Wednesday, January 24, 2007
A Letter To My Former Classmates
Okay, so here's what I'm thinking. Does it sound too desperate, fake, brittle? I felt all of those things the other night, but feel none of them now. I've had time to remind myself that trying to judge myself by others' standards is just a waste of time, and that I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me.

And, to clarify, in editing-after-the-fact mode, I don't feel I owe an update or explanation to anyone. But once upon a time, this group of 20-odd (some of them very odd) people were very significant in my life, and I'd like to let them know where I'm at now, with the hope that I may have been significant for one or two of them.

And, furthermore, I'm tired of overthinking.

I have the dubious honor of piping up as the token non-success story, at least as far as school is concerned. You may remember that, after finishing all of the coursework and qualifying exams, I decided to delay internship by a year because of my family's upcoming move and some other changes on the horizon. At the time, I felt such a weight lifted off me, which I attributed to the knowledge that the summer of '05 would have one less big, life-altering change in it.

I did apply for an internship the following year, and didn't get one. That was difficult, to put it gently. I don't have a lot of experience in failure, and I have to say, I don't recommend it. It's not as fun as it looks from the outside.

I spent a lot of time depressed and feeling sorry for myself, and then I spent more time just thinking and processing it all, and then I spent even more time coping and getting over myself. I've realized that my initial relief at withdrawing from the '05 Match wasn't just about a temporary reprieve from chaos, but that an internship and dissertation, both what they entail and what they represent, were not right for me. Doctoral-level clinical psychology, as a whole, was not right for me.

So, I'm mostly done. I'm still registering each semester, to delay repayment of student loans, but am no longer pursuing an internship or (sssshhhhh... don't tell the Registrar!) working on my dissertation. I work in the Emergency Services department of a community mental health center, which is a good pace for me and the money... could be worse. My main priorities, at the moment, are to support Willem and my kids through their efforts, and to nurture interests and goals of mine that I had spent a long time ignoring. I'm working on a book, maybe two, and planning to travel quite a bit this year. I'm also hoping to work on a third child in a year or so.

Not "success" on certain terms, perhaps, but I'm happier now than I had been for a long time. I may, eventually, return to school in some form, but recent events in our families have reminded me that long-term plans aren't always the way to go.

Please do stay in touch - my email is, and I have a blog at

Be well,