Saturday, June 30, 2012


I graduated.

That is really all I can think about when going through this month. It has been such a huge transition in my life and I have had a wide range of emotions, all of which have been worn on my sleeve.

First, can I just say, getting my masters degree was and is such a surreal and intentional experience in my life. It is like a small miracle to me. As someone who likes learning but wasn't particularly "academic," this has changed my life because it has changed my perspective and expectations of myself. It has also taught me so much more about myself. It is like I can't turn off my own "therapy self," and I am always therapiz-ing (yup, don't know how to spell that fake word) myself. This basically means that I am constantly investigating, pushing, and challenging myself. Sometimes it is tiring but then I go right into reflecting on that idea and what it means. I guess what I am trying to say is that I somehow gained this inner voice in the last 2 years. This voice that is more me, it is braver, stronger, less judgmental, and more curious. This voice is a friend, not an enemy, and it has been guiding me in my life. It really is a gift.

So with that, I am so sad and so happy to be done. Saying goodbye to some of the wonderful friends that I made was heart breaking- some of these people know some of the most intimate details of my life. Others have changed me by sharing their stories. Saying goodbye to my professors, supervisors and teachers was equally difficult. Being done and achieving my goal, being released of all homework and stress- that felt amazing. Not carrying around the stresses of my clients, I find myself worrying less and just being more. I am using this time between graduating and getting a job to just remember me and remember the things I enjoy, and do for fun. It is nice to be in my own head again. To read, cook, and be a present wife for my husband.

Here are some pictures from the big weekend:

Me, Michelle and Linds. Best gal pals. These girls are some of the most God-fearing, loving people I have ever met.

Sassy. I just had to include it.

Me, Jami and Kari. I love these girls, we had a groups class together that was life-changing. They are my emotional pals- we have each cried together on more occasions than I would like to admit.

There are so many other friends I wish I could include pictures of, and talk about each one. They are all special to me.

Can I just give a shout out to my amazing family?

First, Jon seriously deserves a diploma of his own. For husband of the year (two years in a row!). He has been my cheerleader, my reality-check, my personal therapist, my example, and my person through all of this. He has dealt with the ups and downs of my emotional state and my confidence. He has listened to play-by-plays of sessions gone well and sessions gone poorly. He has let me discover my dream, make it a reality, and has quietly cheered me on the entire way. Could you ask any more of a person? I don't think so. I love him so.

Also my sweet immediate family. They have supported me, encouraged me, and let me pull apart and over-analyze every aspect of our family. I can't imagine what it is like to have your child choose to be a family therapist... but my parents and siblings have handled it with grace and a sense of humor. I've heard that there is nothing more dangerous than a half-educated psychologist and I am sure that I risked stepping on toes if not sounding outright self-righteous at times. But they have never dissuaded me or made me feel like our family wasn't safe enough to take a close look at. I started out in this field because I thought my family was perfect. I might not hold that opinion any more, but I do know that they have been perfect for me. Even when they were imperfect. I love them.

 Oh and the Van Wickle's, my other family. They also let me explore the inner corners of their family, which is probably even worse from an in-law, but never did I receive resentment or sarcasm. They came to graduation and cheered me on, which meant so much to me. And they gave me the greatest gift in the world, their son, who has been my everything. So basically they can do no wrong in my book. I love them.

Basically I am overwhelmed with emotions. Even three weeks later. 

I'm not sure when it will go away, or at least dissipate, but I do know that I never want to forget the things I've felt. The things I have felt, learned, experienced, discovered, and loved in the last two years. These things have been new and they have defined me.

So on with my life with my wonderful husband and family. On to work toward the dreams of Jon and our family. Hopefully a job for me will be in the picture soon. But for now I love watching Jon work toward his goals, and I love being his constant cheerleader as he prepares to take the MCAT again next month.

Thank you for the support and love of each and every one of you. I love you all.


Brandon and Bethany said...

This is awesome. I love you.

ms.mooy said...

You are basically amazing

RobAar said...

Rachel - reading about your experiences in the two years that I've not seen you, was so wonderful! I'm so happy for you and I feel more inspired to push myself to fulfill my dreams.

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