Lessons in the…Golden State???

I have experienced every emotion possible in the past week: self-doubt, frustration, sadness, overwhelming anxiety, fear, and exhaustion, but also pure joy, gratitude, peace, and contentment. It’s been a whirlwind, but I honestly cannot believe that this is actually my life right now.

On Thursday, I moved into an Airbnb in Santa Barbara, California. For the next 3 months, I will be doing a fieldwork rotation for my occupational therapy program. I am excited to finally be gaining some hands-on experience, but I am also extremely nervous. First of all, we have had basically no hands-on experience due to COVID. Second of all, I feel like I am nowhere near ready. I feel so inadequate. I feel like I’m not good enough. How am I supposed to plan entire treatments for patients? How am I supposed to plan entire treatments for multiple patients multiple times a week? By the end of the rotation, I am supposed to have a full caseload (like 8 patients per day). I’m just really scared. Another thing I’m scared for is that this site only takes level IIB fieldwork students (the second of 2 level II/full-time fieldwork rotations). You see, this was supposed to be my second level 2 fieldwork but now it’s my first. I got majorly f***ed over by my program and ended up having to delay the start of my fieldwork. So, instead of doing my level IIA (first level II fieldwork) in the fall and my second one right now, this one is now my first. I don’t know if this was communicated between my school’s fieldwork coordinator and clinical education associate and the fieldwork site. I’m scared I am going to get to my site and they’re going to get pissed at ME over this and it will just set a bad tone.

I don’t know…maybe it’s just my anxiety getting in the way. Maybe I’m stressing and making a big deal out of something I shouldn’t be. But there is so much I feel anxious for right now. Things that are causing me anxiety (because I know it’ll at least help me a bit to get it all out):

FINANCES. I am stressed over finances right now. I’ve had to pay for my Airbnb while still paying for my apartment back in Dallas. It ain’t cheap. Stuff is also more expensive out here. I knew California was more expensive BUT DAMN. Gas is still like $1.85/gallon in Dallas and then here it’s like $3.30/gallon. Everything seems to be a bit more expensive, but when everything is a bit more expensive it definitely adds up. I’ve decided to call it the “sunshine tax.” The weather is practically perfect here and the scenery is gorgeous, but it definitely comes at a price.

THERAPY. As mentioned in one of my previous blog posts, I am extremely anxious over the fact that I won’t be able to have any face-to-face appointments with my therapist over the next three months. I can still do telehealth appointments, but I am REALLY going to miss having face-to-face appointments and I am really going to miss her. Yay attachment. I’m also worried about how to find a time that will work with the difference in timezones. She’s two hours ahead of me and only works 9-5 Monday through Thursday. I’m not sure how this work out…

DISTANCE. I am worried about the difference in timezones. My family is all 3 hours ahead of me and all of my friends are 2 or 3 hours ahead of me. It’s definitely going to make it challenging to find times to talk, which is difficult since that’s a huge part of my support system.

There are other things causing me to feel uneasy, but those are the big ones right now.

There has been some good, though…a lot, actually. I am living in freaking California. What?!?! How cool is that?! I’ve gotten to go to the beach and relax, the weather is amazing, I have seen some incredible sunsets, I have driven on the PCH…I have experience pure bliss. This life…it’s what I’ve wanted and dreamed of for so long. To have easy access to both the beach and the mountains, to have have this perfect weather and sunshine, to have the opportunity to be out in nature so easily…it’s literally a dream come true. I have had so many moments of just being in awe at the fact that this is actually my life right now.

After all the stress and chaos of moving, it feels so amazing to actually be here. I’m really not sure where I am going with this or how I am going to wrap this up, but I just needed to get all this out. So with that, I’m going to bed. I am exhausted and have a big day coming up on Monday, so I need my rest. Hopefully I will get more consistent with this blogging thing but who knows?

As always, I am here for you if you need someone to talk to. Mental health struggles suck, but you don’t have to struggle alone. Reach out if needed.

With love, J 🙂


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