind you this week is my first week on this schedule due to the holidays.) I started panicking yesterday thinking about how much money I won’t be making this month due to not having a high caseload at my new job. And that yoga teaching thing? Yeah, it hasn’t happened yet. So my mind tells me I’m this big failure. But I only graduated my YTT a month ago! Things don’t happen overnight. Things are in the works.
So, I looked up the word patience yesterday. I read lots of blogs about the benefits of working part time. I crunched my budget and looked at expenses that could go. I’ll have to start saying no to more outings and probably have to take less vacations this year. But the feeling that I get when I think about how I have more control and flexibility over my life now? The fact that I can take my dog on a walk at 2 pm on a Monday or take a random yoga class on a Tuesday? That’s so worth it.
I’m frightened to my core about failing at this. And maybe I will. Maybe I’ll never secure a regular yoga class at a studio. Maybe I’ll never build up a caseload like I need at this private practice. But I’m gonna hustle. And I’m gonna give it my best effort.
I took a chance on myself. I’m betting on myself this year. Now it’s time to let the patience wash over me with each breath I take. I know that the universe has my back, and I know that I’m worthy and deserving of everything I want in this life.
Let’s do this, 2017. I’ll be patient, but I know you’ll offer up great things for me.