Monday, May 18, 2015

The Journey to Becoming a Psychologist

Oh, dear Lord, if you would have told me two years ago that the amount of personal work that comes with pursuing a masters in counseling degree I would have questioned you. And that's exactly what I did two years ago. I thought I had done all the work. I went to college and matured, right?

I have wanted to scream this so many times. It is a lie that you mature, find your identity, and any other cliche line they feed you when deciding to pursue a career, a degree, or anything after high school. Maturity comes when you do self-work and for me maturity is coming with pursuing my masters. I totally thought I knew myself through and through. I was going into this work to help others discover themselves, not me. 

Oh Rachel, you were so wrong. 
My masters program requires 40 hours of personal counseling.
I am on the last 4 hours of my 40 required and I am in this odd place.
On the one hand I am so excited to being almost done. I have been dying for the day when I can stop spending around $200 a month to work on myself.
Then there is the other part of me who, as much as it is hard to admit, does not want to end because there is still so much work to do.

And now I have thrown myself in to group counseling on top of individual counseling and I am wondering what in the world I was thinking. Yes, I am learning a lot, but my goodness it is hard. For any of you that do not believe in counseling, go to one group therapy session and you'll see how difficult the work people are doing is. It is good work, but it is so hard to do.

I am not really sure where I was going with this post other then to share part of my life at the moment and this journey I am on to begin my dream career. Be kind to those that pursue to better themselves, to those that go to counseling, leave counseling, or even consider counseling. The journey is not an easy one, but it is a brave one.

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Friday, May 15, 2015


About a month ago, I took some pinterest advice and re-introduced myself to Swagbucks
I used to do this in college, but I really didn't have the time to spend on it.
Now I sometimes still do not have the time, but I often find myself doing something on the computer which creates time for me. I am a huge multi-tasker so I am that girl with multiple browsers open at one time. 

Swagbucks is basically a website that allows you to earn their "swagbucks" which can then be exchanged for gift cards. The gift cards can be to Starbucks, Target, Amazon, restaurants, and many more places. I love Starbucks, shop frequently at Target, and do most of my Christmas and school shopping through Amazon. It was a no brainer for me to start using Swagbucks. 

It's hard to explain the site without seeing it for yourself, but I will talk about the ways you can earn bucks.

1.) Just going to the website each day earns you just one swagbuck. Do that once a day and you've almost earned a $5 gift card. It may not be much, but you're on the computer anyways so why not visit and earn yourself a gift card.

These are just a few of the gift cards you could earn. 

2.) Surveys: This is where you earn the most bucks. Some surveys take five minutes others can take 50 minutes, but on average they are 20 minutes. The surveys can be frustrating at times because you do not always qualify for them or you're taking a survey and it decides you are not qualified halfway through. Good news is that you typically in at least 1 swagbuck for attempting the survey. While these surveys may not be as much fun as the Family Feud surveys, they are still worth your time if you have some. Plus these are perfect for binge watching Netflix Saturday's.

3.) Watching video's: Watch 10 swagbuck video's in a row and you can earn 3 swagbucks. I do this everyday when I am at my computer. I open a browser for the video and click on a new video about every minute. It's easier to click next while reading emails, doing school assignments, etc.

4.) Shopping: Are you a shopaholic? If you love buying the clothes, why not reward yourself at the same time to get a gift card to buy more clothes later? GENIUS! 
You can earn bucks for what you buy online. Recently, I bought a plane ticket through Expedia and earned Swagbucks through my purchase. 

There are many other ways to earn Swagbucks but these would be where I would direct you to. 
Check out the website for yourself and give it a try. Worst case scenario is that you hate it and you move on. 
Click here to try it out for yourself!
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Monday, May 11, 2015

Some New Favorite Things

It is so important to remember the good things in life and celebrate some of the new things!

1. This guy right here is always my new favorite thing. 
I love that he has to look, as he would say, "hard" in his photos.

