Life-date: October already?!

Here’s an update:

  1. From now on, I will answer to Master. Haha. I graduated from my Master’s degree in Health Psychology (which comprised of one year of papers and one year of thesis) last Tuesday. To be honest, I was not as excited as I was when I graduated from Undergrad. Probably because I am in the midst of my third and final year of postgrad, which is the internship year. Nevertheless, it was a good day (though you can see the stress on my face… I got an urgent call from work on that day regarding a complex patient of mine while we were having our french crepes during my celebratory family lunch). It was fun graduating with my classmates (there were 9 of us in our year), and it was good to celebrate with family and friends.


2. Louis and I turned 5 this year, and we went to Queenstown (which we’ve formally proclaimed one of our favorite cities) to celebrate. I swear, everywhere we looked, it was like a painting- actually, it is probably what the best paintings hope to be! We went in August and stayed for a few days. My favorite part was going on a roadtrip to this little town called Glenorchy (which I’ve heard was also used in the Lord of the Rings franchise. It was a really magical place). We were supposed to go bungy-jumping, but I chickened out. Sorry Louis, you should have just booked without my consent! Haha.


3. In the name of self-care I bought myself a coloring book for adults a few months ago. It combines my favorite therapy, which is Mindfulness, with an all time favorite childhood past-time, which is coloring. I even bought myself a new set of coloring pencils. I tell you now that I still have not finished coloring in this page. Sometimes it seems more stress than relaxation!


4. I can’t wait for the internship to be over. I have a feeling I am burning out, but I’m just telling myself that I’ve got a few months to go and then my life will be decided. While work has been stressful lately, one upside of being in this internship is getting to meet a lot of amazing and influential people in my field. Also, as I’ve mentioned before, I have an awesome supervisor who loves books. I believe she has a new book every month, and the great thing is she always shares it with me. This is one of the books she’s let me borrow for the year, and it’s been really helpful in terms of learning more about myself, and helping clients. Another book she let me borrow is Irvin Yalom’s book entitled: The Gift of Therapy. I swear, every chapter is relevant because as soon as I finish it, whatever lesson or wisdom nugget that Yalom leaves in his pages becomes very useful for my next client. I’ve been reading it through out the year. If you are a starting therapist like myself, I highly recommend this book for you.


And I’ve titled this post ‘Life-date’ because I wanted to combine ‘life’ and ‘update’. Wasn’t that clever? I know I have not been present in the blog world much, but my best friend and I had decided to re-kindle our love for writing. We used to keep diaries as kids, and we’d have sessions where we read our journal entries to each other. We were probably the earliest blogging community, us two. Haha. Anyway, my second mock exams are coming up, and our written exam is coming up too. I, meanwhile, am coming down with the flu, which is not nice. I hope to get better soon!

Until next time, dear readers!

TNB (thenecessaryblog) 

Just Keep Swimming!

Dear Gorgeous Readers,

It has been a long while since I last posted. It has been a crazy, challenging, fun and demanding year so far. Oh, which reminds me, it is June 1 today, so happy half a year! In a way, it feels like time has flown by fast. Before I knew it, I was starting my internship and meeting the lovely team that I am working with for 1 year. And then I was driving a long distance on my own for the very first time. Having a job located in the south of Auckland meant that I had to do a 1-2 hour drive everyday, over the Harbor Bridge. And that was not an easy job for me, especially at the start. The most driving I did before that was probably to and from the grocery which was 10 minutes away our house! Imagine the anxiety and stress that I went through. Luckily my boyfriend was kind enough to sit in the passenger’s seat and take me driving to my destination. We practiced driving 1 month before my internship started, and for the first 2 weeks, he drove with me to work, then he’d take the car and drive it to his work, then he’d drive back to my work, and then we’d drive back to the Shore together… and then he drives back home.

Seriously, how loving is that?

But now I am doing well driving on my own, and it may sound quite shallow, but I never imagined that I’d get used to it. It’s a nice feeling being able to go to work in my own car. Oh yes, I bought my first car! My dad let me loan from him, but it is my car. I didn’t like it at first because I thought it looked too manly, but now we’re friends. I like my car, it’s my baby. Haha.

And how is internship, you might ask? Well, for those of you familiar with my blog, you’ll know that I’d geek out over anything psychology-related. You can say I am living out my dream, I’m finally working as a registered (intern) psychologist. I am seeing patients. I am constantly challenged, affected, motivated, anxious, and thankfully, feeling fulfilled with my work. It is tiring. I went to this seminar lately on self-care, and our speaker was saying that we psychologists do have a hard job. We may not be saving lives in a way that paramedics or doctors do, but it doesn’t make our job any easier. We don’t just stitch people up and go. We allow them to release their feelings, their stresses, their worries. We process their stories (no matter how hard they may be…and let me tell you, I have heard some pretty sh*t stories already), and we stay with their feelings.

We stay with them. We stay in their dark place. We feel their pain, we try to make sense of it. We listen, and we don’t instruct, but we hope to guide them to their own realizations. We hope to take their hands and lead them out of their dark place.

In my first few months as an intern, I have carried my patients’ stories. I cried with them, I held their hand, I worried about them. I felt anger for them, indignation, and even despair. Their battle scars from living inflicted wounds upon my own skin.

And at the same time, their success became my success. Seeing them find the light after being in such a dark place was my relief. I would rejoice when they would come back for a second session and say, “Hey, you know what? This stuff actually works!” I am privileged to know these people in a way that no one else, not even their closest relationships, would know them.

I am only beginning to realize how messy this job is. And part of my professional development also requires that I learn to understand myself more. I must admit, it has been painful, but at least I can understand what my patients go through as well. Clearly, I have a lot to learn as a young Padawan Psychologist. But I do get constant support from my super-human of a supervisor, from my fun and excellent team at work, from my awesome fellow interns, and also from our great program as well.

So don’t worry about me, dear readers. There is no other job that I would rather do (and I pray that my feelings stay that way). I am slowly swimming, and trying to keep my head afloat, and with all my supports in place, I know I’ll be fine.

Until the next update!

TNB (thenecessaryblog)