Oy vey… I have decided to become a blogger! It has taken me quite a while to take this first step. Why? Intimidation. I grew up in a world where writing meant putting pen or pencil to paper, writing a few rough drafts, typing it and correcting the old fashioned way. Do any of you remember how we did that? With a typing eraser and fudging to wriggle in a missed letter. I remember how ecstatic we typists were with “white out,” at least until we started working with it and discovered how messy it was, and how fast the bottle dried out, which was far faster than that which was applied to paper….That never dried and then it would gook up the typewriter keys. When home computers became ubiquitous, our children taught us how to use the things. They, my children, grew up with computers. I don’t think a one of them ever used a typewriter. When the kids were in the early elementary grades I returned to school to get my masters. I was so proud of myself because I was able to write my papers (many papers of great lenth!) on a Brother’s Word Processor! A huge step above the typewriter. I don’t know what ever happened to that processor. That went by the wayside years ago. Now I’ve been on the computer for many years. But this is my first attempt at blogging. So why start now? Actually, I decided to become a blogger for very selfish reasons. I’ve been unemployed for almost a full year (ugh) and the boredom has become tedious and obnoxious. My brain is going to mush with FarmVille and Farm Town being the most stimulating activity of my days…day in and day out. At one time I was a very good writer. One of the things I plan to do with this space is to revisit/rewrite some of my old sermons. This will also be a place to write “new” stuff. I need to keep my brain and creative juices flowing. One thing I’m learning in the few minutes of setting this page up is that I will have to learn a whole new language: tags, Post Tags, trackbacks and pingbacks, shortlink. What does “blog” mean, anyway? At any rate, I have a lot to learn and I look forward to the process.
I wrote the above blog entry on November 12, 2009. It is now five years and a few days later and wow, is my life different! Reading the above entry sparked a flood of memories about the reasons I first began blogging. My expectation (hope? prayer? wish? last ditch effort???) was that this creative exercise would break the log-jam in my thinking that was keeping me stuck, unemployed, and depressed. I wasn’t sure where blogging would lead me, or if it would lead me anywhere. But writing was something I enjoyed, and this “new” way of communicating sounded intriguing. At worst, blogging was a way of mass communicating with my immediate family and close friends.
Another motive for charging into the blogging world was the fact that many of the places I applied to for work required recent writing samples. While I had numerous writing samples, none were recent. Blogging would not only allow me to hone my dormant writing skills, but would provide “recent” and ongoing samples that might help secure gainful employment. All I had to do was add a link on my resume. Or if requested, I could print out a blog entry that would fit the job in question and send it along with my application.
Within days of the first entry, as I was learning how to set up my “site,” and while still learning the jargon of the trade, I felt alive, creative, excited, and most importantly, hopeful about my future and endless possibilities awaiting exploration. My husband always believed in me but this new endeavor excited him, too. Creative juices were flowing and ideas were percolating!
In no time I found myself methodically evaluating my strengths and weaknesses, my interests and dreams for the future. I began to think proactively about how I envisioned living in my later years. Being proactive required taking a hard look at what I had to do to make that dream a reality. This exercise in combining dreaming and hard-core reality testing evolved into the notion that I could turn my strengths and passion into a career that would support me/us through the remainder of our years on this earth: counseling.
To make a long story short, I wrote my first blog on November 12, 2009, and began my first course in graduate school (second masters) the first week of July, 2010. In addition to beginning graduate school, I rediscovered a hobby that had fallen by the wayside during the years of raising kids and doing other life things. As academic writing superseded blogging, photography added another dimension for social communication and made my blogs more interesting for an increasing number of “blogging buddies”.
I completed my studies at Capella University on December 15, 2013, was conferred a masters degree on December 31, 2013, was called in for a job interview on January 3, 2014, and was offered a position as psychotherapist with Ohio Guidestone on January 7, 2014. And then on May 5, 2014 I was granted an Ohio license as a Professional Counselor. I am now working toward licensure as a Professional Clinical Counselor at which time I will be able to hang out my own shingle.
I often tell my clients that it only takes a small change to render profound results. Five years ago I was depressed, bored, and “unemployable” . . . or so I thought. Then I created a blog that I never expected to be read by more than a few family members and maybe a friend or two. Today my life is vibrant, happy, filled with hope . . . and yes, more dreams and reality testing for the next stage in my journey.
On this Thanksgiving Day, 2014, may you be blessed with a dream, the gumption to make the small change(s) that will open doors to realizing your dream, and the will to embrace hope and possibility.