No End in Sight

Weeks before the collective pandemic upheaval in March 2020, I found myself stepping off the Seattle-to-Bainbridge Island ferry. I am carrying a backpack chock-full of books. Some of the books are mine; others are not. Books are friends, holding words I want to remember. Piles of them are stacked in both my home and therapy…

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A New Way Forward

“Where do your boys think you are right now?” my counselor asks.  I am surprised by her question, which seems out of left field. “I told them I had an appointment,” I reply. It’s vague, I’ll admit, but it’s not a lie. “What would happen if you told them the truth?” she asks, interrupting the…

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Two Types of Do-overs

A do-over, to me, represents the grace to try again. I recently received a one-time pandemic bonus question on a final exam. The professor’s comments on my response helped me craft what would have been a more high-quality answer, after I had managed to compromise the first attempt in one of my first paragraphs! Different,…

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Tipping Point

The computer keyboard looked alive, warped and waving as my eyes roamed over the keys. They were everywhere. Ants crawling in and out of the space between the letters and numbers, piling over each other to get to…Where were they going? Wait, where were they coming from? I searched frantically around the desk, my heart…

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Where Did Wonder Go?

The sun is setting before the low-grade headache from another day spent on my screen fully registers. But now the muddy light of my apartment has sharpened the artificial glow of the laptop, and I can’t help but wince. Note to self: explore blue light glasses. A bit of self-awareness ushers me into my body,…

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Our Real Work

It may be that when we no longer know what to do we have come to our real work, and that when we no longer know which way to go we have come to our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings. –Wendell…

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Asking for a Do-over

“I know she is capable of offering deep care, but there are moments when I don’t feel she actually listens to me,” my husband Michael says to our marriage counselor. I smile nervously at the irony that he’s married to a professional counselor who at times struggles with listening.

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Redemption

I was a twenty-something, mindlessly folding church bulletins with a group of young women. We talked to pass the time. One of the women said, “I can’t wait until I’m forty. Your life is settled by then. It gets easier.” The fact that none of us laughed is a testament to our naïveté.  Many years…

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Tears Week

Years ago, as a first-year counseling student, I attended a course called Fundamental Therapy Skills. It was the introductory class to my upcoming practicum and internship, and the coursework prepared students for counseling real people. The final week was deemed “tears week,” because it had a reputation of eliciting many tears from the students. During…

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