2. The picture above and below would be a game called goldfish racing.
You and a competitor name a gold fish and race to see which one will win.
My two fish, Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson, won in the first rounds but never made it to the finish.

3. Salad. Oh goodness I have had this meal five days in a row now. There's just something about a chopped salad that is so fulfilling. 

4. I have been trying to find ways to make my hair grow. 
Naturally, my hair grows pretty long but it seems to stop right under my shoulders +/- a few inches. With the idea of having long hair for my wedding, I research ways to let my hair grow more. I have been using Not Your Mother's product above for about a month now and I love it. I did not think to take before and after pictures, but I can definitely tell its growing and it makes my hair feel more natural. I just bought their dry shampoo and some curling mouse. 
Curling mouse is awesome and does not feel like I have product in my hair which is very important to me. I will have to let you know about the dry shampoo!

What's some of your new favorite things?

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Monday, May 4, 2015

Dear my 16 year old self

Last week I fly back to Indiana to help out with some family situations.
While I was there I finished packing up the rest of my belongings and shipped them back to Seattle. Along the way I found some pretty awesome gems from the past.
This one in particular had everyone laughing.

Dear Rachel,
Today is our 16th Birthday. Also the day you really got your heart broken.
-side comment: I have no idea who broke my heart-
So now I'm writing a note to tell you all I've learned in these last 16 years,

1. Find your true friends-at the current moment they are Shannon, Lizzie, Tessa, Libby and Sarah.
-Only two of the people on this list made the cut-

2. Never let a boy be your life-do you really think he's the one?
-Because at 16 you should only date the boy you're going to marry-

3. God is always first-He's the one who always picks you up after you fall.

4. Mom and Dad are usually right-they have been so far.
-Oh the guts it took to admit this at age 16; I still do not like to admit they are right-

5. Never give up-Promise me you'll always remember you're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.

6. Believe in yourself-you can do the impossible.

7. Give it your all-you can do amazing things.

8. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8- is your all time verse; it will get you through a lot.

9. You are the champion-you win in everything you do.

Oh thank you to the boy who broke my heart for you lead me to write very inspirational things and very humorous as well.

Rachel, we win in everything we do. Keep being the champion I know you are!
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Monday, April 20, 2015

I am Meredith Grey

This week I learned that I am Meredith Grey.
Yes I have been watching the entire series and I am almost to the end of all that Netflix offers with this series and I may be freaking out a little, but really I am in Meredith Grey mode.

This statement has never been so true.
I started this school term hoping to end with a better idea of the direction I am going with all the hard work I have been doing. I thought I would have a game plan for the next two years and I am just more confused than I ever was. 

I am not happy about this fact and I am quite upset that I still do not know which type of counseling I want to pursue for the rest of my life.

I have the trauma side of counseling saying "Pick me, choose me, love me."
Then there's the heart side of counseling or what I like to call the cardiovascular side saying "Pick me, choose me, love me."
Neuro counseling is not far behind it screaming "Pick me, choose me, love me."
And then there's general counseling and I am yelling "Pick me, choose me, love me."

Choosing which area to pursue is important to me, but it's just not easy.
I care about the future I am walking into, I care about the people I will impact, and I care about the time I devote to certain areas of psychology. I simply want to choose the right path for me and the path that will allow me to do the work I was created to do in this world. 

But the fact is that making this choice is not easy. There is no simply right or wrong path to choose; it's much more complicated than that.

And if you're reading this right now wondering what in the world I am talking about, do not worry. I don't understand me either.
I mostly feel like Meredith grey in her decision to pursue general surgery. General psychology means I can work with the trauma side, the heart side, the brain side, and all the other sides there are to psychology. General psychology is my niche. My passions are widespread and it is not right for me to pick one. I just cannot do that! 

And really Meredith Grey and I are the same because we both shave our legs...sometimes.

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Monday, April 13, 2015

What's Love got to do with it?

