So? What's the point of this post, you ask?
Well, this afternoon, I found myself in the middle of a very deep discussion with my co-interns. As we prepare ourselves for the coming months of pure internship hell (okay, I may be exaggerating... a little), we have to do this transition week thing. It's like a retreat/recollection of sorts to prepare us mentally and emotionally for the demands of the next several months. One of the activities we did today is a personality-test-ish exercise where we need to order five shapes (spiral, circle, square, triangle, and cross). Each shape represents something and the order in which we place them also means something.
Mine turned out like this:
What it stands for:
What it means (based on placement):
Most longed for, most aspired for
What you believe will bring you there
Where you are at present
Where you were before
What you have neglected
As much as I sucked balls at sharing time, I thought this was a really good way to personally reflect and prepare myself. I may not have been able to sufficiently express my thoughts verbally but I'm definitely going to create one hell of an introspective piece using the written word. That's where this post comes in. I just wanted to try and explain some points that I may not have been able to do effectively this afternoon.
I know for a fact that I've always been very ambitious. I find myself daydreaming about plans and futures nearly bordering on insane. It's ridiculous how idealistic I can be if left unchecked.
I feel like there are so many things I want to do, to be. I mean, c'mon, if I'm being really honest with myself, it is absurd to even consider the idea of doing and becoming everything that I every dreamed of. But trying to pin down just one thing is like asking an alcoholic to choose only one drink from a roomful of liquor/beer.
Ambition is not bad in and of itself. But, I realized that there is such a thing as being over-ambitious. The saddest part, I guess, is that I get blinded by all my plans and aspirations that I never get to focus one one long enough to actually see it come to fruition.
So, maybe, there's some truth to getting VISION as the thing I long for most. Not because of a lack of it, but because of too many. In my case, I guess I need to pinpoint what EXACTLY I want to do with my life and where EXACTLY I see myself in the coming months. Figuring that out will help me focus all my time and effort on the things that matter most. In the next few months, we'll get a taste of what the real world is like after graduation. The time for starry-eyed idealism and dawdling is long gone. I need to put my big girl panties on and make grown-up decisions, difficult as they may be.
With this decision I need to make comes a fear I've been dreading for a while: I don't want to settle for anything just because it's easier or more feasible. But that's a post for another day. Man, I'm gonna give myself a serious complex after all is said and done! -______-
RELATIONSHIPS - What you believe will bring you there
Say I've finally chosen a main goal to shoot for, what then?
When this exercise suggested that RELATIONSHIPS would take me to where I want to be, it got me thinking how incredibly self-possessed I am. The first step in AA's recovery process is to admit that you have a problem. The same is true I guess with any other situation and I admit that I have a tendency to focus too much on the minutiae of my life that I become out of tune with the people around me. I fail to see how huge a role other people can play in my story.
I used to do things on my own, y'know, running a one-woman show and all that. I thought it worked for me. But now I realized that shutting people out and not giving them a chance to help me only limits my room for growth and improvement. I feel like I've been doing this for most of my life and doing everything all alone gets old after a while.
I'm the kind of person who like to take control and it's difficult for me to relinquish that control to other persons and let them take the reins. But, this internship call for a more open relationship with other people including my co-interns and supervisors (with whom I'll be working with for most of the year), my future patients, and my family.
The demands of this internship will require a strong support system and I need to learn how and when to lean on people and let them pull me up when I'm down. It's scary for me to admit that kind of vulnerability, to need and ask for help but it's a fear that I need to overcome if I want to be successful in this next adventure.
WHOLENESS - Where you are at present
One thing that I'm fairly certain of is the fact that I'm in tune with myself. So much so that it's relating with other people that becomes a problem.
The thing is, I'm aware of what my limitations are. I know what I can and cannot do. I know myself well enough to decide when to push for something and when to pull back and let go. Right now, I feel like I'm happy enough with my lot in life. I've got great friends. My family supports me in everything I do (well, most of them anyway, rant post here). I get to study on a great school, I've got a roof over my head, food in my tummy, a bed to sleep in at night. Life is good.
I feel like I'm in a place where I'm satisfied and content with how my life is turning out. I feel complete, whole, as a person. Don't get me wrong, I used to long for that connection that other also crave. Y'know? That need to be with someone or be part of something greater than yourself. I still want that for me but no longer for the same reasons. I'm comfortable enough in my own skin to crave that connection without letting it define who I am.
STABILITY - Where you were before
I'm now entering a phase of my life that is surely going to be a far cry from what I have been used to. It's a bit daunting to even imagine that I'm going to have to learn how to navigate this new adventure. You see, I'm a creature of habit. I like experiencing new things just about as much as the next person, but when it comes to the big stuff, I tend to stick to what I know. And as far as being a student is concerned, this internship? Well, it's a pretty big deal.
I'm scared that this internship would feel like having the rug pulled out from under me. I told you guys before that I'm happy with how my life is working out at the moment but I guess I've never really appreciated the stability my situation in life has afforded me. But now that I'm on the verge of a massive shift in my daily routines, I'm anxious about how the hell I'm going to deal with it.
I admit that I don't act THAT well in times of stress. I'm always looking for that feeling of assurance that you only get from knowing what to expect and when to expect it. The first 19 years of my life has been much of the same thing: waking up, going to school, listening to a teacher, eat, more school, go home, sleep. I guess it would be difficult for me to adjust to the new routine this internship will call for.
The complacency I have learned to rely on will be my downfall. I would have to learn to swim where these new currents take me, lest I sink more terribly than Jack Dawson ever did. I have to learn how to jive to the new beat of this new drum.
I don't have any illusions about how difficult it's going to be to get back on my feet and find my center. It's something that I need to work on and develop as these next months pass. And right now, I'm determined to get back that stability, in whatever form it may be, no matter what I have to do.
CHANGE - What you have neglected
We've established that I'm not a fan of change and I guess this is something that I have neglected for a long time.
I haven't really taken the time to acknowledge the fact that so much has already changed in my life. I guess holding on to that semblance of the life I've always known has somehow kept me from accepting that things have changed, that I have changed.
I don't know how to interpret the correlation between change and what I have neglected aside from this:
Change is constant. People come and go. Plans succeed and fail. It's a natural part of life. But being too absorbed in my life made me vulnerable to all the changes that are happening in it. The complacency I have mentioned in the previous section has made me afraid to rock the boat and resign myself to ignore all the changes and keep doing what I've always done. What I realize now is how much I'm limiting myself by being so boxed in by what I do know that I no longer become receptive to the changes that would make me better than I am right now.