Happy New Year each and all!
Alan and I at the wedding.
Alan's mom, Debbie and I at the wedding. The whole Rosenwinkel gang! Hubba Hubba Hudson and a prospective pumkin. Happy Fall!
But, here I am, back in Annapolis. Another week has come and gone. Another weekend has come and gone now too. It's been a quiet one for us. We did some odds and ends of things we've been meaning to catch up on. I have not been feeling too well the past couple of days. I think the change in seasons is starting to get to me. I've been taking vitamin C and hoping it doesn't turn into a full blow cold. Not sure whether Mother Nature is ready to make up her mind just yet whether it's fall or still summer. It's been back and forth. I'm ready for it to be chilly and crisp. Let's see it, Mother Nature!
This is random, but I just want to say how nice it is to have a paycheck! :) I work hard for it, but it's a great feeling!
That's it for now.
Things are becoming routine quickly though. I feel settled at work enough that some of the new excitement has started to wear off and the harsh reality has started to take its place. I felt very overwhelmed this week, but dealt with that and am using the weekend to recharge. It's been a nice and quiet weekend. Alan has been gone diving for most of it, so I've been holding down the fort at the apartment (and by 'holding down the fort' I really mean holding down the couch). I've been able to get some things done and I've done lots of relaxing. The weather has finally broken a bit. It was crazy hot at the end of last week. We were working on breaking a heat record. Boo! I'm SO ready for fall temps to get here so I can bust out my pants and cozy sweaters. I love fall!
This week I'm fending for myself. Alan is headed to North Carolina for work this week and then we are meeting up at Midway on Friday night. We are headed back to Indiana briefly for his cousin's wedding this weekend. I am very much looking forward to it. I am excited to spend some time with his parents and family. Should be a great weekend! Now I just have to survive the next 4 days until I get there. They are jam-packed with clients and all kinds of things. So, I'll certainly be ready for that plane ride on Thursday night!
I think that's about it for now.
The job is going really well. So far I've been doing a lot of trainings and shadowing my fellow teammates to see what they do and how they do it. I have my own caseload now. Three new clients in all. Things are starting to get busy, which is nice. I'm enjoying the down time when I have it because I've been told that it doesn't last long and I'll probably never get it back once it's gone and I have a full caseload of 25-30 peeps. I really love my supervisor. She is great. She gives me space to work, but is always there if I need her. I also really enjoy my teammates. They are crazy busy women, but we've had some chances to talk and get to know one another. We are all about the same age and that's nice too. I'm learning DC and what it's like to work in the big city. It's a scary place at times, but I'm getting used to it.
I've been adjusting to a schedule and just being up and doing something for 8-9 hours a day. It's a big change from the past two months of vacation. Being a working girl absolutely got the best of me several nights this week. I was passed out on the couch by 9 on several occasions. To try and curb that, Alan and I decided a date night was necessary last night. So, we went to see Eat, Pray, Love and then to our favorite Italian place for some grub. The movie was marvelous! It was everything I expected and more. The book is probably in my top 5 favorites of all time. Now that's hard to do! I love Julia and she was perfect in the role. So, it was a great ending to a long week. Today, the weather is beautiful and we have been farting around doing a little bit of this and that but mostly nothing. Just the way we like it. Tonight Alan is off to dive at the National Aquarium and I'm spending the evening doing what I please. Perfect!
Life is great! :)
This is a quote that I absolutely love. It helps to remind me that life has a direction and that all you need is a bit of patience sometimes to let it run its course and go wherever it's taking you.
Today is my last official day of freedom. I start my new job tomorrow! I'm ready! It's funny how when I was in school, I would have given my right arm or pretty much any body part just for a day of pure, guilt-free freedom. Well, now I've had about 5 weeks of it. I'm absolutely thankful for that. It has been wonderful. BUT, I am indeed a creature of habit who needs structure and a regular routine. It's time to get that in place and start this last big piece of the new chapter puzzle. Time to make some of my own friends and build my own network out here in Maryland. I miss that terribly. Tomorrow. Tomorrow.
It's been a nice, relaxing weekend. Today should be more of the same. The weather has been amazing. Come on fall! Yesterday Alan and I spent some time downtown Annapolis and just wandered. We visited the state house and there was a little art festival going on. Basically we just wanted to get outside and enjoy the weather. It's another gorgeous day today, and we have nothing specific on the agenda except a batch of waffles for breakfast. Speaking of which, my stomach is growling and it's time to go cook!
Enjoying my last day of freedom before work starts tomorrow! Hope everyone else is enjoying their extra day off!
So, I had a big interview on Friday at an agency - Community Connections - in Washington DC. It is located on Pennsylvania Ave just a hop skip and a jump from the Capitol. You can actually see the Capitol from the office. It was supposed to be an all day interview/shadowing kind of deal, but ended up only being an initial interview with the Associate Director for Community Support Services. The position's official title is Dual Diagnosis Clinical Case Manager. The agency uses an integrated system of therapy/counseling and case management. This means I get to do both! This is fantastic. So, I would be in charge of a caseload of 25 individuals with both mental health and substance abuse problems. I'd see them in my office (how cool!) and in their homes. Long story short, this is a fantastic agency and I am really hoping to land the job. Turns out that I have I will be shadowing the supervisor of the Dual Diagnosis team and then have a second interview on Tuesday. I have a really good feeling about all of this. The best things in life ARE worth the wait! I think it is meant to be. I will say though, never in my life did I imagine that I would be working in downtown Washington DC a few blocks from our nation's capitol! Pretty cool huh?
