On thge 18th of December I finished my first quarter at JFK. I find myself happier and more engaged in this program than I've ever before been in my academic career. How to explain the excitement of both coming to a greater understanding of humans and relationships and discovering ever more complex and intriguing questions about the mind and ways we come together as families and society? To me it is the joy of understanding things I've so long wondered about and finding new and more exciting questions to ponder... this is something I would gladly pay to do for the rrest of my life, but thankfully will not have to :)
In my first quarter I learned about how family structures and systems can lead to problems in individuals. I learned about how psychologists can come together to prevent and intervene in many of the mental issues that will sometimes plague us throughout our lives. I learned about how the transitions we make through life tend to lead us into particular patterns of troubled thought and behavior... but most importantly, I learned that I truly love to solve these puzzles, speak in public, be inspired through inspiring, and have a mentor who supports and encourages me to reach beyond what I believe I can do.
For this quarter I created a workshop proposal to help people leaving jail and prison to build a life that is better and more satisfying than what they had before. This quarter I discovered a model of conceptualizing and visualizing identity development that might be important and useful in helping therapists treat mental illness, and this quarter I came to the understanding that my usefulness as a part of humanity may most effectively lie in researching and writing, in publicly educating and advocating for underserved people, in developing programs and workshops that people all over can use to lessen thier problems and maybe even overcome them.
And I learned that I am really a great mommy, even when I don't have as much time as I wish... that I am too stuck in my head and need to get back into feeling with my body and emotions instead of only through my mind.
So this coming year I will take all of this and add even morre. I will hike into the mountains and memorize the beautiful vistas they reveal. I will meditate and focus on that outside of my thoughts. I will play again.
And this holiday season I am taking this as a challenge and a goal. To love and be loved. To laugh and learn and enjoy. For life is a short journey, and the trip is that which we must find all our beauty within.