As it has been a habit of mine, I now present my annual blog on the year that is about to come to an end. Interestingly, I’ve just looked back to the last 3 posts that summed up the last 3 years (2012, 2013, 2014). I know I’ve been writing posts like these for longer though, but the previous ones must have been on my old blog, which unfortunately, has been taken down when the blog-host decided to use their site for an online market instead.
Anyway, I digress.
For the last 3 years, I have been blogging about my slow but steady progression towards my ultimate dream of becoming a psychologist. I seemed to have been pretty optimistic over the last 3 years, but man, was this year the most challenging year, yet! I found balancing internship work and university studies difficult. I found driving to work difficult (you’d know from my previous posts this year that this is the first time that I’ve driven somewhere farther than our supermarket), I found maintaining my health difficult…
…and basically, the whole year was just difficult.
It was confronting. There were times I was disappointed with how I acted under pressure- I wish I could have done better, I wish I exercised more, I wish was braver, I wish I had more confidence, I wish my accent was different, I wish I was smarter, I wish I was disciplined enough to eat healthily, I wish was someone else. The little monsters in me came out and weighed me down. Everyday, I’d wait until the very last moment before I had to get out of bed. I relied on ‘quick fixes’ a lot, and found it ironic that I could not follow my own recommendations to my patients. But don’t get me wrong, being able to help other people in the way that psychology could is still something I am proud of. It is definitely not easy, that is for sure. But it is rewarding. I had to learn to love myself despite all my shortcomings.
I am thankful that I have survived up to this point. Thankfully, all the attempts at ‘self-care’ may have off-set the burn-out. I am thankful I found Mindfulness and yoga too. When 2016 rolls around, we will basically have 2 more months left before the final exam…*cue in anxiety*
I told someone once that I feel like this entire year has been about my internship. It took updating my album on Facebook to remind that I have been doing other cool stuff as well. Unlike what I said 3 years ago when I first started post-grad, my social life did not disappear completely. In fact, I was still very busy with the people in my life!
I am thankful for my family who keeps me busy, and takes my mind off work. I am thankful that they listen whenever I have a story to tell. I am thankful for our Sunday masses, and whenever we sing for the choir, because I think that really helped me with coping with the stress of the year.
I am thankful for my wonderful group of friends. We’ve been together through a lot of awesome things, and though we have not gone to many road trips lately like we used to, meeting up for dinners every Wednesdays or Fridays gave me a break from thinking about internship. I am also thankful for overseas friends and best friends, who have kept in touch and also listened to life updates! It meant a lot that you guys still spend time with me.
I am thankful for my fellow interns, who make the time to meet up every Thursday after class. We understand what each is going through, and I appreciate being listened to. I am thankful we went to the ACT Conference in Wellington together, that was one of the fun memories I have of this year!
I am thankful as well to my senior supervisors, and all the other psychology professionals who have shared nuggets of wisdom through out the year. I think it was really a good idea that I went to see a psychologist myself, as it gave me the time to organize my own thoughts.
I am thankful to Louis, who has really kept me strong and grounded in this tumultuous year. I am sorry if I scared you or stressed you out sometimes. I don’t know what I’d do without you. The fact that you were patient enough to be with me while I got used to driving to work was indeed one of the greatest acts of love (next to taking me out for a burger straight after my mock exam)! Haha. But seriously, if you are reading this, I am so thankful for our relationship. I believe I am truly lucky to have someone who is always interested in what goes on in my head! We’re still learning a lot about each other, and I am excited to be sharing another year with you!
It was internship year, but it was also the year I got to drive up to Wellington with my family; see Sydney with my close friends; I got to go back to the beautiful Queenstown and celebrate 5 years with Louis; I got to publish 2 conference papers from my Master’s thesis; I graduated my Master’s degree in Health Psychology with First Class Honors; conquered Mt. Maunganui with Louis; went to Wellington for my first full psychology conference; and also the year that I drove 3 different cars until I finally (I think) found the one (that’s a story for another time). Oh, let us not forget my hair- this has been the most awkward hair year because I have been trying to grow it out the whole year!
I’ve noticed that other people also seem relieved that 2015 is about to come to an end. It must have been one of those ‘odd years’ as our receptionist said. I am looking forward to 2016, but still, I have to be thankful for 2015. I am alive, I have everyone I love, and I am so blessed to have the opportunity to build a career.
I am hoping that I will be able to take better care of myself next year. And also, I am hoping to be able to clearly define my life goals and be one step closer. I am also hoping that I pass my registration exams!
As what Louis kept saying when we were climbing up the top of Mt. Maunganui… “Keep going… Second wind!”
Yes, as internship continues on to 2016… I will find my second wind.
Thanks God. Thanks, 2015!