• Cristina Waldner

Breathe In, Breathe Out


Today marks the last remaining day of the much-needed, much-anticipated break from studies ironically known as Reading Week.


I have really enjoyed my time off as I was finally able to go shopping (searching for a pair of jeans that you like the fit and the wash shouldn't be this hard, right ladies? And don't even get me started on my quest for the perfect pair of the elusive black leggings/jeggings). I’ve also been glued to the TV watching Olympics! (wasn’t that feature on Mark McMorris so inspiring?)

But this semester I needed the break more than ever before. 

Deep Breath

There are several reasons for the desperation and urgency I felt going into this week, and I feel I should let you know what I have been so busy with lately. Drum roll please...

I am graduating university in April!!

Yes, you read that right. After 12 years of attending Canadian Mennonite University, I will be participating in the graduation ceremony with a 4-year BA in Counseling Studies. It still feels surreal but I took my grad photos a few weeks ago and I'm pretty sure I wasn't dreaming!

So, while the goal of graduating by the time I'm 30 is coming true (I will turn the big 3-0 a week before the ceremony), there are several added complications and responsibilities that have made this semester physically exhausting. So exhausted that when I get home each day after class, I lie down in a dazed state of fatigue thinking that I can't possibly carry on another day.

Exhale

Even though I am well aware of my limitations, it has taken me by surprise how grueling the daily grind of attending classes has been.

But... I can't let it stop me. Not when I'm this close to finishing. This close to achieving all that I have worked so hard for.

Breathe In, Breathe Out

You see, not only will I be graduating, but I am also working out the details of completing my practicum. Similar to an unpaid internship, I am required to work at a practicum placement in order to officially complete my BA. I am hoping to enter into this program in the fall of 2018 and there are so many details that have to be worked before then. 

Don't Forget to Breathe

Doing my practicum is something I have actually dreaded since Day 1 of attending university. I have never had a traditional job before and practicum will be my first real taste in what it will be like. There are so many details to consider:

  • Full time or part time? Definitely part time.

  • Work outside the home or from home? Hopefully from home.

  • If that doesn't work out, is the workplace accessible? Desk height accessible? Washroom accessible? Depends on location.

  • Would my assistant attend work with me? Possibly but would it be weird to have an attendant with me in a cubicle?

I won't bore you with more details but this is just the tip of the logistical iceberg. These thoughts were swirling in my mind for about a decade. With nearing the end of my studies, I knew I had run out of time to procrastinate.

When I met with my practicum adviser in November, I came to the meeting with a glimmer of hope and a bundle of anxiety. I was so nervous to start the process of finding a work placement with how little I had to offer.

Holding my Breath

Well, to my absolute amazement the meeting went remarkably well! In a short amount of time, huge progress has been made in terms of figuring out the logistics of how my placement will work out and how I will work at my placement. I will let you all know as soon as anything becomes official but I just wanted to share what is going on over here!

So, what for 10 years has been holding me captive has now been set free. I was dreading this process for so long, feeling that the stakes were too high and my abilities too low to have success.


But now that I'm here, it's not as hopeless as I thought. In fact, I am hopeful  because the very thing that I felt afraid of is now the thing that is giving me hope.

People are more kind and gracious than I thought. More willing to accommodate my unique needs and even find a way to make me feel like I have something to offer.

God is more in control than I thought. He too is kinder, more loving than I was giving Him credit for. He only wants the very best for me, so I don't know why I put His abilities in a box by thinking that my circumstances were too much of an obstacle for Him. My Jesus has got this.

So, what is something in your life that you have been dreading? Something that you thought to yourself, "How will this possibly work out?" Something that gives you that pit-in-the-stomach feeling of anxiety at the mere thought?

Well, I am here to tell you that it might not be as insurmountable as you expected.

Just Breathe

- Crissi xo


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