Tag Archives: social work

Complete with theme song…..

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Complete with theme song…..

I don’t know if I am grandiose or not,

When I first meet people I catch myself making up some sort of recipe;

A fictional psychosocial evaluation on them

which becomes their individual narrative in my mind,

*This is guided of course by what I think I know of people, think i know of social work, think I know of psychology, think that I read on their body language, or learned in life, learned reading a book, learned by being the one that could shut the fuck up; observe & mimic other people in order to blend in like a chameleon, in  new and/or uncomfortable situations for safety)

Meh, I digress…

Anyway, your narrative (and by “your” I mean you who are reading this had I met you or when I met you, not anyone person in particular) that I create in my head is how I related to you until I learn more and start replacing my humble conjecture with relayed facts;

But I admit, sometimes, I feel like a superhuman;

Like I must be psychic or an empath or Dr. Xavier;

e.g. Sookie Stackhouse trying to ignore the thoughts she really does NOT want to hear;

Sometimes, I find out that through many of the facts people share with me;

Actually align pretty well with the totally fictional made up backstory I spun them. It’s very unsocialworky of me.

I mean, what do I have to go on in talking to people for only a few minutes? I can see their eyes, their hands, their voice, their body language, their tone, etc….It’s totally inappropriate for me to create their whole backstory based on a few minutes interaction…

Do other people do that?? They must. I hope they do; otherwise, I probably sound a bit like a loon.

I am sure it is merely some sort of experienced/educated projection….some fancy defense mechanism that allowed observant and smart people to reproduce…skills that are not being passed down today because we are so distracted and looking down into a portable rabbit hole…WHOA, speaking of rabbit holes…

Sorry, I’ll spare you the self disparaging rant.

Anyhoo, like…maybe I have this social worker lens,

Seventies television show idea of each new person I meet’s whole life….

If I did, it could be something as follows:’

Complete with theme song *wink*

Baby of large family

The smallest Brady no one mentioned

Grew up wanting a family

Baby sister

Baby brother

Someone to take care of

Someone to have your back

 Just wanted to be someone’s hero

Wanted to be a soldier;

a fireman;

a teacher;

a doctor;

Found a family there

People to look up to you

Someone to share first memories with…

Your substitute hard drive

 Exhausted and rejuvenated finally fell in love

Family wasn’t there

Decided to go back there and then came home

Moved onto another

A Betty Crocker Readymade family to love

To replace the one you didn’t know yet to want

But it just didn’t fit

You internalized the blame 

 Then as you got older

You realized you needed more ways to go back,

So through trial and error,

Sex and beer,

Adrenalin, fighting, racing, speed

Went back in different ways to reestablish:

yourself, your worth

All the familiar roles

Pride and admiration

Understanding of experience

Validation for your work

Found your family

In more than one way.

Who knows.

Maybe I am grandiose and plain ol’ crazy.

I can spin a good back story though.

C’est la vie.

XOXO

Jani

I am….I am….I am….

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I am….I am….I am….

Every time I have ever doubted; every time I have ever wondered if what was happening or happened in my singular, seemingly meaningless life had a purpose and questioned every decision I make, I am reminded that it all works out.

It all has meaning.

It all is what it is.

I have recently made decisions that make me question myself in the wee hours of the night, was this the right choice, was that the right action, should I have said this, revealed this….

And the Universe responds with a resounding “YES.”

It’s nice.

I really, really like my job; despite it not being what I had envisioned doing.

In addition to really, really liking my new non-social work job; I really, really like my co-workers despite the apprehension I felt upon meeting them and the nervousness I felt just sitting next to them taking a 3 hour test.

There is nothing wrong with the fact that I get a long best with military, law enforcement, and/or firemen. They aren’t all the same. It’s true. It’s just who I get and who get me and who I seem to attract into my world… Which leads me to the next epiphany:

I like being alone, except when I don’t :)… In which case I have friends again that can fill that void willingly, without any sort of romantic enmeshment.

