This semester I am spending a few days a week working in the schools. Because I am working towards my LSSP license (Licensed Specialist in School Psychology), I am required to log hundreds of supervised hours, wherein I tote around funny looking accessories and test batteries, and pester teachers to let me meet with their students outside of the classroom. I've seen all kinds of hurt in these kids, but most of all, I've observed the power of uninterrupted attention. I am constantly reminding myself that I am not able to "fix" any of these student's struggles. I can't save them, and no matter how hard I try, I will never be able to. Not to say I can't help. But I'll never be their superwoman.
Because I commute over an hour each way, I have time (on most days) to sit and think. I think about what I communicate to these kids. I think about what they communicate to me. And then I think about the real reason I started all of this psychology business in the first place: I wanted to believe that if I listened hard enough, I could help someone. Especially a "small" someone.
But, while driving down Hwy 69 for the 157th time, I realized that somewhere in this process of listening to other people, I've lost some of my ability to listen to myself. I exert so much energy during the day taking in the rest of the world, that somewhere along the way, I became too lazy to give myself the same amount of uninterrupted attention.
I have several looming decisions to make in the next few months, and, truth be told, I'm not sure I trust myself to make them. I don't need someone to listen to me, necessarily. I don't need my therapist, or my friends, or my family to hint at what I should do. But, I think, I need to spend some time with myself and really listen. Well, let me rephrase that. I don't think this. I know this.
After all, I do have quite a bit of practice.