Hello again.

It’s been almost a year since I last wrote here.

I want to start making excuses — to write about all of the upheaval in my personal and professional life, explain what’s kept me focused on other things, and try to transform it into some useful metaphor for devotion to the gods or other spiritual practice. It’s not going to work. What has kept me away from this blog (and distanced me from my devotions) has been a combination of professional burn-out and a depressive episode that crept up on me in spite of my attempts at vigilance. The burn-out has been abating due to a new job that is more fulfilling, and the depressive episode… well, I’m hesitant to say too much and risk jinxing it, but things finally seem to be moving in a good direction.

I won’t commit to writing here more often. What I will commit to is re-invigorating my religious practices, which dwindled to the barest necessity over the past several months. With any luck (for this website, anyway) that will be enough to re-invigorate my blogging practices. Wish me luck?

Carrying Their Light, Every Day

I’ve known for years that I was meant to work in a service-oriented position. In elementary school I thought that meant being a teacher. In high school, I waffled between psychology and music education. As an undergraduate student, I landed squarely on the side of psychology, in a tiny corner called “counseling”.

The funny thing about counseling is that you don’t really get to experience it until you’ve already expended significant effort training in it. The work of counseling is so delicate that you have to be carefully trained – and even then, it takes years of supervised practice in most states before you’re permitted to launch your own counseling practice. So for years, I was chasing a goal that felt as alien as the moon — and yet as dear as the grass beneath my feet. How could I love this field so deeply without experiencing it? Real talk — I have no freaking idea. I loved counseling wildly for all four years of my undergraduate training and for all five, laborious, snail-slow years of my graduate training, and I have no idea how.

Now I have the luxury of sitting in my office, embracing the trials of the clients who come through my door. I love every minute of the chaos, of the heartbreak, of the frustration, of the anxiety. I love seeing the face of someone who hears “I’m in your corner” from another person for the first time. I even love the hard stuff. I love sitting with someone in the depths of psychosis, sick and scared and a world apart, compassionately assessing their needs, and advocating for their treatment. I love extending my hands to hold someone’s grief with them for a short space of time.

I first met my gods when I sought out gods for the work that I wanted to do. Sekhmet was the first deity of healing I encountered; Wepwawet just felt right, for reasons I have difficulty articulating. Wepwawet opens the door to healing, creates the space of safety I try to create in my office. Sekhmet illuminates the space with Her light, chasing away the darkness. My Beloveds, too: Bast brings music and joy, the compassion needed to embrace sorrow; Nut brings patience, endurance, wisdom; Khonsu, the surgical precision that carves out pain and exposes bitter truths; and Nebthet, most recently come to my shrine, brings quiet comfort, a gentle mirror to gaze into and reflect.

Even on the hardest days — the days when I’m leaving job #2 at 11 PM after starting job #1 at 5:30 AM, after I’ve been yelled at, told off, had my training questioned, written and re-written assessments, made mistakes and cleaned them up — I still walk out full of joy, with my chin up, feeling like I am finally in the right place.

My goal since becoming Kemetic has been to carry the light of my gods wherever I go. Through the work I’m doing now, I believe I can.

What’s up, Sobeq?

Whoa. So I graduated, and finished my semester teaching, and then I had oral surgery.

Which got infected, and stayed infected.

And spread into my sinuses, and stayed in my sinuses.

I’m still trying to boot this infection even now. It’s not the worst infection, but it’s lingering just enough to make me feel lousy.

But in all of this, I’ve gotten some great news:

licenseapproval

(Those following things are the licensure fee and my fingerprints. In 3-4 weeks, I’ll have my license and license number, and I’ll officially be able to call myself a licensed counselor.)

Now I need to find myself a job to use the license.

Pretty much a great way to end the year!

Milestones

Well, I did it. I finished my master’s degree in counseling. I also passed my licensing exam. Now the only thing standing between me and my dream job is a boatload of paperwork — and hopefully not too many job applications.

I’ve been longing to do this work since before I even knew what it was. My youthful drive to be a teacher was spurred by my desire to be a source of support and an open ear to my students. It wasn’t until I had already sent applications to get my bachelor’s degree in music education that I realized that what I really wanted was to become a therapist.

I didn’t know what that meant when I started my undergraduate work in psychology. I figured I’d learn what I needed to know by the time I got to the end of my bachelor’s degree. I didn’t. I took a year off to get my ducks in a row, and took up a master’s program in mental health counseling.

Through it all, I knew that the work I was learning to do is the work that I was meant to do. Even as an undergraduate, I felt driven towards this goal. It feels like a service to my gods, to heal and to serve. I walk with my clients as their guide through their troubles, and I show them compassion and help them to heal. I see this as the greatest offering I could make – to give my daily work in service to my gods. And now here I am.