Me Student! You Professor!

I don’t much like talking to strangers.

Some people are better at it than others, but it’s something I’ve never really been good at or wanted to do much of. Come to think of it, I’m not even that great at talking to the people I know – such is the fate of us introverted internal processors. I have great conversations in my head with myself, but when it comes to vocalizing my brilliant, eloquent thoughts to other people, I often end up garbling the words into something near unintelligible.

I’ll use just about any excuse to get a Far Side cartoon in here and there. I can relate to Tarzan, though – he had such great intentions, but flustered in the pivotal moment. I can also relate to the many students I talk to who are intimidated – to say the least – at the prospect of talking to their professors. Heck, I was one of those students at one point in time. Continue reading

Clear Transition

It’s beautiful.

Simply beautiful.

The sun is shining on my face and for the first time in a little while, I do not feel.

No, that’s not true. I feel. I feel good. Wow. And it’s been a while too because I’ve been going through some changes and I have NOT enjoyed the process for a second. I felt myself sinking deeper and deeper into… I’m not sure what. I know that depression is serious business and I did not want to get myself into something that I may not have been able to get myself out of.

But how could I stop this sinking feeling? I looked outside and I hated what I saw. I talked to people and had no interest in what they said. I wanted my old life back; the one full of smiles and promise and success. All I did was pine for yesterday; if only I could get yesterday back.

So I’m pretty deep in… whatever this is. And as much as I loathe my surroundings, I can’t stand this feeling either. My legs feel thick and swallowed up. I just want to stay in bed and sleep the entire day away. I walk around with a frown, desperate for someone of the opposite sex to look at me and take this internal pain away. If only I had a significant other. Life is so difficult on my own. It’s so much less fun.

Wait. How, aside from a 30 foot 90 degree drop can I not get myself out of something? Something I feel, no less? All it takes is willpower, right? If I have the right amount of willpower, I can get myself out of anything…right?

Ok, so I’m going to get up, walk outside into the sunshine and make the change. Okay, here I go… down the stairs, open the door and BAM! Sunshine!

I said “sunshine!”…

Yeah, it’s a nice day. But who cares? I’m still not where I want to be, surrounded by people I really don’t want to be around. Is there any amount of willpower to make me feel the way I want to feel?

Ah, okay, so maybe I should ask myself “how do I want to feel”? I want to feel like I normally feel: happy to be alive and grateful to be where I am. Okay, that’s a nice start. So how do I get there? If I knew that, I would be there.  Man, this is so tough. I don’t want to move but I know I have to…

How about flipping this on its head? What would I do if I wanted to feel good? I would grab my bike and ride to a place that I thought was really nice and just give myself some time to adjust. Can I do that now? Yes, I can. I don’t have any impending things to do; no work, no chores, I’m ok to go. Alright, I’m going to do just that, let me get my shoes on grab my bike.So here I am. At the place I think is nice. And it is. It feels nice to be away from my room and my bed. How am I feeling? The same … no, a bit different. Just a bit but it’s a start. Wow, that took a hell of a lot of energy to leave the nest. I want to find a nice spot on the grass and just sit.

Alright, what do I know: I know that I can choose to feel how I want to and right now this is how I’m choosing to feel, based on how I’m perceiving the situation. I want to make the choice to change my feelings but I don’t feel the impetus to do so. I just want to wallow in my sadness, I want to feel lousy for myself and drown in the little pond in front of me.

That pond reminds me of a story of a man who went thoughtlessly from place to place, without attaching himself to anyone or anything in particular. He simply did what he found himself doing and one of the things he did happened by a river… and when looking back, the man realized that his life was about learning and being aware of where he was to learn what he needed to learn in order for him to progress and move on. Am I so different from this man?

I wonder; if I simply allow myself to feel that my journey is not over, that I am only near the end of the beginning, will that help to lighten the blackness I feel so entrenched in? I want to make the choice to see myself in that way. There’s a mantra I used to use: “I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be with exactly who I’m supposed to be with”.

I think… I think I feel something inside of me shift. Can it change that quickly? Yes. I’m alright and out of the muck. I no longer want to drown in the pond. I’m going to take my shirt off and enjoy the sun.

It’s beautiful.

I’m happy to be alive.

And I’m grateful to be where I am.

How to Land Your Kid in Therapy

Aside

Stumbled across a great article on how “over-parenting” has lead to a generation of therapy-goers.  If you have the time (it’s a 4-pager), it’s a well-written and thought provoking piece – I very much recommend it.

Here’s an excerpt:

Here I was, seeing the flesh-and-blood results of the kind of parenting that my peers and I were trying to practice with our own kids, precisely so that they wouldn’t end up on a therapist’s couch one day. We were running ourselves ragged in a herculean effort to do right by our kids—yet what seemed like grown-up versions of them were sitting in our offices, saying they felt empty, confused, and anxious. Back in graduate school, the clinical focus had always been on how the lack of parental attunement affects the child. It never occurred to any of us to ask, what if the parents are too attuned? What happens to those kids?

via How to Land Your Kid in Therapy – Magazine – The Atlantic.