Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gaining Some Confidence

It's interesting really, never before have I felt this vulnerable. I have always been pretty confident in who I am and what I know about myself and my surroundings. This journey away from my "life" presented me with an opportunity to really question who I am and what I'm about. Looking at things from an Eastern perspective has been very disconcerting. I realize that I know very little about myself from this point of view and the not knowing is the hardest part.

Now that we are into the week of mid-terms and my knowledge is being challenged, I'm gaining confidence. My first mid-term test was returned to me today with a score of 94. The part of the test that I was most concerned with (diagnosis) I got all the questions right. This is a huge boost to my self-esteem. At the same time, this boost makes we waffle a little in my decision (along with Roger) to leave school at the end of the semester and move back to Iowa.

I waffle because I know that if I stuck it out - I would be a good acupuncturist. There is a lot, I could offer my patients....and then I think about the money involved in training at this school. I don't want $100,000+ debt at the end of four years. I think about the time commitment involved...and I don't want to sit at this dining room table for 6 hours a day X 4 years. Yet - part of me says...look what you could accomplish! Until this afternoon, I was very comfortable with my decision and now I have some feeling of loss - more than anything. It's not regret, it's not's just loss.

Leaving IS the best decision for me and my family. This program is too costly monetarily and emotionally for me and my family. I have not enjoyed being separated from my husband and best friend. So, I guess the next steps are to figure out how I can still pursue gaining this knowledge without having to live away from those that I love. Can I get the training online? Can I find a program that I can travel to on occasion, these are all questions floating through my brain. I CAN STILL BE A GOOD ACUPUNCTURIST - I just may have to be a little more creative with my training!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Realigning Priorities

I didn't wake up this morning thinking that anything would occur to cause a big shift in my priorities - but that is just what happened. Deep down this uneasiness has been brewing for several weeks. An uneasiness that I couldn't really put words to or face. Something has been unsettling me and I kept blaming it on my separation from Roger. But now, I seem to see things more clearly.

Roger and I started the morning out texting back and forth. I told him we had snow on the Sangre de Christo mountains this morning and told him to bring his coat when he comes to visit tomorrow. He replied back that he had found a "Student Loan Calculator" and had plugged in the totals for 4 years of loans at Southwest Acupuncture College. My loan payment will total $950.00 a month for 10 years! Oh My Lord!!! Why in the heck did we not do this before moving me half way across the United States? If we had, would it have changed plans?

I have felt physically sick all afternoon thinking about having this kind of debt, at this point in my life! I don't even want to go to class tomorrow. I'm nauseous, my head is throbbing and I have such a feeling of anxiety. The flip side of this is I worry about what people with think of me if I leave school and go back home. In my heart of hearts, I feel like the decision has already been made - and it is not difficult or uncomfortable. It's a decision I can make without any one concern (as always in life) is that I don't want to disappoint anyone. I'm not sure why that always comes up for me but it does.

The love of my life will be here for a few short days this weekend. We have a lot of talking to do and a bunch of decisions to make. I know that I can't go on like this much longer - I miss him so much! I have worried about his well being, too. I have never seen him so down before and this is something that could so easily be fixed!

More to come as this saga unfolds.......

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Who Is This Sap I've Become?

I tread along day by day thinking that my heart is getting stronger. No longer do I feel "weepy" on a daily basis. And thinking back on my life, PSF (prior to Santa Fe), I rarely remember feeling like this. Perhaps I got this way watching a movie or maybe when my niece or nephew did something that made me particular proud. But I NEVER felt this way when a song came on the 80's satellite station or I received a letter from a friend or perhaps a kind word. WHAT has Santa Fe and this move done to me?

Tonight I have been sitting here preparing for mid-term tests next week. School went well today, I fixed a nice dinner and then Skyped with my husband, who was at my sisters. So I had fun talking with all of them as well! Then out of the blue my cell phone rang and it was a number I didn't recognize, but knew it was a number from home. Upon answering, I discovered it was one of my beloved "Messenger Ladies". I worked with them at Indianola First United Methodist Church over a period of 2 years preparing the church newsletter. Well, my little friend was calling to check on me because she said, "I've been thinking about you a lot and praying for you!" We visited for a time and at the end of our call, she said "I Love You!" At which point, I fell apart and am still a little misty.

