I have been off the writing bandwagon for the past few weeks as the holidays came crashing in full force with school vacations, 24/7 autism, a new job requiring 40 hours of training online. My life is in a transition and as the fear comes crashing in mixed with the uncertainty of my abilities to carry it through I am diving in despite it all. As I stand with a busy mind and a broken soul I know that if I’m calculated and purposeful in all my decisions this go of it could end in a more quiet fulfilling place.
I have accepted a job as an ABA technician working with children with autism. I had been fighting this path for a long time making excuses like, “with my son being severe and receiving ABA services at home I will just go from ABA at work to ABA at home and I will burn out” to “I just cant do autism anymore” to “I’m leaving inpatient for more psych am I exchanging apples for apples?” and on and on. I’m still not sure where this opportunity will lead me but either way I will walk away from it with a Registered Behavioral Technician certification to add to my resume that in my recent job searching was so Psych heavy it was hard to find a job not in the field.
Today, I visited a church that I had attended for many years to see many of my friends and as I sat in that chair listening to our pastor speak about planning for the future my mind began to spin. He said that a good place to start was to write a journal entry to yourself for the future. He insinuated that the trick was to form your plan, say, five years from today and write what you want your diary entry to look like on that day and write it then work towards it. He read what he has written for himself eight years from today and I thought it was so profound. Admittedly, as he was reading his two page manifesto, I heard very little of what he had written. I was busy thinking in my head where I would like to be on this date next year. What I want my life to look like. This task is hard for me. I have never been a forward thinker. I act in the moment never taking a moment to discern logically allowing the emotion in the moment dictate what mess I will have to clean up later. So at the inadvertent prompting of one of the people in my life I highly respect here is my one year manifesto.
Today I woke up with my children after a good night sleep and the house was clean and warm. I cooked a small breakfast and sat at the table with my children as I listened to them talk and smiled at the growth they have shown this past year. They have grown in their love for one another and have even begun helping with chores and earning an allowance.
I am thankful for the new job I have been working in for about a year. My confidence has really been lifted by this job that is so rewarding to my heart as I am able to make a difference in a families life even if something small has been lifted from their shoulders.
Aiden is doing very well and is back to being fully potty trained once again. Its not even a thought in my mind. He is now able to brush his teeth independently and can shower with minimal to no help. We are able to take him more places and he is working his way to being more independent at school.
I have made my peace with not working on the psychiatric unit and have found a way to mend that scar as I fill that open space with using my gifts and attained knowledge to help others for Christ without the constraints of professionalism. I am able to offer a hug or hold a hand without a judgement. I am able to supply a favorite meal or a coffee to warm a soul that is used to the distance created out of the patient clinician relationship. I am able to offer a level of grace that I was unable to offer before in a natural environment setting void of negative consequence forcing a prescribed code of behavioral discretion based out of fear.
I have found a certain sense of peace as I have quit drinking and replaced that jack and coke with a tea and conversation. My peace is found in helping others and not on my own selfish ambitions and pride. and I may not be perfect at this yet but I have definitely come a lot further in my letting go of pride and am not afraid to admit that this was a problem area for me.
I have changed my social media behavior and have become a lot more self disciplined in how my time and attention is spent. I allow myself only thirty minutes twice a day to relax and catch up. The rest of my down time is spent doing the things that rejuvenate my soul like reading, writing, studying scripture or psychology. That book I have been writing is slowly coming together and my planner is full of things that fill my life with purpose and love.
It is because of this that I can say that my life has done a complete 180 and the relationships with those in my life have strengthened in both quality and quantity. I hope that the changes I have made in my life have made me a safer place for people to come when things are tough in their lives. I pray that even if i may not have the words that those that are in my life leave my presence knowing that they are in my heart just as they were before. And last but not least, I am so thankful I got past my anxiety of hugs and that now when someone hugs me they can feel the love that I have harnessed for them for years.
And last but not least, Its so nice to not feel like I have to control everything. Its nice to be able to say in my soul, “this is what is happening around me, but it does not need to dictate the state of my soul because in the end we will all come to see that we really had control over anything”. It is autism that has taught me this. I am not longer asking why God gave me this to bear I am thanking him for the growth it has offered me.
This is my one year manifesto. There’s a lot there but everyday is a new day and I cant wait to see what one year can do. It starts and ends with a change in heart, a change in mind and ends with a change in action. I cant wait to read this next year.