Hi, folks! How’s life been? Did I miss anything? 🙂
I wanted to check in as I know it’s been a while since I’ve done so – I’ve been in “survival mode” the past few weeks while I started my new job and – finally! – got to work with my clients this past week. In some ways, working for a school district is very similar to my previous job – and in some ways it couldn’t be more different… but so far I’m loving the challenge and the growth that I feel is starting to happen. Here’s a couple things I’ve learned so far (or in some cases, things I’ve “re-learned”):
1) Humility. This has been HUGE for me the past few weeks! I’m one of those people who enjoys the “hunt” of finding things in stores and is too proud to ask sales associates for help. 🙂 However, when I encounter daily professionals with more experience and knowledge about my students, admitting I don’t know everything and asking for help has been the best way to actually start knowing more. This has also applied to aspects of my job that I didn’t encounter working privately, such as shared documentation systems and daily collaboration with other professionals.
2) Trusting my intuition. While learning humility, I think I’ve also been reminded of how important it is to trust my intuition, which has been honed by my clinical experience and continues to get better every day. I need to continue to remember that I have a unique point of view from which I can address student’s needs, and that my knowledge is powerful and helpful to others. Always important to keep a balance between #1 and #2!
3) I love what I do. One thing that definitely hasn’t changed from one job to another is the way in which I am daily amazed, inspired and challenged by my new students. I effectively took the month of August off from music therapy sessions while I prepared for my new job, and I’m so glad to be back in it! 🙂
… MusicWorx joke, sorry 🙂
So lately I’ve been finding myself intrigued by wedding color combinations. Right when Paul and I got engaged, we decided that we wanted green to be a major feature in the wedding, but hadn’t decided exactly what shade of green. Last week I asked Paul “if you had to pick our colors RIGHT NOW, what would you pick?” and he said “green, light blue, and white”. Hmmm. SO maybe this (from Real Simple Weddings mag)?
I’m also loving the combination of light green, dark green, yellow (created this palette online). However, as my mother pointed out, this is a little Green Bay Packer-ish…. and now I can’t “unsee” that.
Maybe green and gray (also from Etsy)?
I don’t know. I can’t decide!! Right now I’m leaning towards the top one. I love the two colors blue with touches of green. I go back and forth though… anyway. That’s really the only update I’ve got for ya 🙂
If wedding planning were a marathon (metaphorically speaking – or am I?), Paul and I would be about two-thirds of a mile in, already panting and gasping for air. Wedding website is up and running (yay!)… except for the friendly folks at The Knot made us pick a wedding date, and well… yeah… we don’t have one yet. So take the 7/9/2011 with a grain of salt 🙂
Seeing as I’m working but not at full capacity yet, I’ve been devoting quite a bit of brain power to this wedding. So much so, in fact, that I had my first wedding BAD DREAM last night. Yikes. Anyway, we’ve decided that we want a wedding that’s nice, yet not stuffy… basically, one that feels like a big party. We’ve been looking at Fredericksburg for a few reasons: 1) Texas wine country!, 2) close to many people we would invite while still being a “destination” of sorts, 3) famously laid-back, 4) local connections in the area. We are still looking in Austin though… again, haven’t made any final decisions. My parents and I did go look at reception venues in the Fredricksburg area though… behold:
Gillespie County Farm Bureau Event Center, a few miles outside of Fredericksburg: Cute mood lighting with christmas lights, and lighted fans. I’m pretty sure we could make this work.
Turner Hall (was being set up for a wedding as we visited!) was in downtown Fredericksburg. Kind of a strange layout, but I love the wooden floors, and the “old dance hall” vibe – very fun.
The only problem with our fun little trip to F-burg is that Paul didn’t get to come (the first place was only open during business hours), so until we can look at them together, no real decisions have been made. Will update you when something – anything – new goes down 🙂
I can already tell that moving to Houston (well, I couldn’t cal myself “moved” just yet, but that’s a whole another post) was the right choice for me. I questioned it at first when I made the decision, but not 24 hours after I did when Paul proposed, it was a confirmation to me that I had made the right move. And now…well, now I’m beginning to work, finding a place to live, putting all the pieces together. It’s frustrating at times, no doubt, but I enjoy feeling like I’m putting together the pieces of my life, that I alone am responsible for whether I succeed or fail.
