Back in October I casually mentioned that not only was California the last of the 50 states to finally pass a law to license professional counselors, but that I had decided to go for it.
I also said that because I’ve been a counselor for 10 years, I get a pretty good deal: the chance to be “grandparented” in to the new license.
Grandparented. Such a cozy word, isn’t it?
Takes me back to my grandma feeding me chicken soup when I had a cold. Or big hugs from my big grandpa.
In this case, though, grandparenting isn’t quite so homey. Basically, it means credit for experience and fewer requirements.
It’s still a lot of work, though: extra classes, more client hours, additional supervision, and perhaps most daunting of all, passing three exams.
So here I am, six months into my quest, and like all good hero’s journey stories, this one’s shaping up to be full of adventure.
As it turns out, a few of those adventures have been a bit harrowing. Like when I initially set out, I ran into some rough waters with my first supervisor and my metaphorical boat capsized. But luckily I’m a good swimmer, and made it to shore.
Then, I lost my way a bit when I wasn’t quite sure how I would complete the requirements. So I aimlessly wandered for a time, eventually coming upon the best path through the forest.
Most recently I’ve encountered an evil bureaucratic wizard, but snuck around him while he was sleeping.
Of course, I couldn’t have gotten this far without those moments of serendipity and synchronicity that magically appeared just when I needed them. Not to mention all the support I’ve received from the mentors, guides, and allies I’ve met along the way.
With their help, I’ve persevered.And I’m learning a heck of a lot about perseverance in the middle act of of life.
Because not a day goes by without me asking myself, “Why am I doing this?”
I certainly don’t have to. It’s not a requirement. Most of my colleagues, perhaps wiser than me, are choosing not to. So there are times when I think about turning around and going back (a common theme in journey stories). But so far, I haven’t.
That’s because I keep coming up against this essential truth: it just feels right. And in spite of the hard work and challenges, I continue to take one step at a time, remembering each day what Joseph Campbell said:
If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.
Now I’ve arrived at the place in the journey where the path turns upward and the hero (me) recedes from view and disappears for a time.
Still, you know she’s there, following the call, trudging along, reaching out with all her might to claim the boon.
Like all path-makers, though, I don’t fully know what this means yet.
I suspect it’s about putting this blog aside for a period of time, in order to regroup and focus.
I suspect it’s about finding a way to keep writing here without feeling compelled to say so darn much each time.
I suspect I’ll come back refreshed and renewed, with more stories to tell.
In the meantime, my door’s open. If you’d like to connect you can leave a comment here, or if you’d prefer something more private, send an email: bechtoldlifework-at-gmail-dot-com. It may take a few days to get a response, but I always answer emails. And if you’re not yet on my newsletter list but would like to be, click here to sign up.
So. To my subscribers, readers, and commenters: a big, huge, heartfelt thank you.
Your support means so much to me and I’m already looking forward to the day we meet again.
And for those of you who are new here, I hope you’ll settle in and explore some of what I’ve written in the past two-plus years.
Until we meet again…so long!
I love that Joseph Campbell quote. While part of me finds not knowing what will happen next unsettling, I do so love to respond to what surprise may come my way. Whether it’s to pursue a budding interest, to make an unplanned turn, or to discard whatever load I no longer feel like lugging. It seems to be a great way to truly love being alive.
Take all the time you need, Patty. I’ll be here cheering you on your path to that new license and looking forward to seeing a new post in my feedreader from you. xoxo
Oh, that so warms my heart, Belinda. I like knowing that you’re cheering me on. xoxo
Good luck with your new adventure, Patty. Keep asking those questions. They’re keeping you focused and curious. There is so much to learn and you are inviting it. Enjoy!
Why thank you Davina. “Inviting” it is such a nice way to put it. Has anyone ever told you you have a way with words???
Adventure is not for the faint of heart. What an example you set, not so much that you are doing it but that you’re doing it because it FEELS RIGHT. And that’s the key, isn’t it? To move in the direction that feels right even if we have no idea where we’re going. Keep at it, Patty. My prayers and love are with you. ♥
Yes, exactly, Maryse. I have to come back to that “it just feels right” about a hundred times a day. I have to get centered in that. Because I know there are going to be more obstacles along the way, and I can’t predict the actual outcome. I’m so glad to have you in my corner.
Hi Patty! YAY for you! (love the Campbell quote btw!) When you KNOW in heart and soul that you are on a path that Feels right you are totally in sync with what you should do, where you should go next you do it. It takes courage to listen to that wee voice and just go for it! There was never a doubt in mind that you are a wise woman – and courageous!
How did I not know you had a newsletter? Obviously I will sign up for that. Meantime, walk softly and carry a big stick. Sending enornmous hugs of encouragement!
Oh my, such love today. Wisdom! Courage! I hope I’m getting there at least. And btw, you look good channeling Teddy Roosevelt. Hugs!
Good luck. I have no doubt that you will succeed and the hero will stand victorious. I also understand the need to put aside the blog for awhile. I signed up for the newsletter…because I can’t be without a bit a Patty’s wisdom every now ant then:~)
Thank you so much, Sara. I like the hero’s journey story because once the hero claims the boon and comes back victorious, it’s all about using what’s been gained for good in the world. So it’s nice to know you’re supporting me in that!
Hi Patty — I’m looking forward to hearing about where this journey takes you, and I’ve really appreciated the depth to which you’ve been willing to take blogging about personal development in the articles of yours I’ve read. I’ll share something about myself too — I have been seriously thinking about getting a graduate degree in psychology. I am going to complete an application within the next few days.
Yeah! I’m doing a little happy dance, Chris. Fantastic to hear you’re going for the degree in psychology. I mean, I know I don’t exactly know you, but from our mini-exchanges and reading your blog, it seems like such a natural evolution for you. Wonderful!
Patty, You will be missed while you are on hiatus, and we’ll be waiting for you when you return. Sounds like you are having some most excellent adventures on your quest–carry on!
Thanks much for your kind words, Charlotte. And I will indeed carry on!
Patty, this is so great – I’m so inspired to read about your journey here. Cheering for you from afar!!
Those cheers are reaching me, Eva. Thanks!
Wishing you a wonderful adventure getting this license. Your mind- challenging blog posts will be missed! I agree with the other commentees, great quote by Joseph Campbell. So many of life’s adventures have been blotted out with technology. I’m thankful you’ve been able to reconnect with your sense of adventure. In that end, that’s all life’s supposed to be!
“Mind-challenging.” Wow, more love! Thank you, and right back at you, G. I’m hoping I can learn to write in a shorter, hopefully mind-challenging way. And you know I’m with you about the technology/adventure link.
Just a drop-in to say I hope things are going well for you. I’m thinking of you and knowing that you studying away. Be good to yourself, okay?
BTW when I’ve tried to email you, the email has been returned.
Thank you Sara. You’re the best!
You go Patti. I love that you’re doing it because it feels right! Wisdom, pure wisdom.
I, too, love the Joseph Campbell quip. I’m glad you’re pushing forward. It gives the work a bit more meaning and I gather that it already had a lot. In the end, someone(s) will be helped by you seeing this through. Perfect.
Live it LOUD!
I love that you sneaked around the evil bureaucratic wizard while he was sleeping: the ploy of a wise “quester.” Why waste time and energy jousting with knaves, right? Godspeed, and come back to us when you’re ready.
Hey, I miss you. I just wanted to wish you a very Happy New Year. I hope life is treating you well:~)