Hopes, Dreams
and Major Setbacks.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I try not to use my blog (or any part of my life for that matter) to complain, but this post feels like it needs to be written... I'm afraid I have suffered (for lack of a better word) a setback. After finishing close to five years of graduate school, a yearlong internship providing therapy to chronically mentally ill clients, garnering both experience and recommendations aplenty, I have been told (by a fancy shmancy board that has the power to grant my licensure as a clinical therapist in this state) that I have to take ONE more credit in five - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 - more classes. FIVE.

You can probably imagine my disappointment and shock. I have two amazing job offers that are contingent on this license. I met with the director of the board today - and, on a side note, he might be the kindest gentleman I've ever met which, unfortunately, makes it very difficult to feel anything other than warmth towards him. It's nothing personal, no deficiencies in my transcripts or experience or person (thankfully), yada yada yada, BUT there are different legal requirements in my new state of Nevada vs my beloved Washington. End of story.

I can cry - and, trust me, I did. I can be disappointed and frustrated and even angry, but I don't know how that will serve me at this point. I have now officially jumped into action mode and am getting a plan of action into place. However, I'll be honest, this setback is incredibly hard to swallow because I thought I was done. Signed, sealed, delivered done with school forever. And now I'm being told I have to take one extra credit (don't even get me started on how I will do this when most classes are three or four credits) in five classes I have ALREADY taken.

The good news? Barbeque Pirate's Booty and episodes of Nurse Jackie have helped. My friends, boyfriend, family, professors, future employers, former classmates and cats who live next door have offered an incredible amount of support. The even better news? In the grand scheme of things, this is really minor. Oh, and guess what? I'm a tough cookie. Very best news? There is a fire and a drive in me that I haven't felt in a long time. This is what I want to do and I know it like I know my name. As my trainer texted me a couple days ago, "This is what you were born to do and when that's the case, well, you're stuck giving the world this gift no matter what glitch you face." (Thank you, Nancy. I keep reminding myself this.)

Thanks for all the facebook and twitter love, texts, emails, calls and hugs. From hear on out, it's nothing but Eye of the Tiger, folks.

Eye on the Prize.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Currently, I'm going through a pretty big transition. The transition into my career. Please don't get me wrong, I am more excited and hopeful and inspired than I have been in a very, very long time. It's just that, sometimes, I'm afraid... Sometimes, even at the ripe old age of thirty freaking two, I am scared to grow up.

In these times, I remind myself of the things I'm working towards. And, no, I'm not referring to making a difference in another person's life or helping a suffering someone through an emotional storm (although those are the reasons I chose to become a therapist). Nope, not those. Sometimes, like a little spoiled kid, I remind myself of the STUFF I want, the stuff that working hard pays for. So, here's a little peek into a few of the future purchases that are making it a little easier to get up in the morning.

- The Puppy. If you know me, or have read this blog before, you know my puppy clock is ticking away like a time bomb. I don't feel quite settled enough for a fur baby, but I'm getting very close and this makes me really giddy. This weekend I visited the sweet little pup pictured at the top of my post and fell in love. What a sweetheart. I want to name her June. June Carter Cash.

- The Bed. I don't know about you, but I love hanging out in bed. I think sleeping is one of the greatest things in the whole wide world, but lounging in bed and talking, reading a book and/or watching a good movie makes me one happy gal. I can't wait until I am ready to purchase just the bed that is worthy of my beloved lounge time. I heart the one below.

- The Bike. If you know my boyfriend, then you know the true love of his life isn't me. It's cycling. Personally, I would love a pretty bike to tool around town with. You know, with a basket of fresh flowers I'm carting home. I adore this beautiful bike.

I know, I know. This post is obnoxious, but sometimes a person has to reward themselves. I am very far from that point, but I look forward to the journey to that day. In the end, though, the real prize isn't a thing... For me, the real prize is joy. And I've gotta tell you, even though I don't have a bike or a puppy or a new bed, I've got a whole lot of happy.

Music, Friendship & Summer Nights.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sometime in late 2008, I fell in love with Kings of Leon. Actually, I fell madly and deeply in love with the song "Use Somebody." I know, how original, right? It didn't matter that everyone else loved this band, and this song, because I just couldn't listen to it enough. Even now, almost two years later, I still can't get enough of it.

My love for this song made me check out the rest of KOL's songs and after that, the love affair was officially on.

I missed the band when they were in Vegas last summer and was really, really sad I didn't get to see them. Several months ago, when I heard they were touring again this summer, you better believe I wasn't going to miss them for a second time. Unfortunately, no shows were planned for Vegas. So, after many frantic and excited text messages and phone calls, I decided to take a little road trip to California and go with my one and only Liz.