Speaking of that *Mercury retrograde aside* I can totally have male friends again without eventually thinking they are “the one.”

I AM THE ONE.

Ergo; I can live totally independently again/still, despite what I may have been led to believe by weaker others in recent years.

I kinda fucking kick ass. ‘Tis true.

I am the muthatrucking queen of making lemonade out of bitter ass lemons.

*The secret is in the vodka 😉

Huzzah, muthatruckas.

“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.” 
― Sylvia Plath

Sallie Mae AKA The Wicked Witch of the East

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Sallie Mae AKA The Wicked Witch of the East

Dear fellow students, former students and future students:

Please note the following things:

    k

  1. When consolidating your student loans be advised *as they will not advise you* that you need to get a 3 month forbearance while said consolidation is being completed;
  2. When you apply for consolidation, all grace periods become null and void;
  3. Sallie Mae is the fucking Antichrist and when Direct Loans consolidates all your loans into one big giant cesspool of fucking BS; they sell it BACK to Sallie Mae for management;
  4. Make sure you read that loan summary reaaaaalllyyyyy fucking carefully, because if you don’t know exactly how much you owe because of interest and capitalization and it’s a huge number anyway,  it’s really easy to miss 30gs.
  5. IF YOU HAVEN’T TAKEN STUDENT LOANS, DON’T.
  6. FUCK COLLEGE.
  7. Fuck Grad School.
  8. Join the military.
  9. Or the circus.
  10. Or keep bartending;
  11. Or learn Spanish and move to Costa Rica and open a house of ill repute.

 

That’s what I should have done. Yep.

What a week.

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What a week.

This week has or will entail the following:

Graduating from grad school;

Starting a new magical gov job;

Killing my car after getting new registration, new brakes, new tires, battery, filling up with gas and putting most of it on my Les Schwab account;

Learning you really, really cannot afford to forget to replace your timing belt cause they are not chains anymore and those bitches fuck shit up when they break;

Getting new hamster car with an amazeballs warranty sold to me by someone who is from my hometown and knows everyone I know…saving my life and new job whilst putting me further into debt and thus eating any extra money from my magical gov job I hoped to pay down previous debt with;

Realizing that not only does that awesome new car have blue tooth, it has satellite radio for three months and there is a PEARL JAM RADIO STATION!!!!! WHICH IS WHAT IT WAS ON WHEN I TEST DROVE IT!!!! I DIE! I DIE! FUCK YOU, EDDIE VEDDER!!!!;

Cementing my understanding of intention and how bad shit makes way for good shit;

Finalizing my final divorce;

Celebrating solstice in the way pagans intended *wink wink*;

Running away from home for 3 days;

and realizing how awesome my friends are.

Huzzah.

It’s good to be king.

Say hey there….

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Say hey there….

 

You are welcome.

 

I just needed to remind my dumbass.

The terms in which I think of reality….

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The terms in which I think of reality….

by Allen Ginsburg has to be one of my favorite poems. It comes back to me at different stages in my life as I ponder what is real and what is perception, what is emotion and what is chemical and whether they are all the same anyway…

This week has been a roller coaster and I am left contemplating such deep things that it makes my chest heave and my breath seize.

I have many things to be grateful for, so many in fact I cannot even fathom a guess to how long that list would be. Yet I still find myself worrying about things that I cannot control or affect anymore than I am so I must just let go.

Is there a 12 step program for control?

I have a friend who just found out their partner has a pretty progressed brain cancer that may or may not be treatable at this point; they have no insurance. All they can do is hope and wait and cope in ways less than healthy. Some social worker I am, all I can do is say I am sorry and that sucks. Try to offer band-aid solutions. I know they appreciate it, but I feel so helpless and then I feel bad that I feel anything. This is about them, not me. Their reality and mine in this situation are so different. I can’t join theirs but I can be there as a shoulder. That’s all. I have to let go of thinking I can do anything else at this point.

And that isn’t me seeking to feel apathetic.

