We Shall Not Overcome
Monday mornings have been making me a little anxious lately.
This semester I started working as a speech therapist. This may have been one of the most long-anticipated events of my entire life. I’d been going to school for five years in preparation for this clinical rotation. Based on that fact, I should be comically over-prepared.
Friends, I was comically under-prepared.
Alright, that’s an exaggeration. I was as prepared as I could have been, but on my first day I felt like I was either going to throw up or die. (Didn’t end up doing either, so basically I nailed it.) Turns out there’s only so much you can learn from a classroom. And when you’re working with people, you’ve got to be ready for anything. That’s what makes it so much fun.
I work in a Rehab Hospital up in Portland, Maine. The day starts at 7am, so I get to watch the sunrise on my commute every morning. I work with people at some of the most difficult times of their lives, and I get to watch them make incredible progress. The job is challenging and fascinating and draining and fun.
Today began my fifth week. Some days I feel comfortable and confident. Other days, I still feel so fresh. Each time I sit down to evaluate a new patient or read a medical chart that paints a scary picture, I wonder who the hell thought it was a good idea to let me do this.
Sometimes my sessions go off without a hitch. Other times my patients yell at me because I don’t let them talk with food in their mouths. All in a day, right?
As much as feeling like an impostor sucks, every day of work is a million times better than sitting in classes for the sixth year in a row. And I know it’s not the end of the world to be uncomfortable. It’s a part of starting any career. I remember Hannah trying to breathe on the mornings before she lead her first big meetings at Vital.
So I’ve been trying to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. To at least appear like I know what I’m doing. To not doubt myself so much. To enjoy the small victories and graciously accept the constructive feedback.
I found this song back in undergrad, when I was still only dreaming of the day I’d have my own caseload of patients and a real job. I’ve been waiting for years for it to be applicable to my life, and it finally is. If anyone else needs a little boost of confidence, I hope this helps. We got this.