These days, I am still a student. Still learning so much. Still feeling like I have so far to go. I am in the middle of an 8 week, full time fieldwork rotation at a nursing home. I spend my days trying to pour into people who break my heart into a million pieces without ever knowing it. I introduce myself to a few of the same people every day, knowing I will have to do the same in days to come. I watch as families transition, grieve, and give every last drop of themselves for the ones they love. I am learning so much about love.
I decided to enter the world of Occupational Therapy because I wanted to help people and love to experience the joy in seeing people heal. I never really seriously considered the other side of the coin. There is a hard, heavy, sad side too. One where progress isn’t made and families aren’t rejoicing and you’re faced with an overwhelming feelings of powerlessness at the end of the day. Those drives home can be so long.
Healthcare is hard. Crazy hard. I am learning that there is beauty even in the most seemingly hopeless of situations. I am learning rest in, marinate in, and immerse myself in God’s love for me so that there’s a bit of hope I may be able spill that love over to the people I care for each day. I am learning the fruit that comes with being out of my comfort zone. I have to believe each day that looking back on this experience with fondness because of how it was used it to help me grow.
It has truly taken an army to get me through this season. My support system in Austin and beyond have been my saving grace as I’ve taken yet another step in the direction toward my new career. Josh has, yet again, proven himself to be the most patient and supportive human person to ever grace the earth. I would be wrecked without his constant reminders of the strength that is inside me. He has always had a knack for calling things out of me I didn’t know where in there. The same is true of my friends, my dog, and even my sweet therapist who has helped me keep my head on straight. It has taken an army. And I am learning to be okay with that.
Being a student is a vulnerable role to play. It means needing people to support you and opening yourself up to receiving the criticism of others. It is constantly admitting the need for more knowledge, trying and failing a lot, and sometimes succeeding. It feels like a giant mark of inferiority at times. It feels like you have the world at your fingertips and anything is possible, and also like you lost a terrible bet all at the same time. It is raw. It is years of difficult lessons. This is my first real attempt at this school thing, and I’m choosing to believe that it means something big and important in my life.
It is crazy to think that graduation is just a couple short months away. I have come so far and yet have so far to go still. I am so ready to move on with my life. I’m ready to start a family and adopt kids and have a job. I often feel a bit left behind in life. But this is where I’m at, and (on a good day) I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’m grateful for the days I have left with the sweetest gray-haired folks you’ll ever meet, and hopeful for days to come where I feel even more sure-footed in the path I walk with them.
May your Monday be filled with glimpses of grace and beauty, whatever it holds. Something beautiful is happening in those uncomfortable places. Let’s let that sink in today, okay?