“…This is Mrs. Kanter with a few words of wisdom. Make it a great day–or not–the choice is yours.”

when i started this job i was broke, directionless, and on the heels of a breakup. i took it thinking it might be something permanent. something to keep me in PA. something to bring us closer together. on the first day, it became apparent it was none of those things. i wondered how i would continue doing this job when it was already brimming with so many unpleasant memories of disappointment.

i worked hard. i problem solved. i was independent–although the staff was incredibly supportive and helpful at times.

and then…

over time, i began receiving positive feedback. i was a pleasure to work with. i made the transition seamlessly. i had a way when explaining things to professionals and parents. i had a way of working with the kids. (i had a way! it was my way!)

i rallied. and emerged a more confident clinician with a voice and a plan.

today was my last day of that job and i am forever grateful for that experience. over time it did evolve into something of its own. something that was independent of all the muck that i trudged through to get there. i became the main character in my own story again. i took a risk, did a thing, and did it well.

Me: The way things are shaking out, I’ll leave here at like 4 or 5am. I picture it just barely light out. And I will vanish while PA is still sleeping.

Chris: haha aw. Set some fireworks on a timer. And blast AC/DC when you’re leaving.

“She is your joy on wheels whose every experience is informed and altered by the fact that she lost the most essential, elemental, primal, and central person in her life too soon. I know this without knowing her. It will never be okay that she lost her mother. And the kindest, most loving thing you can do for her is to bear witness to that, to muster the strength, courage, and humility it takes to accept the enormous reality of its not okayness and be okay with it the same way she has to be. Get comfortable being the [person] who says Oh honey, I’m so sorry for your loss over and over again.

That’s what the people who’ve consoled me the most deeply in my sorrow have done. They’ve spoken those words or something like them every time I needed to hear it; they’ve plainly acknowledged what is invisible to them, but so very real to me. I know saying those clichéd and ordinary things makes you feel squirmy and lame. I feel that way too when I say such things to others who have lost someone they loved. We all do. It feels lame because we like to think we can solve things. It feels insufficient because there is nothing we can actually do to change what’s horribly true.

But compassion isn’t about solutions. It’s about giving all the love that you’ve got.”

Cleared out, decluteted, and donated so many things. And it made room for my emotions. A vault opened and now I feel it all. The situation with my mom, with the job, with my love life…

I have been strong for so. damn. long.

There is so much about this place that I will miss but as it was said in Manchester by the Sea, “I can’t beat it.” Ready to seek refuge in New England. Ready to be free.

Whelp, here we are. Farther along than I thought I’d be. Not as far as I thought I’d be. Making the most of my time. Biding my time.

You’re not a horrible person. But you were pretty fucking toxic to me and I’m going to stay away now. Your blazer and hugs and small talk mean nothing.

But I was up all night thinking about it.

And so I stayed because of you. But I’ll be leaving because of me. Self-love really is the greatest middle finger.

But to move forward I also have to grieve. I tell my heart, “Grieve, damnit.”

Two interviews and an apartment that might hold all the belongings I took from my childhood home. Here. We. Go.

When I think about the imposter syndrome, I try my best to shake off those feelings. When I talk about the imposter syndrome–even to the women in my life that I look up to and admire–they merely nod knowingly.

I keep running the numbers through my head to try to solidify my shaky confidence. 18 in 33 students. 1 in 6 neuro students. 3.9 GPA. 6 solid references from people who actually like working with me… 2 from school, 2 from postdoc, 2 from my current job.

“18, 33, 1, 6, 3.9, 6…2 and 2 and 2”

Objectively, I can see the “success.” So why am I still so. damn. scared.

I think of tree lined streets and brick and trolleys… lakes and pine trees… the way the evening sun looks so different from the morning sun. But it is the same star… I’m the one who has changed.

reasons to be happy this week:

  • booked travel to the bahamas
  • booked travel to boston
  • snow day on tuesday
  • my company sending me flowers at work
    • feeling appreciated at work
  • investing in a new snow shovel (??)
  • after 8 inches of concrete-like snow fell from the sky… “at least pollen counts are down.”
  • returning to practicing the guitar
  • this is us season finale