Listen to Truth. Capital T. You’ll know it when you hear it.The last two weeks
I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I’m in grad school to become a clinical mental health counselor. I started last June and have gotten 18 hours as of this May. It’s been a drain on my finances, time, and mental health.
Why did I start the program? I will be retiring from teaching high school in three years. I love teaching but look forward to doing something else. Something more flexible than the bell schedule I live by now. As I was investigating what to do for my next career last year I had lists and lists and had researched and researched. I decided that I would be a good counselor (and I would honestly) and that it would provide a living. I also liked it because I’d have flexibility SO I COULD WRITE.
Last week an acquaintance, a woman in my storytelling group said something to me and I heard the wisdom of it deep, deep inside. And I listened. It felt like last August when I listened to myself and didn’t give Cranky Narcissist a key to my place. Just like that.
She said not to become a counselor.
I looked at her and felt it. I didn’t want to do it anymore. I knew instantly she was right.
Yes I’m 18 hours into a 60 hour program but since December I’ve thought of dropping several times. Here’s why:
Most importantly, every time I thought of it I was thinking, “Okay I’ll be a therapist to pay the bills BUT I HAVE TO WRITE. I must make time to write.” Writing is my joy and passion. I’ve been a freelance writer for thirty years.
Secondly, when I asked why she said not to do it, she said that she could see my bubbly personality liked being around people. She’s a therapist. She told me how hard it was to be with one person and that listening to problems all day was rough. I had worried about this and was going to do life coaching, writing groups, etc. I don’t need an LPC to do those things though. She’s right. I never really wanted to do the normal therapist stuff.
I just wanted those three letters behind my name.
But I don’t need them.
Third, I kept trying to figure out how I was going to travel and have clients. I thought I might have clients one week and travel the next. I knew I needed travel and writing. I can travel all I want with what I’m planning to do now.
Fourth, I’m borrowing so much money to do this program. If I stop now it will be 2/3 less than it would, anywhere from $20-30,000 less.
Here’s the fun part. The universe has literally been throwing ideas at me the last six months to make money and I’d notice them and think, “Oh bummer. If I weren’t going to be a counselor, I’d do that. Damn. Seemed cool too. But I can’t do everything.”
What has it thrown at me?
-A guy I dated last fall mentioned that I could do classes for business people to teach them to write for work. Said I’d make a mint.
-A woman I met in November at the national conference I went to in Baltimore talked to me about travel writing, had a contact for me to reach out to, and was telling me how awesome it was.
-I am getting a free retreat and getting paid to lead writing groups at a yoga retreat/camp this summer.
-At a recent conference I had a packed house for my presentation and no less than ten people stopped to talk after it was over. I also read at the open mic and got a rousing appreciation that lasted into the next day with people stopping me to tell me how much they loved my writing.
Last but not least, I have a marketing degree. I also used to run a public relations and writing business out of my home when I was in my late 20s. I mentioned this and the truth teller fellow writer said she could use some help with marketing. She just saved me $20,000 and untold stress; I told her I’d help her for free. And take her to dinner. She said she’d buy her own dinner but any marketing help would be appreciated.
The other shoe drops. We’ve had several counselor/therapists speak in classes. All said how hard it was to market themselves.
I’m going to pull my PR firm out of the ashes,
I’m going to learn more about how to market therapists,
I’m going to write all the things I want to write, fun stuff and freelance stuff,
I’m going to lead all kinds of writing classes and workshops, (looking at becoming a creativity coach)
I’m going to get speaking gigs; right now in education and writing but I’d like to expand into women, humor, and love/dating in today’s world for GenX and Baby Boomers,
I want to write books (and get them published) starting with the Year of Sluttery,
then it will be an HBO series.
And you’ll be a part of it.
Since I’ve made the decision ten days ago I’ve only felt joy. I can begin to build my business now.
And be ready for my new life in three years.
So excited for the future!!! Near and far!
Thanks for reading and always for your wonderful comments and good vibes.
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