Since I have a break from school for a few weeks, I have been hitting up my local library and checking out way too many books. 
This past week it occurred to me I had never checked out the Psychology section at the library which is strange since I am a psychology student. 
I found some amazing books and I just finished this one:

Love Illuminated: Exploring Life's Most Mystifying Subject (with the help of 50,000 strangers)
By Daniel Jones.

Jones is the editor of the New York Times column Modern Love.
I read this book in two days!
That is how much I loved it!
The topics he covers is Destiny, Trust, Connection, Practicality, and Wisdom. 

While I loved the whole book, there were a few quotes that had me turning some thoughts in my head.

"We need to believe that most people we encounter in our daily lives aren't out to harm us and may even try to save us if necessary."
-This thought really struck me as a woman when it comes to dating. I like this quote, but it does not seem very realistic for the dating world at least for me as a woman. I was taught to always tell someone where you are going, to have 911 as a speed dial, carry around pepper spray, etc. when going on dates because you can never be too careful. Am I the only one who was told this? Maybe it is just me but it's hard for me to imagine that most people we encounter are not out to hurt us. We encounter so many strangers and everyone has secrets. I guess I prefer to be a little bit more safe out there.

"When people act like they love you and maybe even say they love you, how can you know if they really love you?"
-I think actions speak the loudest, but I think words are necessary as well. When the two are expressing love and you gut says this is truth then I think that is how you know its really love. I truly believe we are the best indicators of truth, but we learn how to second guess ourselves and ignore the red flags. Learn to trust yourself and then you can learn to trust if the love is real.

"How is online dating changing us?"
-Well, for one it changed the game of connecting and communicating. Some think its bad, but I am a positive experience of online dating. Brad and I met through OkCupid! and now we are engaged. I can only speak for myself on how online dating changed me. Online dating allowed me to take a risk and try something new. I went on a lot of bad dates, and a few good ones, and one really amazing one. I learned a lot about myself in the process as well along with things I did not want in a guy I dated. It also taught me how much I wanted a guy who could still communicated with me without a screen hiding him. Some think online dating is changing us for the worst, but I definitely disagree.

"Arranged marriage: the goal is to figure out how to be married not whether to marry."
-This was my most favorite thing to ponder about. We spend time trying to figure out whether to marry someone and if we decide yes, then we marry them. But I think most of the western culture continues to ask this same question as they are married which is why divorce is so prevalent now. To me the answer is to move from asking the question of whether we should still be married to this person to the question of how do we be married? I think if we could move into this arranged marriage concept that we could save a lot more marriages. We already answered the question if we should get married, now let's learn how to be married and what works and what doesn't for our marriage.

"Do we have to kill love to understand it?
-Part of me screams yes and the other part quietly screams no. My interpretation of this is that sometimes we have to kill a relationship to learn what love is and learn a new way of understanding it. But I also believe that you will find a relationship that will continue to teach you love and teach you understanding of love without killing it. I think it is very important for people to learn what and who they can love and I think you have to date a few people sometimes to find that. Some people are lucky and only date one person, but most people need the experience to date more than one person to teach themselves what they truly want out of a relationship. Whatever path is chosen, is right for each individual. 

And to end I just want to encourage you all on this quote that Jones ended with:
"Marvel at what love does best: it helps us to be good."
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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Heart Won Over

My fiance really knows how to win my heart.
He is just so good at knowing what I need, want, and love.

1. Coffee
One day he let me sleep in and when I woke up he was holding coffee from Starbucks in his hand. This is when I knew he was a keeper. I will teach my kids as soon as they are old enough to make coffee so that they can bring it to me in bed every single day.

2. Bingo Lottery Tickets
I love these little guys. I could care less about any other lottery ticket, but bring a bingo one home and I will be super duper happy.

3. My Songs
The man is good. He turns that radio up and he lets me sing to my hearts content.

4. My Besties
He understands this statement and he loves my friends.
I mean he loves them so much he invited them to the proposal.
Oh he also takes my phone from me to text them.

And basically this is something anybody could do to win my heart over.
But it's a little too late. I'm off the market.
But I accept Starbucks from anybody.

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