Wedding planning is beginning to take place, although really we’re just in the beginning stages. There are just so many decisions to make!! It’s overwhelming!! Paul and I can only really discuss it in pieces thus far, sandwiched in between eating/sleeping/TV-ing breaks. I’m trying desperately to remember that an extravagant wedding doth not a happy marriage make, and really that what I want is to throw a big party for the friends and family that have helped Paul and I through the years – a party that is NOT stuffy and is uniquely us. (read: lots of Shiner and wine) Weddingbee is amazing (thanks Allie!), Half Price Books was a great place to look for wedding etiquette books and the like, and actually doing the research (and the math, yikes!) is a combination of exciting and scary, but I’m getting through it. Wedding website should be up relatively soon, I’ll post the link here. Not that there’s any particularly good information on it, but still 🙂 and I’ll be sure to document this wild journey here, in my own little corner of the world wide web!! 🙂
So. Pretty significant life changes occurred this past week:
1) Passed my MT-BC exam (see below).
2) Accepted a job in Houston!! I’ll be working with The Music Therapy Center of Houston doing individual and group music therapy sessions. Very excited and ready to start 🙂 but still need to figure out details… AKA living arrangements, etc. You know, little things like that. 🙂
3) Arguably, most significantly… I GOT ENGAGED!!!!
I wrote the story of our engagement up for our wedding memory book (trying to be on the ball about this!), so I’m just going to be lazy and copy/paste it:
For most of the day of the proposal, I had a feeling that Paul was going to propose that day. I went out to lunch with Natalie and my nails done with Mari, while Paul, who I thought was going to lunch with Blake, went to talk to my parents and ask their blessing. By the time that we left for dinner, I had all but convinced myself that Paul would not be proposing that day. On the way to the Salt Lick, Paul informed me that there were two “surprise” people waiting at the Salt Lick – and I was so happy to see my friend John and his wife Tory had come down from Fort Worth! Dinner at the Salt Lick was delicious as usual and made even better by the company of wonderful friends. At the end of dinner, Blake left early, saying that he needed to return to campus to deliver some documents for work. Little did I know that what Blake was doing was checking to make sure the South Mall was clear for what was happening next…
On the way from Salt Lick to the Draught House, Paul received a phone call from Blake saying that he had run out of gas on campus, and we headed over to campus to “rescue” Blake. While waiting for Blake to finish working (or so I thought), Paul suggested that we go for a walk around campus like we did one night before we started dating. We took pictures of each other in front of the Tower, then walked up to the top of the steps. Paul told me that he missed being on campus because it was where we met and fell in love. He then said “It’s also the place where I realized I was going to do this”, told me that he loved me, and got down on one knee. My head started spinning… I remember covering my face with my hands and saying “Oh my god, oh my god” over and over. He asked me to marry him and I said yes!! It was after I said yes that I learned that Erin had been watching the whole thing from across the South Mall. We also met a couple who was celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary that day and had seen Paul propose. It was truly, truly a magical moment 🙂
So there you go! It was incredible. Absolutely incredible. Here’s a “historical re-enactment” of the proposal (not the actual moment, which we don’t have a picture of):
Cuteness. I am the luckiest girl on earth. 🙂 By the way, the title of this blog refers to something my friend told Paul when he couldn’t be there on Saturday at the Draught House to celebrate with us – “don’t worry, dude, this is the lock of the century”. It was. I’ve never felt so surrounded in the love of others. I’m sure you’ll hear much about the wedding process as we continue on this journey, but for now I’m just getting over the shock and staring at that ring. A lot. I’m like a frickin’ raccoon 🙂 Okay, I’m out!