On other fronts, Alan is back from a work week in Kentucky. I'm very glad to have him back. It was a bit of a rough week. There were a lot of things coming my way all at once, and I had a bit of a freak out moment. It just needed to happen. Lots of changes are happening in my life, and I think most of them have finally sunk in. It's just all a lot to swallow. I'm still working on the balance between independence and my partnership with Alan. It's all new, and definitely an adjustment. But, I absolutely couldn't be happier. I really love the choices that I've made that have brought me out here. It's difficult at times, but I'm making it work. It's just those darn growing experiences that are hard to make it through. haha. Who needs growth? Well, we all do. So here's to going for it! No one ever said life was easy!
So, Friday night he came home and had a fun date night all planned out. We ended up at Cheeseburger In Paradise for dinner and then had some fun playing some miniature golf. It was great! Yesterday we got to hang out and just relax together and then headed into Baltimore for another afternoon of diving at the National Aquarium.
I think that about sums it up. Another post after my big day on Tuesday!
We had plans to get up Saturday morning and head to Harpers Ferry, WV and go tubing down the Potomac River with Dan and AJ, some friends of Alan's who are now friends of mine. Let me just tell you it was an absolute blast! Alan has done some white water rafting as well as some tubing down the river here in WV with his co-workers, and he wanted to go again so that I could join in the fun. I'm so glad we did! It turned out to be somewhat overcast, but it was beautiful. We had our own tubes, complete with head rest and cup holders from beverages, so that made things significantly less complicated. We packed some coolers and launched ourselves down the river. We hit some rocks and some small rapids along the way, but it made for a great Saturday adventure. After grabbing a quick bite to eat and a shower, we headed into DC to meet up with some friends of mine in Georgetown. My dear friend Laura (aka, Fuzz) and her sister came to visit some friends, and we got to catch up with them while they were here visiting. It was so great to see familiar faces. Plus, now I know another Midwest transplant that I can go into DC and do things with! So, we ate dinner at this fantastic little rowing themed place right off of Georgetown's campus. Then he decided to head into DC and tour some of the memorials at night! Again, we had a great time! Alan was in heavan as our personal tourguide, and we got to wander and chat and catch up. It was the perfect ending to a looooooong and exhausting day.
Even though I was exhauted, it was an amazing weekend! We had so much fun and this is exactly the type of adventure we love having together. It's what drew me out to the East Coast. I'm not sure I even thought it was possible to be THIS happy. I am absolutely loving it. It comes with it's fair share of work and unsettling things, but adventures are worth it!
But, waiting, when it comes right down to it, certainly has its perks. It's what I've been doing since I moved. I've been waiting for a job. Don't get me wrong, I have not been idle by any means, but mostly just waiting for something to come through or out of all the hard work I've put in to the search. Waiting can be exhausting. I call people and leave message, but to no avail, no one calls me back. I am trying to think of this as a vacation, but selling that to my bank account is a different story. Something will work out. That I know. Will it be my dream job? Maybe. Maybe not. Someone else told me (I seem to have an abundance of very wise friends who are supporting me, and I'm thankful for them)that my first job may not be in the locale of my dreams, but to take it and shine and that will open up opportunities more to my liking. A great tid bit of advice that I have faithfully tucked in my cap.
It's tough starting a new chapter of your life. I'm still waiting for a huge part of that chapter to open up. I feel confident about the closing of the last one. I made sure to soak it all in and make the most of it. I'm proud to say that I accomplished that. No regrets. However, it's much harder work to open this new one. As mentioned above, I'm not sure I could do it without my amazingly patient, compassionate, and loving other half and my dear friends and family who are always ready with a listening ear, dry sleeve, tid bits of wisdom and endless support. A heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you!
So, for now, I continue to work and wait for a job. In the mean time I am still exploring Annapolis and settling in to living with Alan. I'm enjoying life and taking deep breaths as needed. :)
First let me recap the end of last week.
Friday - I had an interview at St. Luke's House in Bethesda, MD. The position I applied for was a residential counseling position meaning that I would be doing counseling, teaching life skills, medication management in group homes for individuals with psychiatric disabilities. The interview went really well and they want me to come for a second interview. It's definitely not my dream job, but I think I would have a really hard time turning it down. I can't keep 'beggars can't be choosers' out of my head. So, I've digested that and would be willing to accept it if nothing else pans out. It will just be a timing game.
I don't have all of my eggs in one basket though. I think I ended up applying for 3 more positions in Washington DC last week after I discovered that DC's licensing requirements are different than Maryland (Duh!) and I can actually do mental health counseling/therapy there instead of having to have a license that I am not eligible for like I need in MD. So, that was good news. I have just started searching out some places in DC to apply for, so we'll see what they have to say.