I have friends that are only now starting the process of long term relationships and maybe marriage and careers and buying houses and thinking about children and I kind of resent that they are there now, with all this preparation and education and money to make it work. But I KNOW that all of those things don’t make it easier, just different so why am I jealous?

Been there done that and it never suits for me long…I have wanderlust. I never want anything for long. I’ve come to the conclusion that traditional life trajectories never will work for me because it isn’t what I want, it’s what I have been conditioned to think I want…Perhaps that is a rationalization…I don’t know.

Sour grapes.

Then I think about it being Memorial Day weekend and all the people who won’t be bbq’ing and all the people who are away from their families because they chose to serve and it makes me feel pretty fucking selfish for feeling sorry for myself being away from my family because I chose to move away for a man and all the other ridiculous reasons I told myself it was for.

Then I think about my baby brother going to Afghanistan. And my other friends going to Korea and Cambodia. And my uncle is probably going to end up somewhere because that is just what the 116th does, they go somewhere always. And then I think about my son wanting to enlist in a year and just

WHOA

Shit gets heavy.

My life is good. I have fat white American first world problems.

Those are the comparative terms in which I think of my reality.

Hug your peoples.

a change in perspective…

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a change in perspective…

Today I found out that I have no more homework left in grad school. A professor reduced my final assignment to a third of the original requirement and I already had it more than a third done.

Such a great gift.

Anxiety gone.

And I have been panicking about finding a job. I have one. I have been offered a position, it just doesn’t start for three weeks. I will figure it out between now and then…My credit cards might be late. My power might be shut off. But I should be ok.

My kids should be ok. In fact, one just started a job making about a grand a month. The other one will be gone all summer.

Little blessings.

I just need to be thankful.

Gratitude.

Everything is GOING TO BE OK.

 

 

ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

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ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

I’ve come to the point in my academic career where I am three weeks from being DONE unless I want to be a doctor (I do not.) And while I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I can’t seem to bring myself to close the gap. I am just done. It’s like I am halfway up the stairs to some magical f**king Nirvana and out of breath and just don’t give a sh*t anymore. Screw enlightenment. From conversations with most of my fellow classmates, this seems to be a general consensus;  however the fact that my apathy is shared does not push me through this ONE. LAST. WRITING. ASSIGNMENT.

And I know others are spending day after day, hour after hour working tirelessly on this same assignment that I will put much less work into for probably the same grade.

Bring on the guilt.

I find myself wasting time doing other things that I rationalize have to do with my assignment, like creating a cover page that has fancy stuff on it for my portfolio or coming up with amazing acronyms for the name of a program….Or going on Facebook to ask an opinion on wording when lo and behold it has been 2 hours and I haven’t accomplished anything besides getting lost in the timesuck.

Then I feel guilty.

So to get myself back in the right head space to critically self reflect and develop myself as a professional, I come onto this blog and write a new post or a poem or whatever else I can do to keep my ass in this seat sort of focused on coming back to this stupid assignment…

AND SURPRISE  I feel guilty for sitting on my ass. So I go do some burpees cause I said I would and I do some yoga, then I remember I need to flip the laundry and I haven’t eaten today and then a kid needs something like to be fed or paid attention to or clean underwear or someone texts me or calls me or I check my email to see if someone wrote me saying HEY!!!!! COME WORK FOR US NOWWWWWWWWWWW….then when they haven’t I decide to distract myself with some Game of Thrones or turn on slacker to lament out loud with rhythm and the pretend impressionistic stylings of me as Lily Allen or Amy Winehouse or Nina Simone…..then I walk past the desk and see my dry erase board with its giant letters that say:

TRANSFER SUMMARY DUE 5-31-13

PORTFOLIO DUE 6-5-13

TAKE HOME EXAM DUE 6-6-13

And I feel guilty so I sit my big ass back down at the desk.

I do some amazing work for a few and then decide to check on craigslist and the state website for any new job postings because:

I need a muthatruckin J-O-B!