Well, sorry about this, guys and gals. It’s been fully six weeks(at least… it’s early and my brain is fuzzy) since my last entry. There’s been a lot of reasons for my lack of post-age, mainly that I was finishing up my internship (DONE YA’LL!! feels good!!). Also, I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to figure out my life direction (jobs, where I’ll be living, etc.) and can’t really talk about a lot of that in this medium. But here I am now, and soon I’ll have some answers for myself and the reading world. Until then, let me share with you my most recent development…
I PASSED MY BOARD CERTIFICATION EXAM!! (MT-BC = “Music Therapist-Board Certified”)
What an experience that was. I took two practice tests in preparation for this exam, and neither of them were anywhere near as difficult as the real thing. (that’s a warning to music therapy students out there…) Three hours is, for someone who moves around frequently as part of their work, an incredibly long time to sit and focus on one thing, particularly if that thing requires your undivided concentration. That being said, I actually performed better on the real thing than I did on the practice tests, so I guess even though my brain was mush at the end, it worked out okay. And man, let me tell you… staring at that piece of paper with my results on it was one of the coolest intrapersonal moments I’ve had in a while. It was a culmination of everything I’ve done in the five-ish years since I decided this was the career path I wanted. All the hours I spent on assignments, the hours I spent planning sessions in practicum and internship so they would go well, the two wonderful years in Denton and the six fabulous months I spent in Cali… all leading up to this moment.
This is truly a dream realized for me. It’s lame and cheesy I know, but it’s true. Looking at that paper that says “Congratulations, you passed the board certification exam” on it, I realized that after all this time, I’m here. I’ve arrived. And like any good bright-eyed, bushy-tailed beginning MT, I’m sooo ready to take over the world. 🙂
FOUR MORE WEEKS!! Can you tell I’m excited?!? (I’d be even more excited if I knew exactly what I’ll be doing upon completion of internship, but hey, what can you do?)
I really enjoyed writing my last post – it was a cleansing experience of sorts for me. I was actually up on the floor this week where that patient was during his time at the hospital, and talked to some of the nurses about him – I guess he made quite an impact on everyone he met while he was there. I told them that I had found out that he passed away, and they said they had been wondering as well. It’s only human to be curious, I think – we work for so long with a patient, and then when they are discharged from the hospital you never hear from them again, and to NOT wonder what happened after they left is inhuman. 🙂
With that being said, here’s my “patient highlight” from this past week (edited from the actual Patient Highlight I do for internship, so pardon some of the clinical-ness):
When I entered D’s room, she was sitting in bed, alert, watching a movie; mother present. I noticed dinosaur coloring books on D’s bed and asked about her interest in dinosaurs. D and I wrote a song about dinosaurs, with the chorus “I love dinosaurs/I love dinosaurs/I love dinosaurs/Yes, I do!” and verses made up by D’s answering questions about dinosaurs. D answered the questions in rhythm with the song and sang along with the chorus every time.
After talking with D and her mother for a while and exploring instruments (yuk-yuk horse, rainstick, egg shakers), we sang several Disney songs together. During “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes”, D whistled during the interlude, and she sang through most of the song while playing egg shakers. D began to talk about her younger brother, who she taught to dance, and D’s mother showed us a video of him dancing in their house on their camera. When I asked D if she would like to write another song, she nodded and smiled, saying she wanted to write a song about her brother. The chorus of this song was “I have a baby brother named ____/And I love him so”. Similar to the first song, D answered questions about her brother to fill in the verses, and she sang along to the chorus every time. We finished the session by singing “Under the Sea” while playing instruments.
D was such a vibrant soul and a smart girl who knew exactly what she liked. The main lesson I learned during this session was GO FOR IT! Kids love to create, and they make up songs of their own all the time, so they’re open to the idea. Also, particularly with kids, songwriting doesn’t need to be complicated – in fact, if it’s simple, they’ll be more likely to sing along.
I think music therapy works so well at a children’s hospital because kids who are there are so used to feeling “sick”. Music is something they can do that normalizes the environment, and they don’t need to feel sick for a short period of time. It is really difficult at times to watch patients at the hospital who get increasingly sick, but it is important to always remember the incredible spirit behind each child we visit.
This week is going to be fairly busy – a couple of things I’ve never done before, including presenting to a large group of high school kids about music therapy (!!) – but I’m feeling strangely good about it. I’m finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s approaching faster than I expected, and beginning to bask in that light feels great. Another good word to describe that feeling would be “senior-itis” (or since I’m working on my master’s, maybe we can just call it “intern-itis”?). Either way. It feels fantastic 🙂