Winter Quarter: What I Learned

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This has been the craziest quarter but I do actually feel like I have learned quite a lot. I’m not going to put things in any particular order and some of them may be internal thoughtful sort of things and some of them are honestly just useful things I learned for my job. Which I guess this will probably say I live in Washington state, since some of these things probably just aren’t true other places. Laws are so odd. Anyway. I am just going to make a list.

1. Washington Vulnerable Adult Protective Services has only existed as it’s own entity for like… less than my lifetime. Vulnerable adult protection orders have only existed 5 years. Unlike other protective orders, they freeze the person’s financial assets so they can examine them. VAPS does many things I find interesting and wonderful but what I do not find wonderful is that they can apparently file these protection orders against the will of the adult on a “case by case basis.” I find this troubling and will probably look into it more at some point.

2. Most of the time when I am completely freaking out about a project or a class, I will probably do totally fine in it. This in no way lessens my freaking out but it’s probably something to note. Also, no one else ever seems to be surprised by me doing totally fine but I am always shocked.

3. I am definitely not good at math but I am better than some people and I am not as bad as I have perhaps been led to believe. I do not like math and probably never will but I totally got an A in that class and so you know. That was cool.

4. Being afraid of being crazy will inevitably make me act more crazy which will make me more afraid of being crazy which will… lead to the worst cycle ever. This may be one of my worst personal traits and I am working on how exactly one fixes that.

5. I can actually take a lot more on my plate than I thought I could. I will feel busy and stressed but as things add up I am capable of figuring out time management sorts of things. I just have to figure out how to be healthy about everything at the same time (always the challenge).

6. Despite this being one of my major fears, when I am in advocacy sessions with people, I do seem to notice when I am talking too much and cut myself short. I am also capable of letting silence go for a while even when it’s uncomfortable. It’s not the easiest for me and I do have to actively remind myself to do it but I can do it and cool things sometimes happen when I do. So that’s nice to know.

7. This is not news but it was reiterated to me on many levels this quarter. There are never enough resources for low cost mental health care or legal help. It’s a serious problem. Also the legal system is very frustrating and fickle and it is hard to know how people will be from day to day and that can sometimes be more discouraging to me than almost anything else, which is not something that would have occurred to me.

8. People are genuinely amazing and I still can’t believe that a number of amazing people essentially pitched in and helped me pay for my car when it broke down. Still totally overwhelmed by that and by how great people are and by how I didn’t know that before. I hope that’s something I just keep learning.

9. Going a full year without intentional contact with my parents is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. On the flip side of that, there are people who really seem to struggle with me having made that decision and I sometimes get tired of feeling like I have to justify myself or explain it repeatedly. Of course the truth is that I don’t have to do that and if I’m feeling pressed I should probably work on boundary setting. Perhaps that’s a Spring quarter thing.

10. This is honestly all I want to do. I don’t know exactly what field or population I’ll work in, I don’t know how I’ll do it but I know that all I want for the rest of my life is to work in social services and for social justice for the rest of my life. I wish I hadn’t put it off so long because I just want to get started. There’s so much to do and I want to be exactly in the middle of it right now. If I ever had any doubts, they’re definitely long gone now.

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