Recently, I had the privilege of attending the first-ever HEART CAMP workshop led by Jamie Tworkowski (founder of To Write Love on Her Arms, an organization that spreads awareness about mental health). And though I could write a million words about the workshops, the people, the experience, there’s one thing that has stood out in my mind every day since coming home from Florida.
“Do you get to bring your whole heart to work?”
This question was raised many times over the weekend, and since returning, I’ve had several conversations with friends (including new friends made at HEART CAMP – another reason you should sign up HERE) about the frustration and disappointment of feeling as if our whole hearts are not welcome in the places we spend our every day lives.
Whenever this topic would come up at the workshop, I could feel my heart pound and tears burn in my eyes. Because I hated admitting that I don’t feel like my whole heart is with me in grad school. I worked so hard, and hoped even harder, to have the opportunity to become a marriage and family therapist, and now my whole heart’s not even in it.
As I thought about why I would possibly feel this way, I realized that I only brought parts of myself into my master’s program. Grad school can be so, so isolating. We talk about the same thing, read about the same thing, and dedicate our time and effort to the same goal of becoming therapists. Although this work is rewarding, I only felt comfortable revealing the parts of myself that would help me accomplish this goal.
But I am not an isolated person. I am complex. We all are. I am more than a career path. I have other hopes and dreams. Dreams in the making (becoming a therapist). Dreams I’ve had for a long time (writing a book). Dreams that scare me (spoken word poetry). And dreams that have snuck up on me (having a family full of boys… um, what?).
The truth is, there will probably always be new dreams, and new goals. But I get the chance to live out a dream right now. And I don’t want to waste it being frustrated because there’s more than one dream taking up space in my heart. If you’re discontent, or frustrated because you aren’t where you want to be, then good. Those feelings are going to drive you to where you do want to be, the place where your whole heart is.
with honest love,
*dedicated to my HEART CAMP friends