The last 13 months in a nutshell: 1) saying yes to a (part-time) middle-school counseling job after a long season off to focus on my health, 2) a long commute, working around student schedules, and expectations beyond simply counseling soon making me feel I was not capable of doing this job well, 3) deciding to return last fall after a summer of continuing to work on strength, and recognizing it was a new position I (+other staff) needed to adjust to, 4) still concluding it wasn’t working, 5) mutually agreeing with the principal this was a full-time position, and 6) arriving at my last day as a school counselor at the end of April.

Now that I’m on the other side of the decision, there is one question that I keep asking myself: Why did this all take so long? Clearly, there were a lot of factors at play (including precious children), but mostly this: I didn’t want to quit.

I had already taken a season off. I had broken a killer rebound headache, I had discovered a concoction of supplements that helped, I had the strongest neck and shoulder muscles I’d had in years, and I wasn’t in the same place I was the last time I tried working part-time–when I concluded that I needed to quit.

And this was true. This time around, I got through long days while taking a lot less medication than I had to in the past, and for a few days, without taking anything at all–which is certainly a milestone. But nonetheless, I was still often in severe pain by the end of the day, I still had to come in late, I still missed meetings, I still had weeks I rearranged things completely for the sake of managing my pain, & to put it simply: my health was still incredibly disabling.

So I sit here. Today. Finally embracing the truth of that reality. Relieved to be done working & at peace with the decision. But also, bummed. With absolute, zero energy to even think about finding another job. To do any networking or even Google search the possibilities. Completely ready to bolt every time I’m asked what I do for a living. Not ready to give up, but also in need of so much grace.

So, I’m taking a trip. Beginning 11 days from today, I’m stealing a friend, leaving the country, & going to Lourdes, France– a town that’s been a refuge for the sick & a place of healing for so many for over the past 100years. The gameplan? 1) taking in Lourdes for a few days as a pilgrim, 2) my friend doing some other traveling/going home while I go to a family wedding in Milan (nbd!), & 3) returning to Lourdes for the rest of the summer to volunteer for a few hours a day, continue working on gaining strength, and sort through life decisions while considering their impact on my health– in the midst of thousands of others doing the same.

SO, so thankful for this opportunity & can’t wait to bring each of you with me–hit “follow” to stay tuned (and also motivate me to keep on writing 🙂 ). à bientôt!

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