Actually, I have a better question—where has all this TIME gone?!
I can’t answer these questions in full, unless I start tracking what the past few months have meant for my sister, CASLN, and myself. Even then, such a whirlwind has gone by, I don’t remember half the month of June.
Back in April, I was busilly setting up new clients at work (private behavioral therapy agency) and starting the transition process with current clients to a substitute. I was heading to Europe from May 15-June 12, and needed all my ducks in a row before boarding that plane, or so help me God. I spent early April submitting my application to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, got my approval to sit for the exam, and nearly had a heart attack when I realized the FIRST available spot was the DAY before my Europe trip, 100 miles away in San Diego.
Still in April, I prepared for two presentations—one for my Alma Mater, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, and one for Dr. Barbara Wheeler’s class at Cal State Los Angeles with my colleage, Eunice Im (check out her amazing blog post about it)! I was invited back to my high school to speak on Autism Awareness, and I spoke about what ‘Disability Awareness’ means to me and how we are all called to embrace differences and accept—no, celebrate!—people for the uniqueness inside them.
Then came May. Mad, manic May. I was studying for the BCBA exam, transitioning cases to a substitute, prepping parents for my upcoming four-week leave, all while trying to balance some regular sleep each night. I read the Cooper book, I packed for my overnight in San Diego, I packed for my European excursion. The first two weeks of May were a wild and crazy mental tornado, but somehow, I managed.
When I left the exam room, I was glad I was finished, but now came the monumental task of driving back up to Los Angeles to finish packing for four weeks away. I did sleep, but worrying I’d forget the most basic of basics, like toothbrush or underwear.
In a word, Europe was monumental. I had never visited, and I was seeing it for the first time through the eyes of a queen! My parents took my brother and me to some of their favorite spots, and I got to fall in love with some of my very own. I was humbled, because traveling to Europe was no longer something trendy and glamorous that celebrities did between working on sets. I was in another country, visiting another continent, living a whole different way of life, and I got to experience it as a foreigner, a visitor, someone who was looking to a whole other world for a way to exist in theirs. It was truly inspiring.
When we came back, the work only multipled, as I hit the ground running with my cases at work. I started to manage the details of my cases, the tedious little details, like which columns to place next to each other in my clients’ Excel files. I was fine-tuning myself as a manager in a way I hadn’t been able to prior to my trip, because my focus had been on getting the cases ready to be substituted. Now, the cases were all mine to personalize, to own, to sign, to mold, to create and recreate and master. My role as a new manager had begun.
Then I got the news. I was driving on the 134 freeway heading toward Old Town Pasadena when my phone dinged in the cupholder. The email subject line flashed at me: BACB EXAM RESULTS. I think I almost killed fifty people, I was so excited!!! And so afraid!!! But SO excited!!!! My friend was celebrating his birthday that night—would it be selfish of me to open it and see what the results were before I met him? I drove off the offramp and onto Green street, making turns until I was safe in my Pasadena happy place and opened the email.
“We would like to congratulate you on passing the . . . “
I began to cry.
Years of hard work and dedication to the process had led up to this moment!!! When people spoke of people working toward a passionate ambition, they always spoke in admiration of someone “going places.” Well now, here, there, in that moment, I knew that I had arrived. This was like graduation all over again, the commencment, the beginning at the end when I’d reached the pinnacle of all I had to do to go, to be on my way, to prepare, to create a life of change, to march the destiny that I’d created for myself through years of commuting, studying, writing, and persevering. I was here. I had arrived.
And now, after a couple weeks of celebrating (when you pass this exam, you get all the attention from everyone in this field for a solid couple weeks!), I am back. Where have all the blog posts gone? They’ve been working toward this moment.