Last week, after several days of being out of town, I got home to Vegas only to promptly get in the car the next day and drive the 4+ hours to casa de Liz and Gabby. After a day of catching up with the ladies, swimming in a pool with a lobster (yeah, you read that right), watching The Bachelorette, makeup and subsequent photo sessions, swapping secrets and laughing, the time had finally arrived to go to the show.

After being graciously dropped off (and later picked up), Liz and I trekked up an s.o.b. of a hill (sorry, knee), with beer and a giant bag of warm kettle corn in tow. As much as I loved the show (and I did), I think my favorite part of the trip was making ourselves comfortable on the lawn, sitting on a blanket, eating popcorn and drinking beer on a beautiful summer night with a friend. This, right here, is the stuff.

... and then the music started. With the small exception of the fact that we were sitting a hundred miles from the stage and unfortunately directly in front of the world's most annoying concert goers, the show was amazing and I can't wait to see them again.

As a little added bonus, I got to catch a moment of one of my favorite songs - on one of my favorite nights - on film. Please note how far away we were and excuse my singing. I can't help myself when it comes to this song.

The Therapist Is In.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I don't talk about my job on the blog. It just isn't appropriate (or ethical for that matter). However, I do have some really good news to share.

You see, for a really long time, I've wanted to be a therapist. (I've also wanted to be a teacher, a lawyer, a writer and Madonna, but that's neither here nor there.) When I was a little girl, I would line up my stuffed animals and take turns putting them on the couch while I sat behind a desk and talked to them about their problems. That's just the kind of little kid I was.

Now, all these years later - years of graduate school, internships, and jobs that looked a lot like therapy, but weren't - I am ready to swap the stuffed animals in for real, live clients. And it all starts now.

Tomorrow I will officially begin my career as a therapist and I couldn't be more excited.

Someday you will be happy.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A couple of mornings ago, I woke up overwhelmed with happiness. Simply filled with joy.

I thought to myself, I wish I could go back in time to my former, younger self and whisper in her ear, "Someday you will be so happy."

Even now, when dark times find us, as they undoubtedly will, we can remind ourselves of the joy we will again feel. Sometimes you just have to wait it out. Happiness is always around the next corner.

My Very Favorite Vegas Hotel.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

(At the Golden Nugget a year and a half ago.)

If you have read just a small town girl before, you know how much I heart the hotel, the Golden Nugget. You see, I am big - and I mean BIG - on hotels, motels and everything in between. You know how most people would rather stay home, in their own bed, than in a hotel? Not me. I am in love with slipping away for a night or two and getting away from everything in a new environment.

In Seattle (well, a cheesy suburb outside of Seattle), I had my home away from home, the Seatac Marriott. I have talked about this spectacular hotel on the blog before here. I am in love with this place so much that I would regularly take myself there - sometimes with friends and sometimes alone - just to get away, just to breathe and regroup. When I moved to Las Vegas, I was lost as to where I could go to find my happy place. In a city full of hotels, I wanted to know where mine was.

Well, folks, I have found it. The Golden Nugget is my Las Vegas happy place. It has been in the running for some time. I have had some of my favorite times in Vegas at this hotel. I have taken everyone I love there and many of my best friends have been forced to stay at the Nugget when they've been in town (not that they put up a fight, mind you). I even had my last birthday party there. I've stayed in the $39 rooms (which I adore) and the Rush Tower East End Jr Suite (which I want to move into asap). One of these days - hopefully very soon - I desperately want to stay in the Vegas Baby Suite.

My very favorite part of the Golden Nugget? No, not the amazing prices. Not the hip downtown location. One word. POOL. The only thing I take more seriously than hotels is pools. It's true. I could be a professional floater. It's what I do best. The Golden Nugget has the most amazing pool I've ever seen. (Sorry, Seatac Marriott. Your indoor pool located in that gorgeous atrium was fantastic, but the Golden Nugget has an aquarium - with sharks, thank you very much - in the middle of the pool. You can't compete with that and I don't expect you to.)

Don't believe me? The Golden Nugget recently made yet another top hotel pools list. This time they are the only US pool to make Trip Advisor's Top Ten Most Amazing Hotel Pools in the World list. How cool is that?

If after all this, I still haven't convinced you to stay at the Golden Nugget the next time you're in town, fine. I'd rather be able to get in any time I like anyway. Go stay on the strip, but know that I'll be lounging with the fish for the same price you just shelled out for two drinks.

A big thank you to the Golden Nugget for being my happy place.

(Last week at our happy place.)

I Am Yours Now.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: the story of us.