Today I graduate from my Master’s Program in Speech Pathology. It’s been the longest, fastest 2 years of my life, and it’s hard to believe that this blog has been such a large part of it. I started my blog when I started my program two years ago as a way to chronicle my own experiences with whole body wellness as I began my journey towards life as a service professional.
Whole body wellness became an important part of my life after my undergraduate graduation. I knew that to be the therapist my clients deserved I had to take care of myself. And taking care of myself was the last thing on my mind at the end of my senior year.
The girl in that picture wasn’t happy and she definitely wasn’t healthy. A semester of rejection letters and failed plans for the future led to a lot of hours crying over the phone with my parents and pacing the BF’s room complaining how it wasn’t fair that I wasn’t getting the chance I deserved. I was eating like crap, I wasn’t exercising, I wasn’t happy. And it shows.
I moved home immediately after graduation, too depressed to celebrate, and too frustrated to focus on anything other than deciding what to do next. When I got my letter that summer saying I had been accepted off the only wait-list I’d been on it was nothing short of life changing. Not only did it change my plans for my future by giving me a focus, but it changed my attitude about my health by giving me back my motivation.
I have always believed in the body as a system. I don’t think that you can treat anything (speech or otherwise) by focusing on the problem removed from the whole of the person. But I couldn’t advocate that approach with my clients if I didn’t practice it in my own life. I knew I needed to make changes to be the kind of therapist I wanted to be and to live the kind of life I knew I deserved.
As I walk across the stage today I’m ready to leave behind that sad, scared, girl and move forward as a positive, confident, professional. Each and every person I have met in this community has helped to shape me into the person I am today, and I can never thank you enough for that. Sure the past two years have changed my physical health, but more importantly they have changed my mental health. They have shaped me into the clinician I want to be, the person I deserve to be, and the set me forth towards a life I’d stopped dreaming of.
I may be graduating from my program, but I plan to make my health a program of lifelong learning. I may not know everything that’s coming on the road ahead, but I know that I am ready (physically and mentally) for anything that’s coming.