These are the relationships I took for granted when I lived in Iowa. These are the connections that bind your heart and help you make it through the tough times. These are the relationships that I miss so much and they make me question if moving a thousand miles away and stepping out of a fairly comfortable life was really worth it all? I know that God has a lesson in all of this for me - I'm just trying to figure out what that lesson is and make Him proud of the woman I am!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Education Doesn't Always Come Easy

I guess I've come to the realization that as far as school or training goes, I've always led a "charmed life". In the past, I've really never had to work very hard at my education. It has always come very easy for me - and in fact, I could wait until the night before a test to study...that's how easy it has been.

Now as I attend classes at the acupuncture college - I realize that this is not coming easy to me. It has been very frustrating as I feel like I sit and read and read and do not retain any of the material. I make volumes of notes from the reading and still feel like it has not washed over the dendrites in my brain. But then, as I was awaking this morning to the sun coming up over the Sangre de Christo Mountains, I realized that this is all "foreign" material. Literally!

It's Western Medicine that has been easy for me. Well, duh - I've been immersed in it my whole life. No wonder it is easy. If I had been raised in China - then Chinese medicine would feel like second nature. The correlations between the two medicines occur but they are very different medicines! So somehow, I need to convince my brain to warp into a new form. Leave behind the knowledge of western medicine and venture out into this very different world. Maybe the old study practices are not the most relevant for this new way of thinking. And maybe, just maybe I have to stop looking back at how things were and start looking forward and learn how to deal with this new world I have been placed in.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Getting Reacquainted with Myself

I have just celebrated the two month anniversary of living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It has been a tumultuous experience at best! I left behind my husband and the rest of my family, a flourishing massage therapy practice, my church and the ministry with veterans that I felt was my personal responsibility. And I left behind my identity.

Here I am very anonymous, no one really knows me. I have contact with only a handful of people at the apartment complex where I live and a few students in my classes. I never walk into a store, expecting to find a friendly face or a friend to greet me. It's weird really, as I kind of felt like a "public figure" at home due to my involvement in the community, at church and because of my practice.

And it has been very quiet here. I arrived in Santa Fe a month prior to starting school. So I've had a lot of time to sit, think and contemplate this move. People have told me to enjoy this quiet time and to spend it getting "reacquainted" with myself. To appreciate the ease that I have in my life right now...but that's hard, especially for me. I have come from a lifestyle of working 2 jobs and being on the go for fourteen hours a day. I have been strong, independent and very determined. Since arriving here, I don't feel very strong or independent. I find that there are little things that can bring a tear to my eye in the flash of an instant. There are strong remembrances that can bring a pang of melancholy - remembrances that I haven't thought of in years. Simple things like food and sleep have not been the same as at home.

I don't mean this to sound as a big complaint session - I just mean to indicate all the change that has happened in the last 2 months of my life. The best part of my day here is waking up and walking into the living room, opening the blinds and watching the sun rise over the Sangre de Christo Mountains just to the East of my balcony. It is simply amazing and life giving. The mountains have been so intriguing to me. I love to watch the weather develop over the top of the mountain. And just now, the aspens are turning, making the mountain appear as if it is ablaze. Beautiful sights, amazing vistas, breathtaking landscapes that I could never enjoy back in Iowa!

The quiet of night is the hardest for me. I'm used to having my best friend and lover in bed with me at night. That quiet that engulfs me so deeply that I can hear my own heartbeat is tough to deal with. It's that quiet that makes me get up and check that the door is really locked. That quiet that makes my mind think it hears something out in the kitchen. That quiet that creates a little feeling of unease in my heart and keeps that little bit of tension in my body...on guard!

But it is at this quiet time that my mind begins working and words start showing up for reflection. One night recently, my word was "Compassion". And while it seemed odd at first, with a little ruminating it became a message to me that I need to learn to be compassionate with myself, less driven, less independent and give into the love and care with which compassion is offered. Learning to treat myself compassionately is important for the journey I am currently on. If I can't be compassionate with myself, how will I ever treat my patients compassionately. So important for this healing field that I am now studying!!

So while none of this transition has been easy, I am adjusting. I am growing and my thought processes are changing. Regardless of where this journey takes me, it is a process that will change the core of who I am. I am grateful for the opportunity and am anxious to see six months from now where the road leads.