sundays are one of my favorite days of the week. i typically start the day off on facetime with a loved one – during quarantine, that has consistently been anj (who you usually hear me refer to as my twin). when not quarantined and while in town, i typically would go to brunch – that has now been replaced with coming up with my own creations in the kitchen (from banana bread to french toast). but two things have remained the same whether quarantined or not – i am incredibly reflective on sundays and tend to prep for my work week. sunday is a day that always reminds me of my grandmother. it could be because of the amazing sunday dinners she prepared, the countless sundays we spent at her baptist church together or because it is a day where i typically feel a bit more grounded (grammy always had a way of grounding me). as for the second piece, preparation includes looking ahead at what’s scheduled, gearing up for presentations, tapping into a particular mental and emotional space based on what clients i will be seeing + what they will be bringing into their session and lastly, being sure that there is a chunk of time carved out for myself each day to recharge.
i am a person that truly loves my job. it is more than a job for me – it is a career. honestly, it is a calling. i have known since my junior year of high school that i wanted to work in the field of psychology. i knew that my long term goal was to run my own practice as a therapist. i am currently working towards that with the work i do daily and the research i do + relationships i foster after my work day is complete. there has not been a single day where the work i do with my clients has not felt fulfilling, rewarding and like i was doing exactly what i was meant to be doing. even with that being the case, there are definitely tougher times. covid-19 has presented many more than what i typically encounter.
while quarantined, a dear friend of mine from undergrad tweeted something that just resonated with me on another level.
“it can be so rewarding — and at times heartbreaking — to love what you do.” –makensy smith
rewarding. and. heartbreaking.
it is like i had not acknowledged that the two could coexist. for every rewarding moment i have with a client, during covid, there have been an exponentially higher number of heartbreaking moments than what i typically experience with clients week to week. from worrying about a client that recently came out to their traditional asian american family who didn’t receive it well (who they are now around 24/7) to empathizing with a client who couldn’t bury her grandfather because he passed right at the start of shelter in place to working with so many high school seniors who are grieving the loss of time spent with their best friends along with a host of events they spent four years looking forward to — the work that i do truly has been heartbreaking and even gut wrenching. what makes it worse is not knowing when things will shift back to normal or even what normal will look like moving forward.
i had this realization that things impact me differently because of how much i love what i do. it is truly a double edged sword. it has also made it harder to carve out boundaries while working from home because i know how much the needs of my clients have changed. but still, i know for me to be my best self in the role i fill, i need to be sure to carve out time for me as well. carving out time for myself is not a reward – it is a requirement.
even still, i would not trade loving what i do for anything in the world, even during times like this when it can be devastating. i just think it is important for me to remember to acknowledge that i should not feel guilt over being heartbroken from time to time – it shows both passion and vulnerability. it highlights that i am human.
do you find yourself experiencing both the reward and heartbreak that come with loving what you do?