Tuesday, March 16, 2010

CBT or What Lies at the End of the Brussel's Metro Line




In school we talk a lot about different theories of counseling and how, as a future professional therapists, it is important to align yourself to the theory that best suits your beliefs and style. This helps ground and guide you to be consistent in your practices.

Thus far in my education (half way done, baby!) I see myself gravitating toward Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The gist of which is that you have to change your thoughts in order to change your actions. Think forcing yourself to be hopeful about your day in order to get out of bed. Think putting yourself on a regular routine in order to avoid being stagnant. If you go to SBCC, think Henry Cloud.

Since I am exhaustively introspective, I have been thinking a lot about my life, my past, my future and my decisions. I have been thinking a lot about how I spend my time. I have been thinking about the summer I spent in Brussels.

Brussels kinda represents for a me a moment that I realized I could turn the old ship of my life in any damn direction I wanted. I had studied abroad through W&M in Italy the summer before and wanted so badly to return to Europa the next summer. So I figured out a way to do it and I did. While I was in Brussels I realized, hey, moving somewhere after college could be the same way. I could go anywhere. And one week while helping lead a service project at the very end of the Brussels Metro Line, I found that place.

It was the tiniest little town. Looked just like Busch Gardens, all Fest Haus-inspired. It was incredibly quaint and quiet. And it was a cobblestone walk to the metro station. I could totally isolate myself and be a train ride away from civilization. I could be distraction-free to write all the novels that I had stored away in my heart. It was totally possible.

I came home from that summer with a whole new attitude. I embraced my family and the Strickland Compound (aka Harbour Point) like every moment we shared and every conversation we had would be our last. I was secretly moving to Europe after I graduated. And besides, family is great fodder for fiction.

So,I stuck around after dinner at my Grandma's and talked to her for hours. I became friends with Aunt Sharon and Titi Teta. Most importantly, I became friends with Ana. Who knew when I would see these people again?

Well, my senior year started and moving to Europe became moving Seattle or NYC. It was becoming more and more possible. My senior year ended and moving became getting married. And living in Hilltop. But I was still turning my ship. I was just a little shocked to see where it landed.

I think about my decisions a lot. Other people quiz me on them. I mentally kick them in the shins. But one thing is becoming more and more clear to me: I am so happy I decided to change my mind about my family. I am a different person because of that decision. Ana is my kindred spirit. I spend hours with Baba discussing Tommy and I's family planning. We sit and play Chinese Checkers forevvvvver. I am learning more about who I am because of them. And most importantly, Tommy and I are supported on every side.

Life is funny. Make a plan to get out of bed. Better yet, go to pilates.

Jewel, this is for you. Curtain.

3 comments:

nrsimone said...

A triumphant return to the blogosphere ruthA. Katie Shields and I welcome you back!

Katie Shields said...

Yes, we welcome you back!
That was beautiful. I am digi-gurgling.

thingsimusthaveoriwilldie said...

ruthie, this was life-giving.