I think that's the major update for the job hunt. I'll definitely post more when I know more.
As for the weekend, it was a blast. Al and I spent Friday night farting around, making stir fry and we watched Valentine's Day. Decent movie. Saturday we ventured over to a friend/co-worker of Al's (Jen)for a little swimming, hanging, and grilling. Jen and her husband are from Michigan, so it was comforting to be around some fellow Midwesterners. We had a great time just relaxing and talking.
Sunday we were lazy and spent most of the day on the couch watching Season 2 of Friday Night Lights. Al is totally hooked! :) I love it! We ended the evening with a swim in our own pool and some grilled steaks, peppers and onions, and green beans. It was delicious!
So, I have officially be a Maryland resident for over a week now. Things are starting to sink in. Slowly but surely. I have quite a bit of time on my hands to sit and think about all that I have accomplished and what all has changed in the past few months. At times it's very overwhelming. But, I have things to keep me busy and today's agenda leads me to Borders for one of my favorite past times, wandering around a book store for hours on end. Plus I have a gift card! ha! Gotta love it. I also need to research the library. Getting a library card is definitely on my list of things to do also.
That being said, I'm going to finish my cup of cofee and a few more emails then hit it!
So, that leaves me back at the apartment. Yesterday I decided needed to be a day of rest, so I did just that. I got in a beautiful nap and then lounged around most of the day. It was much needed, and I feel refreshed. Last night Alan and I officially added me as an occupant on his apartment lease and got some stuff figured out at the leasing office. Today I have some odds and ends of things to do, but basicially just relaxing. Al is working late, and I am gearing up for another interview on Friday @ St. Luke's House, another non-profit.
Today's agenda is up in the air. I may go drive around and do a little exploring of Annapolis. Job hunting. Napping. We'll see what else happens! :)
Let's start from the beginngin... It's been a crazy month or so, and the last two weeks have been some that I will never forget. I have officially closed another chapter of my life and am working on opening the next one. I graduated with my Master's in Counseling on Saturday, July 24. It was a bittersweet day, but I can't imagine how it could have been any better. I was surrounded by people who love me and have supported me through thick and thin. I can't tell you that I feel any differently now that I can write my name as Marla B. Alexander, M.A., but I hope that when I get a job it will sink in. After graduation, Alan and I spent the week spending time with family and friends and packing up my stuff in Muncie and getting it ready for the big move to Maryland. It took a lot of hard work - blood, sweat, and some tears - to get it all sorted through, packed, and in the right pile (Maryland now, Maryland later, Storage, Goodwill). On Sunday (July 31) we made the trip together to Annapolis together with about 1/16 of my life's posessions. We stopped in Pittsburg to do some siteseeing on our way and had a great lunch. Yesterday we spent most of the day out shopping and picking up things we need to make his apartment our apartment. IKEA is amazing! So, we got back to the apartment exhausted and with significantly lower bank accounts. However, we are pretty much set with things in the apartment. The rest of my stuff will be coming with mom and dad in about a month! It hasn't really sunk in yet. But, I haven't really stopped smiling since I arrived. This is so exciting and much less scary than I origionally thought. I can tell you that I truly feel like a grown up. I have been one for quite some time, but the 'real world' is calling my name and I'm so close to being a part of it. Now, I just need a job!
LETTING GO TAKES LOVE
To let go does not mean to stop caring, it means I can't do it for someone else.
To let go is not to cut myself off, it's the realization I can't control another.
To let go is not to enable, but allow learning from natural consequences.
To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To let go is not to try to change or blame another, it's to make the most of myself.
To let go is not to care for, but to care about.
To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.
To let go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.
To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to affect their destinies.
To let go is not to be protective, it's to permit another to face reality.
To let go is not to deny, but to accept.
To let go is not to nag, scold or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.
To let go is not to criticize or regulate anybody, but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To let go is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.
To let go is to fear less and love more.
Remember: The time to love is short.
Here is a quick run down of what's going as of right now...
1. The sun is shining and Spring is right around the corner! I can smell it!
2. I just spent a week (spring break) in Annapolis with Alan and we had an amazing time right up until the end when we both ended up sick.
3. I'm still sick, but starting to feel better.
4. I'm looking for a job in Maryland and am moving out there for a grand adventure in August after I graduate. I have some good leads, so keep your fingers crossed for me!
5. I have 129 days until I graduate, and obviously I'm counting them down!
6. I'm excited about my birthday coming up on Saturday. Year 23 had it's great moments along with some tragic ones, but I'm excited to see what year 24 will bring! I will be spending some time with Andy and then heading out for a Goddess treat and then dinner with mom, dad, and Toby.
7. Tomorrow I am taking a content exam to make sure that I have absorbed all of the wonderful knowledge that is appropriate for a Master's student who is allowed to graduate from Ball State University.
8. I have the most wonderful boyfriend in the world!
I think that about sums up what I can think of right now. Enjoy!