When I was in graduate school I had a friend who called herself “Ephemera”. She explained that it meant changing and that this was the phase of life she was in. The depth of the meaning of that word never really hit me…until now. It means lasting for only a short time; transitory; short-lived. Right now, I am in transition from the person I used to be to the person I am becoming. It’s almost as if this is a dream-a small period of time when I am grieving the career I had, to the reality of the life I am about to have. By now, most people know that I am transitioning from a Counselor to a full-time, stay-at-home mom and photographer.
What I write below, I do as a way of saying goodbye. I probably need to write it more than you need to read it.
Getting laid off and choosing to stay at home means walking away from an identity that I’ve had since I was 16 years old (yes, that’s 18 years folks). In high school, I first heard the voice of the Lord calling me to pursue counseling-a career of listening and helping retell stories. And I never questioned that this was the direction I was to go. I was faithful to that calling, even when I felt like doors closed or I lacked support, knowledge or experience.
Once I found a job in the field, I stuck with it. I was 19 years old when I walked into my first counseling office as an evening receptionist. I loved the organization I had landed in. My bosses saw more potential in me than I saw in myself, most days and the Lord showed me great favor. In all honesty, I should not have been in the field of Chemical Dependency. I grew up in a conservative Christian home. And I mean C-O-N-S-E-R-V-A-T-I-V-E. But again, the Lord was faithful and he kept my heart soft and open to learn about things that would make a “good girl” cringe. I’m not gonna lie, there were days that I went home in tears, my heart so heavy with the load it had carried for the day. But in the end, I laughed so much more than I ever cried when I worked with my clients. I loved my co-workers-how real they were, how snarky and honest they could be at the same time. How every individual who sat in my office and shared small parts of themselves taught me lessons I would never have learned if I went to work somewhere else. I was blessed-so, so blessed.
After all the struggles in this last chapter of my life…I stand at the doorstep of this next journey and I am almost sad that my heart doesn’t ache more for those years. I feel guilty for feeling freedom where there once was such passion. For so long, being a counselor was such a source of pride. It’s who I was and who I always thought I would be. It was a career that enabled me to be independent and strong. It put me through graduate school and bought my first house. Strangely it was a source of comfort and control, even when it seemed that everything around me was crumbling.
I will always carry pieces of that life-my single, independent counselor self-with me. But I am also fine with what comes next-learning how to be a better wife, mom, friend and photographer (yes, in that order). Later in life, when I tell Taylor about my time as a counselor I will do what I do with photography. I will bring out the best of that life and relish in all the colorful details that will live on even when I have walked away.