Where have I been? // A quick catch-up
First of all, Merry Christmas/happy holidays to all of you! Sending warm wishes your way.
I have been away from ebbony&lune for pretty much two whole months (my latest vlog doesn’t really count), and am finally finding time and motivation to write again. The last time I was away from the blog for so long was around when I was just getting into my music therapy internship earlier in the year - was super busy, super burnt-out. This is the first time, really, that I’m writing a “personal life” kind of post, but I wanted to share a few things that have happened within these last couple months.
1. girl convocated! (ANd is officially a music therapist!)
After completing four years of schooling/internship, I finally graduated with a Bachelor in Music Therapy (Minor in Psychology), with High Distinction. Had a wonderful weekend celebrating with my fellow classmate, dear friends, and of course, family; October was pretty great. They say university life changes you; it’s when people find themselves. I can’t say that I’ve “found” myself yet - to be honest, I don’t think I ever will, it’s just something that you do all your life - and I can’t say that I’ve changed much either, except become a more confident, open-minded, adventurous, chilled-out version of my high school self that I am learning to love more each passing day.
I wrote the music therapy board exam pretty much the day after, and PASSED (thank goodness), which means I am officially a board-certified music therapist in both Canada (MTA - Music Therapist Accredited) and the States (MT-BC - Music Therapist-Board Certified)! I received one of my certificates two days ago (MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ME!) and it was like… wow… this is the real deal, I am now a professional. At least I will be, when I take on an actual music therapy job.
2. i worked/am working… and recently decided to quit one of my jobs
I’ll leave this one brief: in September, I took two part-time positions at two undisclosed retail locations, just to get some pocket money and to keep me busy for the time being before going back to school (more about this further down). I became SUPER stressed juggling the two positions/handling scheduling conflicts, and it took a huge toll on my mental health (more about this later), and ended up quitting one because of said health reasons (thank goodness the manager was professional and understanding about the situation). This was only a couple weeks ago, and since then, I’ve been busily working long(ish) hours because pre-Christmas rush, and Boxing Day stuff. But I actually love my co-workers and the work environment so much, so it’s all good.
3. I travelled to australia and new zealand for a month
Less than a week following my convocation, I took a 20h (!!!) flight to Sydney, Australia, where I then boarded a cruise ship to sail to New Zealand. It was my parents’ graduation gift for me, a chance to reconnect with family overseas, as well as a nice outing for them and their best friends who joined us as well (I was the only “kid” because their children - my childhood friends - were either all in school or working). Some highlights of my trip included:
Close encounters with native Australian animals in Sydney, such as: koala, dingo, kangaroo, echidna, little blue/fairy penguin
Glowworm cave in New Zealand
ArtVo ‘trick eye’ gallery in Melbourne
Experience it with me through my vlog - I hope to be uploading Part 2 sometime after the new year, when things becomes less busy…
4. i applied for a masters program (!!)
Call me weird, but I actually love learning and being in school, because: i) it keeps me busy/gives me something to work towards, ii) it keeps me socialized, and iii) new environments + independence excite me. Taking my music therapy degree another step forward, I applied for a counselling and psychotherapy program at the local university (not my first choice to stay in the city, but I pretty much had no other options for my area of study) - I actually finished up writing my Statement of Intent on the ship during my free time… I’m quite impressed by it, so I really hope they take me ( * fingers crossed * I find out in March).
5. Taking care of myself
As I mentioned above, my mental health took a bit of a dive a couple weeks ago, and it took me some time to get back up to being my “normal” self again (whatever that means). It’s funny how as a therapist, I always advocate for taking time for self-care, self-reflection, and self-development; yet, I fell short - it really is easier said than done, especially when you’re lacking any motivation to do anything that’s worth your time. All I wanted to do was curl up in a ball in bed, underneath my blankets, and just wallow. And for many times within those few weeks, just cry and disappear from the world. Anxiety, existential questions, overthinking, and ruminating thoughts were only a few things that really hurt my well-being during that time, and made it difficult to love myself completely. It’s difficult to explain - and I don’t want to explain any further (if you know, you know) - but it was a very difficult period of my recent life and because of that experience, I am trying to do things that make it a little easier for me to love myself and to be happy. Practicing self-care, self-compassion, when you are able to will only better prepare you for when the real battles come around. I know it’s tough, but every little step forward counts.