Why I Love My Therapist

Yesterday, I told my therapist that I felt a vague dissatisfaction with my life right now, that I felt a little bored. This isn't something I've been feeling a long time--it was more a product of working hard for the last few weeks and suddenly having a three day weekend during which I'd still need to work. My "vague dissatisfaction" lasted all of a few hours, to be honest. Still, my comment led to a revealing discussion.

My therapist asked me what associations I have with the word "stability." My sincere and heartfelt answer? "Routine. Boredom." She and I have talked about how my family moved a lot when I was young, and yesterday she insightfully asked if my parents had treated these moves as sources of excitement and opportunity. I think they did--at least, I don't remember negative feelings about moving (until the move that occurred when I was 13 . . . tough age to move). My parents taught me to think of change as an adventure, a lesson that I deeply appreciate--at the same time, they provided me with stability during the process of making new lives in Utah, California, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and then Utah again.

As an adult, I have both sought and rejected stability. I have moved a lot. i have wilted when my life felt mundane. I've felt unwilling to call anywhere home, even long-time residences. I've fallen in love with men who weren't grown ups or who didn't love me back. I've beaten myself up for not having a sense of stability even while I made decisions that led to that feeling. I don't mean for this list to suggest that I regret all of this. I've loved exploring the world, I've gotten a lot out of my failed relationships--and the more negative experiences have led me to where I am right now, a place I quite like.

My therapist suggested that I look at stability in a new way . . . it's my stable life here that allows me to take off and travel, to explore the world and my psyche, to find rest even when I feel restless. She's right. Other jobs, other cities, other responsibilities might limit or constrain my curiosity. Here, I'm financially secure, I have a job that allows me to follow my passions, and I have amazing friends. The people I love here let me go . . . but they also embrace me when I return.

I'm still not crazy about routine . . . but I think I'm on board with developing more positive associations with stability.

3 thoughts on “Why I Love My Therapist

  1. Alison Bodily

    Boy, did that resonate with me. I've had the anchor of family here in Cache Valley, but I've been able to seek out adventures in my career. This is my 25 year of teaching and during those years I have taught Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades, as well as ESL and as an adjunct professor for USU. I've pursued a Master's degree, and Gifted and Talented, ESL, Middle School, and Reading Endorsements. I also spent time in Mobile, Alabama becoming a Talents Unlimited National Trainer. I really want that doctorate - but since my anchor is stuck mighty deep here, it would have to come from USU. Your posting helped me see that my "in-stability" really is my "virtual stability." I love you, Kathee! Once again, you've affected my life for the better.

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  2. Myrl JOhnson

    So glad to hear about your life experience - it mirrors my own. I thought that Fresno was the last place on the block; but I've learned to love the continuity of one place, the financial freedom, the ability to travel, and the student and teacher community here. Working on self-actualization today - my educational pursuits are put on hold until retirement; and I've learned to LOVE my job. Amazing grace.

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