Crises, Coffee, Cattle Dog Galactica: how I went from pre-med to this equally crazy life.
First, hopefully people got my Office reference otherwise- embarrassinggg. Second, depending on how long I can manage to stay awake, this may or may not be a lengthy one so stick with me. I am currently watching The Heat for comedic inspiration and brain stimulation.
I ended my first semester of my Senior year of college as a pre-med student. I then had one of many existential crises in which I decided that I did not want to do pre-med anymore (mistake number 54687424). I then began my new journey to where I am now. Here’s how I got here.
After deciding no more to pre-med, I decided that I wanted to join the mental health field since I was planning on doing something in that realm with medicine anyway and was a psych and neuro double major. I decided to take the easy way out (or in), and apply to graduate school for Social Work. (p.s. Social Work school is easy, Social Work real life is not). I then proceeded to spend the next two years as a full time graduate student, with internship, working two jobs, living in the city, and maintaining a relationship in the burbs. I am exhausted just thinking about those two years. Those two years in themselves were a lot of crises (of my own) and coffee; I hadn’t made it to the cattle dogs yet though. I learned a lot about my own resiliency, stamina, and self care habits (or lack thereof) and had some good laughs along the way. Those two years were filled with a lot of temporary people, but I am thankful for each and every one of them because they got me through it.
After graduate school I treated myself and then boyfriend to a month in Europe. It was by far the best experience I have ever had thus far, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. That month was also a learning experience. I learned that I can indeed spend more than 3 days away from home without dying. I learned that I love to travel and experience new things, new people, new cultures. I learned that great experiences go by quickly, so you better make the most of them. And I learned that what I wanted out of life was someone who was willing to create these experiences with me so that I don’t miss out.
A few days after I got back from Europe then boyfriend and I moved into a new apartment. Two days after that I started at my now job. I didn’t mention that I got a job did I?? (Insert shoulder shrug). My first day was rough for personal reasons, but I made it through and I am still here so I couldn’t have been too bad right? Not rhetorical. I was okay right?? And so begins the Crises, Coffee, and Cattle Dog Galactica.
I should probably mention what my job is. I am a SASS worker (think crisis assessments and follow up therapy services). I won’t go too much into detail of the past year, but I will give some anecdotes about what it means to be in this position.
At the end of graduate school I was so excited to be back on a normal schedule with one job to worry about (LOL Maegan, LOL). At the beginning, SASS was a heck of a lot of confusion, feeling useless, and having a go getter attitude. After time, the confusion lessened, I felt more helpful, and I plead the fifth on the go getterness. However, I am back to that exhausted feeling as mentioned above.
Some days SASS is spending 12 hours straight on crisis in one day (aka two Tuesdays ago). Some days SASS is the same client being called in 4 times in a few hours (aka two Thursdays ago). Some days SASS is sleeping two hours, being out until 6am and then going straight to your appointments because you haven’t seen all of your clients this week yet (three days ago).
Some days SASS is getting bit and punched in the face by a 6 year old, just a few months after being chased by this same client with scissors when he was 5. Some days SASS is assessing your client for the 4th day in a row, and not knowing what to do anymore. Some days SASS is frustrating clients, frustrating parents, frustrating coworkers that make you feel like you need your own assessment. I actually have a more consistent sleep, workout, and eating schedule- but somehow I am more exhausted than ever.
Thankfully there are good days in SASS too. On good days, SASS is seeing your client’s meet their goals. It’s being thanked by others for your hard work. It’s client’s that write you raps that you read over and over again when you need a good smile (which also happen to be the same clients mentioned above- sometimes the worst are also the best). It’s coworkers who arm you with coffee and chocolate and compliments so you are ready to take on the day. SASS has really taught me a lot about myself-mainly that I REALLY do suck at self care. It taught me that building a tribe of strong, inspiring, passionate, compassionate people is the most important thing I could do. So here’s to you guys, ya’ll know who you are.
Thank you for the endless amounts of coffee, for sharing lunches, for agreeing that we need a break, for loving dogs as much as I do, for helping to find humor in difficult times, for bringing me McDonald’s when I’m stuck on a crisis, for helping to cover and trade shifts, for sharing my taste in music and movies and shows (or for not, and reminding me to tone it down when I’m getting to be too much), for hours long conference calls, for advice and putting me in my place when needed, for ice cream dates, for knowing my Wendy’s order (I realize now, the way to my heart is probably food), for brainstorming solutions (after we take a little bit to be mad and vent), for caring about the quality of the services we provide and about what’s going on in the world outside our little bubble, for constantly giving in SO many ways and never expecting anything in return. You guys are the real MVPs, and I am grateful for ya. Thanks for helping me to stay positive, even if we need to convince ourselves to do so sometimes (Please see Instagram post about this blog for real life video example- apparently you gotta upgrade to Premium for videos on here *sigh* sorry Meghan).
Sometimes you get lucky enough to have good work people that turn into good real life people as well. That’s how you know you’ve really made it in this life. These people are equally as important to me in real life- and here’s how the Cattle Dog Galactica comes into play. While SASS is crazy, home is crazy too. In the past 3 months alone I have had some major changes including adding a second, crazy fur baby to the mix, breaking up with my boyfriend of 7 on and off years, and moving into a bigger place (because fur babies need more space, ya know). These changes have been hard. (Actual human moms ignore this part, because I’m sure it’s not actually true). Having a new puppy feels like having a new baby; potty training, several feedings a day, waking up at all hours of the night, and needed endless attention. Having two dogs at once (crazy cattle dogs in particular), what was I thinking?! I thought I couldn’t be more exhausted than I already was, boy was I wrong. My people have helped to support me through this as well.
As with clients, dogs can be frustrating, but they are infinitely rewarding too. On top of the support from my people, my dogs have also helped me through this crazy life. They bring joy and fun and comfort, and somehow they know when each is needed. They give endless and unconditional love and affection daily, even when I don’t deserve it. Plus mine in particular are super cute!
And so long story short (boy am I getting sleepy)- life is hard and full of surprises and changes, but it’s worth it. You just gotta keep on keeping on and build your tribe wisely (I suggest funny people, laughs can always make anything better). More changes are coming, but I am ready to take them on with all the coffee and candy this body can handle.