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!