Like a month ago I need one. And I don’t have one. I have so many bills due in like 2 weeks. OMFG

And the student loans….the student loans are enough to make me contemplate skydiving.

So I feel guilty.

Boo. Guilt is a worthless emotion and has not inspired me one iota to take care of business.

Onward.

Huh, well I’ll be damned.

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Huh, well I’ll be damned.

Most of my life, I have really enjoyed being around people that are very different from me; that being said, I also spent a lot of my life being incredibly irritated with people who disagreed with me and felt particularly defensive. I love being right. Don’t f*ck with me, I will Google that sh*t.

Recently however, I am noticing that I am less inclined to enjoy being around people who agree with me. Like-minded people are not necessarily people who agree with me. It’s been a real epiphany.

They don’t encourage my passionate debate. And that sucks, because it is one of my favorite things. It’s not that I like to argue…Really. I like to learn….Read on…

I’ve spent the last three years in graduate school: the first year was spent in a very small cohort in a very small town. It was nice, I really love some of the people there…others, meh. It wasn’t very diverse, that is for sure.

The second two years were spent in a much larger metropolitan area with people from all over the place. Very diverse. Sounds cool huh?

Not always. Now, mind you, I have met amazing people who I have no doubt that I will be involved with my entire life in that program. But there are others that were in the program that “agreed” with me, but they just made me feel really robotic about my thoughts. I have been trying to critically reflect on this and what I have recently decided is that my learning ends when I am around people who agree with me.

 

And it doesn’t matter what the topic is.

Politics, economics, race, religion, class warfare, the military industrial complex, the prison industrial complex, social work, or even something as benign as micro brews or freaking music. I find it much more conducive to the fine tuning of my own opinions, my own truth if you will, to have to understand someone else’s point of view and more thoroughly explain my positions without being defensive. It is a real skill. I like having practice in it and I cannot practice with people who are all “oh, yeah, I totally agree.” 

I’ve always told my kids that if they can’t explain something to me, they don’t understand it well enough…go back and study or try again…

And yet, I haven’t fully held myself to that.

It’s nice to be undefensive and feel validated in your opinions. 

But only for a minute. 

Until you look around and realize that you are either surrounded by “Yes, people” or people who you intimidate that aren’t going to question what you say. Talk about boring. *YAWN*

I am really enjoying learning from people who are different from me. I am really enjoying the fire in my gut that lights up when someone says something that gets my hackles up….but learning to control that fire long enough to come up with an awesome counter to continue the conversation? 

Oh yeah. That’s the good stuff. 

Bring it on.

 

Shattering patterns, one crisis at a time….

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Shattering patterns, one crisis at a time….

So you know that dumb cliché that your children are your karma for what you did as a child?

Payback is a bitch.

Today marked the third LARGE parenting crisis I have had to deal with in the 16 years I have been a parent. Oddly enough, all three of them have happened when my children were the same age as I was, when I experienced practically the same crisis.

It’s really freaking scary. I have made bad decisions as a romantic relationship role model, that is for sure. But as far as everything else: school, work, self-advocacy, critical thinking, self-esteem, encouraging uniqueness, supporting their choices, not being a blind follower, talking about sex, drugs, and unconditional love, etc….I rock that.  I couldn’t imagine having to deal with any of the things I experienced because I have prided myself on being such a “better” parent than I had. And I am a better parent, my toolbox is better stocked. My education is more complete. But better is a relative term, I suppose.

The main difference between my parenting and my childhood is that I have made it a point to do the absolute opposite of what my parents did; in these specific situations.

And it’s hard.

I panic.

I don’t know what a “normal” parent would do.

I don’t always know what the appropriate thing to do is.

I know what I would tell a client.

I know what I would tell a friend.

But they aren’t my kids.

They aren’t me.

They don’t have my experiences.

And therein lies the rub.

All I can do is hope I have interrupted a pattern. Hope that when it’s my children’s turn as parents, that they don’t experience these crises. If they do, I hope they handle it even better than I did.