The End of an (Academic) Era

Posted on December 31, 2015

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It’s been nearly six years since I returned to student-hood; a life lived on a cup-o-ramen tight budget and filled with endless peer reviewed articles. It’s been two years since my last post on BecomingJennie.com. Perhaps even more exciting is that it’s been nearly four years that I’ve been sober from all substances and seven years (actually, 6.66 years to be precise) I’ve been away from porn. I figure that with the conclusion of 2015, it’s important to update this space, which became a huge piece of me and my story.

I’m coming up on some big achievements and the people who’ve followed me on this blog have provided much of the fuel required for a person to be successful. This update is for you. Well, for both of us, really.

Husky

Beginning the Masters Program at UW

Two weeks ago, I completed the final courses for my Masters of Social Work (MSW) at the University of Washington. All I have left to complete the degree is six months of practicum at The Polyclinic’s Behavioral Health Department. As an intern, I have the blessing of providing one-on-one therapy for individuals in need, as well as group therapy for individuals who are interested in Mindfulness-Based Interventions. I’ve been taking extracurricular training courses in Mindfulness-Based Interventions, having been fascinated by the research behind meditation’s impact on the grey matter in our brains, and made a wholehearted believer in the happiness found in existing right now.  I don’t know what job I’ll get once I graduate (that’s the future, right? Can’t tell the future!), but I can tell you some hopes and dreams that I have for this upcoming year.

But you know what? Instead of stating them as hopes and dreams, I’m choosing to state them as “I will” statements. Also, I am writing them all in the positive – I’m writing these statements as things that living people do best, as opposed to things dead people do best (like Russ Harris says, any dead guy can make a “I will not” statement come true. Only living people can commit to “I will” statements). So here we go.

Things I will do in 2016

I will complete a Masters degree and I will walk across the stage and participate in a “hooding ceremony.” (Holy shit).

I will have two to three more evenings free to spend with my darling man.

I will read books I really want to read.

I will facilitate Mindfulness-Based Groups, both in private practice (under the supervision of a LICSW) and in organizational settings.

I will get a job that meets the level of my education.

I will write a new book – a work of fiction. My first work of fiction.

I will travel the world.

I will work for the empowerment of all people.

I will attend a shit-ton of weddings. So. Many. Weddings. Fuck. Seriously. So many weddings. Please, if you are my friend, don’t get married this year.

I will be a loving and supportive wife (did I mention I got married?).

I will meditate or find mindful moments daily.

I will work out three to four times per week.

I will put my health first.

I will begin updating this blog again.

I will be gentle and kind to myself if I fail. At any of these or any other of life’s challenges.

When I started this blog, it was to develop an identity and voice that didn’t involve porn. Now, this blog seems like a natural space for the continuation of my professional identity development. However, I get to develop as a writer, a mental health professional and social advocate, and a wife.

If it’s true that we fully reproduce 100% of our cells every seven years, then there are still a few cells left in my body that are the same as the ones that existed pre-Sex Rehab. That’s okay. I’m not afraid of who I was. I like who I am right now, even with those old cells all mixed in. And I’m excited for who I will become.

As always, thank you for joining me in this journey. Our lives together will continue to unfold in the most beautiful and honest of ways should we continue to act in the most beautiful and honest of ways.

This process of becoming continues.

This process of being is happening now. Wherever you are now, and whatever you are doing, thinking, feeling or experiencing right now, may you have the happiest (and safest) of New Year’s Eves.

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