Sometimes, blogging can be a pain in the butt especially when you want to blog about something OTHER THAN reviews and giveaways but aren’t exactly sure what to blog about. I mean, I guess I have TONS of stuff I could blog about outside of reviews but will you really find it interesting? Probably not. So, I’m going to give this Daily Prompt thing a try for when I want to blog but I’m not exactly sure what to blog about. It’s a bit of a story but there are pictures!! Okay here we go!
Daily Prompt for August 5th, 2013: When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up? What are you now? Are the two connected? Photographers, artists, poets: show us DREAMS.
I love this question because it allows me to really reflect on where I have been and where I have come from over the last few years. This is my condensed story of how I became a social worker.
When I was growing up, more importantly when I was in junior high and high school, I was DEAD SET on going to college for Journalism. There was nothing you could tell me to change my mind, I wanted to be a journalist whether it was for a newspaper or magazine, it didn’t matter because it is what I was going to do and no one was going to stop me. Writing was something that I enjoyed and something that I excelled at all through school from grade school until I graduated high school. I was one of those people that didn’t LOVE writing essays but writing them came easy to me and so everyone always wanted to be my partner in English class if we had a major project to complete because they knew I did well in those courses.
I was part of the newspaper team in junior high and LOVED IT. But when high school rolled around I was dealing with my parents divorce and moving (very long story), I let that dream fall by the wayside and didn’t participate in newspaper & yearbook like I had planned to. Despite, not participating in those activities, I still wanted to major in journalism and be a journalist. Finally, it was time to start college and my plans changed. I started my college career by attending the local technical college where I lived because I wasn’t prepared to go off on my own to a huge university. I took a couple of general education classes along with some electives to try and figure out what I really wanted to do. Being a journalist was no longer an interest to me, but I can’t really pinpoint why or how that dream changed but it did.
After taking my first college psychology class, I knew I wanted to be in some sort of helping profession. A lot of wanting to be in this type of field had to do with my own experiences with therapy and counselors when I was in junior high and high school. I remember feeling so much better after a therapy session, especially when I really connected with the person I was working with, and I wanted to be able to make others feel the same. I initially made the decision to become a counseling psychologist, so I would get my Bachelors in Psychology (which I did) and then move on to getting my Masters in Counseling Psychology so I could eventually open up my own practice, blah blah. Well, even within that dream things changed! First, no one told me how HARD psychology classes were and even though, it was something I was interested in there was just some areas that I could not comprehend no matter how hard I tried or studied. Brain and Behavior was the worse and I ended up taking Psychological Stats (yes a math class for psychology!) THREE times. When I finally graduated with my Bachelors, I was so over school and was happy to be done. I came to realize that I wouldn’t get accepted to a psychology masters program because I didn’t have the grades that I had hoped for.
After graduating with my Bachelors in 2010, I decided to take some time to myself and just work so I could figure out exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I HAD to go back to school for a Masters in something because a Bachelors in Psychology wasn’t going to get me anywhere. I ended up working full time over the summer at a community mental health center with children who had been diagnosed with severe emotional disturbances. I hated it. I absolutely HATED it. The main reason I hated it was because I don’t handle confrontational situations very well especially when people get aggressive and for that type of behavior to come from a child and be the one responsible for restraining them to calm them down just didn’t sit well with me. I wanted to be more of a helping person where I’d sit and talk or listen to an individual or help them find resources. I applied for a position at an adoption/foster care agency and started working there a month after my summer job ended. I was at this agency for 2.5 years (laid off June 2013) and loved every minute of it.
Working at the adoption/foster care agency is when and where I truly realized my potential and the path I was destined to go down. I wanted to help people whether it was in a therapeutic way or in a general way of finding and gathering resources. Sure, I didn’t love being painted as the person who took kids away from their families but I loved being the person that they thanked and “loved” so much when their children were returned home to them or how much they appreciated it when I was able to find them resources for food, housing, clothing or utilities. I decided a year into working at the agency that I’d get my Masters in Social Work; it only made sense because not only could I do the work I was doing now with my MSW but I could do therapy if I wanted too. I could do MANY things with a MSW degree that I didn’t feel I could do with any other type of degree.
And so in August of 2011, I started my journey of getting my Masters in Social Work all while working full time at the adoption/foster care agency. I have established so many amazing relationships from the work I did with the agency and have formed many new relationships since being in the MSW program. I am a year out from graduating (May 2014) with my MSW and I couldn’t be more excited. My ultimate goal is to get my clinical license so I can provide therapeutic services without supervision and be a social worker within the military community. I start my practicum (internship) at the VA at the end of August and I couldn’t be more excited. Being a social worker is hard work, it is emotionally and mentally draining and there are days when I think to myself…why the hell did I choose this profession, I won’t make jack crap and I’m going to work god awful hours, but at the end of the day I love my clients and I love seeing them succeed and that is more important to me than any dollar bill.
What did you want to be when you grew up? Are you that now?
Featured image courtesy of Pinterest