“Focus, fusion, and following through are the keys to fitting in” according to an old television show, Clarissa Explains it All, an old TV show about a teenage girl who in this episode gets a lecture on “fitting in” because the guidance counselor is telling her the importance of being “normal”. I’ve never been normal, never hope to be, and never expect to be so. Still, I hope to succeed in life. In my opinion, “normal” can mean one of two things or both: statistical average or denial. No one is normal in my book, and that is a good thing. If we were all the same, how would people have different jobs in life? How would new ideas emerge? Creative people do not produce normalcy, they produce other things: Music, art, film, inventions, books, blogs, companies, whatever. Or they simply hold onto their ideas for themselves. Either way, normalcy is not an important element of the equation.
In my Ideas page of this blog, you’ll see some ideas, mostly about work and school. They are not things that are in stone. They are not even altogether focused. They are just meant to be ideas to get them out. I can do only do this so much, though. I need to focus, as my husband and another good friend say, on something, finish it and decide if that is something that I like. I need to act more than to think.
I have an orientation scheduled tomorrow at 11:00 am at Department of Rehabilitation in Salinas. It’s in the Social Security building but upstairs. I’m not applying for SSI or SSDI, though. I am applying for services with Department of Rehabilitation to find out what education and employment opportunities are available, whether they would recommend working or going to school (or if it’s up to me). I would like to take at least one class. I want to know if I would be wasting my time at a community college if I took classes. I want advisement on pursuing a graduate degree in psychology or what to do about the credential in Special Education that I did not finish.
I would work with a counselor, I guess. I would let them know about my situation, any information they need. I hope it is more helpful than the last time I worked with this agency in Monterey. The reasons it didn’t work before may have been due to my state of mind at the time or other issues. That really does not matter. The real point is to move forward and not go backward in time mentally.
As an aside, my husband is employed but wants to eventually move onto something less physically strenuous and maybe something more enjoyable. He doesn’t mind his current work as a landscaper, but he knows he is capable of more. He attends Peer-to-Peer through National Alliance on Mental Illness. He is much better at being focused and keeping things simple than me. I tend to get wild ideas, and now he’s able to ground me mentally and bring me back to where I need to put my energy. This is very valuable. I have a hard time with grounding in particular. Perhaps I should focus on that in some meditation/mindfulness exercises sometime.
My longtime interest is in the general area of psychology as well as education. That is the most likely general range of education and career goals. I also would like to market my children’s book, maybe take creative writing classes, at least one, even if I didn’t actually major in that. I would like a multifaceted life while still having a steady job. By multifaceted, I mean doing a little writing/art/crafts/other hobbies on on the side while having a main occupation. That would be how I see myself in my ideal life. Eventually, I would like to be able to have a job and steady income that allows me to own a house, have the freedom to invest some of my money without worrying about losing some, and I would like to be able to leave a good amount of that to my son as well as any children he may have later in life.
There may be a question of dividing things into steps. I don’t know how to think about that yet. In my weight loss website, they say to make short range goals if your ultimate goal is long term. I still need to do that in my weight loss efforts. I will probably need to do that in education and employment as well.
Stepping stones, maybe? My mother used to go to to a cognitive-behavioral therapist who called her method “Stepping Stones”. I never understood what it all meant, but maybe it’s about making gradual steps toward improving your life. It could also mean success by approximation. There is probably a psychology term that I forgot somewhere that talks about that.
Geez, I miss my psychology classes. Maybe that is a sign I should maintain my original educational goal? I love studying psychology. It’s not just with the goal of helping people; I truly find it fascinating. My father was more of the clinical psychologist. I’m more interested in humanism. I’ve looked closely into a program at Naropa University in Colorado, a private university named after a Tibetan Buddhist monk. It is non-sectarian, but many of the programs involve meditation and other practices related to Buddhism. I really like it. I was interested in two programs there: Creative Writing and Transpersonal Psychology with Ecopsychology Emphasis. The psychology classes look much more interesting to me. I’m not wedded to the idea of traditional counseling. I’m not sure I even believe in that as productive. There are so many more ways to heal than to follow the advice of a “doctor” or a “counselor.”
There is one program that includes counseling, though. It’s not online, but it’s in Washington State — Bastyr University. It’s a Master of Arts in Nutrition and Clinical Health Psychology. This looks really interesting. I also like the sound of the university and the idea of living in Washington (for at least a while). Chris might not be up to moving until he has a job. He seems to question this. I should probably have at least one more option to consider. There’s always the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto (doesn’t have great reviews), and there’s one other that someone I know from high school mentioned. I would have to ask. The main focus in psychology, I think. Maybe it could just be humanistic in general. Never can tell.
Maybe I have an opportunity around the corner. Maybe I should be prepared to have my home ready for inspection when it enters. I do want to make a good first impression after all.