Sunday, April 17, 2016

How I really feel about April

I got a not so subtle hint from my mom that it is time for a new post on here, so here it goes.

Everyone who has asked me how I'm doing lately has gotten the same response-I hate April. I can't remember the last time I looked back and thought "man, that was a good month." Most Aprils I've been in school and last year was a really long April because my grandmother was sick. This year the month seemed to start a few weeks early. Individual and Group projects are picking up (thank God for good group members this time around) and the weekend nights are getting longer-not because I'm out with friends, but because I'm drinking coffee at 9pm and staring at the page count on my papers.

Enough of the Debbie Downer talk, though. What's strange is that I'm really happy. I'm increasingly stressed, but loving what I am doing. I know my last post was about the overwhelming effect stress has had on me, so this one will hopefully be a little more encouraging.

I LOVE my practicum. Working in the legal realm wasn't ever something I considered, but I am seeing through practicum and through my classes, that real change has to come from the policy level. I considered for a brief period of time getting a J.D./MSW but I think I am getting enough with my MSW at this point to navigate the legal world. I did just find out that WashU is offering a new 24 credit Master of Legal Studies degree that has sparked my interest (surprise Mom and Dad!)...more info on that later. I will finish up at The MICA Project (check out their website here) after June and I am starting interviews for my second practicum in the Fall. Fingers crossed I get more experience working with immigrants and refugees in a different setting to see what else I enjoy. I am also still on track to do an international practicum next summer so stay tuned for that as well-I wouldn't mind prayers for any of the above!

I cannot even begin to describe the joy I feel being back in St. Louis.  It is so strange to think that I haven't been home for this long since high school, but I couldn't imagine going through grad school in another city.  Even though we have been known to drive each other crazy at times, my parents and sisters (and Matt!) have really kept me sane through this first year. They might feel like they don't see me very often, but I am beyond grateful to be home for most Sunday family dinners. This is a tradition I hope continues for a long time!

As I am sitting outside on one of the most beautiful Spring days (another perk of being back in St. Louis) yet, I can't help but think of my sweet Grandma Janet, who has been my guardian angel this year. We are coming up on the year anniversary of the day she passed away and I find myself thinking of her much more often. There are so many things I wish I could call her and tell her about on Skype, to see her reaction and hear her voice. Instead, I say all these things to her in my prayers. I know she likes being in the known (she was actually the first to hear about my interest in the Master of Legal Studies!) Not surprisingly, I think of her when I notice the beauty of nature. The gorgeous daffodils coming up lately remind me of my last moments with her when I brought some from her own yard to 'beautify' her hospital room. I am so grateful to have so many reminders of her blooming throughout the city.

As much as I hate April, it's been helpful to sit and think of what makes me happy. I think I have the energy, now, to finish strong. If anyone else is having a rough go around, I encourage you to do the same. Write it down, tell someone, just get it out of your head and into the world. Cheers!