Sunday, February 13, 2011

24- no, not the show!

So today was my birthday. I turned 24.

Nothing spectacular, nothing monumental-- there really isn't anything significantly special about the age of 24 in and of itself (Except if you're like me and loathe prime numbers- so moving to the age of 24 is awesome; always loved that number... I mean seriously, its divisble by 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12... how cool is that! Plus as my cousin pointed out, its twice 12 (the day of my birth) so that makes it like a double golden... ok I'm getting off track...)

Where was I? Right, I turned 24.

I had decided a week ago to go ahead and come back home for the occassion. I've only been away two weeks, so it seemed a bit quick- but at the time I figured it made sense because I really don't know anyone in Orlando, and I didn't want to the few people I did know to feel responsible for making something happen that day. Plus, what's lamer than sitting around alone on your birthday? So I made the decision to come home. Once again- God knew what he was doing.

I haven't posted a lot lately. I truly expected to make an effort to post something every day. I wanted to share my experiences and inform others about this awesome field. I don't think I expected how exhausted I was going to be. Working 8 hours a day is tiring in and of itself, but when you add in the approx. 90 minutes of travel time, having to wake up before 6:30, dealing with emotionally charged situations, and feeling constantly under pressure- it all adds up to a truly drained Bethany.

This week was a struggle in many ways.

In some respects it was incredible. I LOVE my job. I typically call my mother as I leave the hospital every day just to check in and to make the travel time go a bit faster, and I think pretty much every day this week I've opened with the comment "I LOVE my job!" I've been exposed to so many different things, met so many people, gotten so many opportunities it's incredible. For example, yesterday morning we had a guest entertainer for the children. This lady works at Epcot in the Japan section and makes pulled sugar candy animals
She is truly incredible. With just a ball of 'dough' she can create almost any animal possible, and she catered to each child's wishes. Our children who were healthy enough came down to watch and make their own requests; for the others we brought some back to the units for them. The woman is a true artist, and the children were thrilled to watch her work. Earlier this week Disney's Animal Kingdom came in and did a big exhibit for the children. They had centers for the patients to learn about animals, a few games, a stage area where they showcased a few 'exotics' (owls, hedgehogs, snakes, etc), and then chip and dale came for a meet and greet. Did I mention I  love my job?

But it's also been difficult. my preceptor was sick so I've had three different supervisors, plus some expectations were not communicated to me properly so I've been a bit confused about my role with the staff. My evaluation yesterday went differently then I expected when my preceptor expressed a concern that I was letting myself get so caught up in the pressure that I was sort of playing a role and coming off as very tightly wound and forced. That hurt a bit, but at the same time I was glad to hear her reassure me that she has no doubt I'm going to be a great child life specialist- I just need to try to relax and not worry so much. I don't have anything to prove to them, they know I'm well trained, they know I'm prepared. Instead of worrying about trying to show them I'm ready to do this, I should just let myself experience it.

It's been an adjustment that's for sure; I'm learning so much about myself and who I am. Trying to get my priorities in order. Coming home and spending time with my family has been crucial. I am definitely a very touchy, feely, lovey dovey, emotionally laden individual- and although I am starting to make friends in the area, it's hard feeling so alone a lot of the time. I know its a natural byproduct of moving and will go away with time, yet God knew that this weekend I was going to need to be surrounded by people who love me. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to come back and recharge before I face the coming week. I appreciate all the prayers and support I've been recieving- Lord knows I need it! I just continue to trust that he has a plan for me and I know that growth is going to be painful. Yet that pain is necessary to truly prune away that which is holding me back and to emerge better and stronger on the other side.

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