Registered for my Final Two Classes Today……

I remember sitting down at my computer blogging about my decision to go back to school.  I had been out of school for around 20 year., and a lot has happened in my life since I had last been a student.  In December 2015 I graduated summa cum laude with my B. S. in Psychology.  I began grad school right away, and I also blogged about my decision to pursue Gerontology.

Today I am sitting here blogging about registering for my final two graduate classes.  By December of this year, I will hold a master’s degree in Gerontological Services from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

This journey has taken me through five years, two moves, both of my children graduating high school, health concerns and surgeries, the death of a grandparent, and multiple other life changes.  It was very difficult at times, and I even spent some time in tears and ready to give up.  I kept going, though, and here I am!

I am working to find a job and begin to build upon my education and truly make a difference to the people who I work with.  I am looking at research ideas, and beginning the process of developing them.  I am still a wife and a mom, and these roles are the ones I still identify with most closely because these roles mean the world to me.  I am also someone who is passionate about my chosen field and the individuals that I work with.  In some ways. I am the same person I have always been.  In others, I have changed and grown.

My husband and my kids have given me their love and support, their proofreading skills and their shoulder, their understanding and their cheering section to get me through.  I could not have gotten here without them!

So here I am getting ready to tackle my final semester of school.  I am excited to see where I land as I apply for and interview for positions in my field.  I am excited to see what the next chapter of my life holds as I am stepping out as a confident, educated and capable woman.

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Self-Description

In responding to a comment made by her husband, a Facebook friend responded that she didn’t “self-describe” as pretty or motherly.  That comment got me to thinking.  You see, I think my friend is beautiful inside and out…not just pretty.  And she is motherly as in she loves her kids, foster kids, and other people’s kids and speaks positive things into these kids lives!  My own two children have benefited greatly from her motherly love!  It is interesting that my friend sees herself so differently than other people see her.

I started thinking about how I see myself versus what other people see when they look at me.  How do I self-describe?  Is it an accurate picture of me, or is it affected by my own insecurities?  I usually try to avoid any sort of self-description because I don’t always like myself.  I struggle with my weight, I cannot exercise the way I want to because of my Fibromyalgia, and I still feel somewhat awkward in my own skin.  I know that I am intelligent but I have difficulty in contributing to conversation because I feel like I can’t accurately vocalize my thoughts.  My self-view is very much tainted by my insecurities.  I know this.  I am working on this.  I have been making a lot of changes in the past couple of years, and have grown stronger and more confident, but I know I still have a long way to go!

What do others see when they look at me?  This one is harder.  I know my husband sees me as beautiful and sexy, whether I feel that way or not.  My daughter says I am pretty.  I hear people say I am funny, sensitive, caring, smart…all good and positive things!  I’m not always sure how to respond to this, though, because it often takes me by surprise!  I guess we are our own worst critics.

I was commenting to my husband last night about the need for affirmation in life.  I had received some very affirming comments from fellow students on an introduction post for our class.   Their words lifted my heart in many ways, even though these people are not a part of my inner circle.  I told my husband that I receive more criticism than affirmation, if I receive anything at all, from people regarding my goals and calling.  It’s not a mean thing or anything like that.  It is just life.  I am realizing how much words of affirmation can affect my self-perception. 

I am thinking I need to be more purposeful in my affirmation of my family and friends.  I think maybe letting them know what I see as positive qualities may be an encouragement and help them to see themselves in a more positive light.  I think I also need to accept the positive comments from family and friends and allow their feedback encourage me to see myself in a more realistic light.