Right now it’s 9:30 here and I just finished a short paper for school. I’m in a Psych class that focuses on the disorders of childhood, and it’s my second week.
It’s a hard one. Besides my math class that nearly caused me to stick a spoon into my eyes to avoid seeing x + m(p) = 453 find p one.more.time, this one is the hardest for me so far. Terms like developmental psychopathology and physiological models make me turn back again to read it and try to apply it. My therapist told me a lot of what she learned didn’t actually click until she started working with clients, and then it all made a lot more sense. I hope so.
So the other day I wrote about really wanting to just write. I thought about it a good long while before this semester of school started. It seemed like one of those ‘risks’ (I say that with quotes because I am not leaving a job/trying to figure out how to finance this/etc so I realize I am very fortunate in that regard) that someone would take and they look back years later and think, “Oh I’m so glad I did that. Look how my life changed.” Then it becomes a movie and Jennifer Lawrence plays you – wait I’m way off track here. 😉
Anyway, in the middle of the uncertainty, Hurricane Harvey hit. Please note – what I’m saying next is in NO way insinuating Harvey hit to give me a message and thanks be to God for His mysterious ways. In no way. Simply it helped propel me to make a decision.
I watched it unfold on TV, Facebook, and my heart ached so badly to help in some way. One Tuesday it took everything in me not to jump in our truck and head down there. I did what I could by adopting a family, sending money, writing on here about smaller organizations, fundraising, etc. But what I couldn’t shake was seeing a call for mental health providers to come help. For the long-term need for those who had not only been through Harvey, but had been in Harvey because of Katrina displacement. Talk about some trauma to work through for those people. Whew.
I’ve realized the past few weeks that I’ve always felt this intense way in moments of devastation. When I was 19 and lived in India. When I went to Zimbabwe with World Vision. When the tsunami hit in 2004. The earthquake in Haiti in 2010. But especially since Preston, Julian, and Kaden died.
And that pushed me forward again. I’ve come to realize as much as I love to write, and probably always will write in some way since writing heals me, the psychology/therapy pieces of me that are beginning to come together fill that longing I’ve always had. It fits in that constant voice in my head that wants to help. And not simply the human response to help we all have, but more of this overwhelming urge to give back at least a little of the help I’ve been on the receiving end of.
I’m not being altruistic or self-sacrificing. This is as much for me as anyone else. But I think that’s where we find our true happiness in this life, by using our desires and listening to that voice inside of us to somehow help others with what we’re given.
I mean – what else are we all here for?
I hope this makes sense in some way. It’s a hard topic to write on because it’s all in my brain and so many emotions and memories tie in with these thoughts.
Maybe I’ll be led down a different path later on. I’ve come to hold things much lighter these days knowing how quickly my concrete plans can change. But for now, I’m writing and moving forward in school, and I find that both of those are starting to make me feel a little more whole.