Tag Archive | Goals

Back to the Basics

Three years ago, I was laid off from my first “dream” job. I was working at a magazine in Atlanta.

Three weeks ago, I put my two-week notice in at my second “dream” job. I was working through a mental health agency as a school therapist.

I am one person with two passions – writing and helping others. However, neither “dream” job left me feeling fulfilled. So, where do I go from here?… Truth is, I don’t know.

What I do know is – wherever I go and whatever I do, I want to be happy. I am in search of a way to fulfill both of my passions, and I won’t settle!

I came across a quote today that read:

“Life is too short to wake up with regrets.
Love the people who treat you right.
Forget about the ones who don’t.
Believe everything happens for a reason.
If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands.
If it changes your life, let it.
Nobody said life would be easy.
They just promised it would be worth it.”
-Unknown-

Change can be scary, but it’s good for growth. Every day I wake up is another chance to fulfill my passions.

At this point, I don’t know what lies ahead. I do believe that there’s a reason for me being in this position at this point in my life though. My goal is to stay positive, focused, and motivated.

This… is just another part of my journey; another chapter in my book. Stay tuned.

~Ciara L. Walker

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Dreams. Impossible?!

“A slipper made of glass is just a shoe, and dreamers never make dreams come true” ~ Whitney Houston as Cinderella’s Fairy God Mother

I was sitting here watching Cinderella; the remake with Whitney Houston and Brandy Norwood, and I began to think about all of the Disney movies I watched as a little girl. My cousins and I had an uncle who would buy us Disney movies for every holiday. I had my own Disney collection: Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, The Fox and the Hound, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, 101 Dalmatians, Pinocchio, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast… The list goes on. I also had non-Disney movies like Thumbelina, All Dogs go to Heaven, and Charlotte’s Web.

I enjoyed watching these movies as a child. I was captivated by the characters, and I became intertwined in their animated lives. They had dreams, and their dreams came true. The impossible became possible. The movies made you believe in something more than what was right in front of you when you turned off the TV. I wanted to live happily ever after – like Cinderella and the Mermaid. I wanted my dreams to come true like Pinocchio. I wanted “hakuna matata” like on the Lion King – no worries for the rest of my days. Those were the days…

The thing is I didn’t realize the struggles that the characters went through in order to get to their “happily ever after”. I didn’t realize the struggles I would have to go through to get to my happily ever after. Bad grades. Lost friendships. Broken heart. Unemployment. Family problems. These are just a few of the many struggles I’ve endured over the past 27 years.  Hakuna matata hasn’t been so true for me. I found myself getting emotional when watching Cinderella [I know, I know] because now I understand what she was talking about. Impossible – sometimes things seem impossible. You have dreams, but somewhere down the road you start to feel like they’ll never happen; like they’re impossible. Like Cinderella, there may come a time when you just want to run away from it all – give up. Not so quick though…

Look at this conversation between Cinderella (Brandy) and her fairy god mother (Whitney Houston)…

Cinderella: If impossible things are happening every day, then why shouldn’t I have impossible hopes and dreams – even something as impossible as going to the ball?

Fairy God Mother: Then go to the ball Cinderella. Go. No one’s stopping you, but you.

Cinderella: But, I have no way to get there.

Fairy God Mother: Hmm, you have a point there.

Cinderella: God mother, I’ve been wishing as hard as I can.

Fairy God Mother: I know you have Cinderella. Go on, stand over there…

** She does her magic. Last, but not least, she turns to Cinderella who’s looking at herself dressed in rags**

Fairy God Mother: Spin around. Don’t make me do all of the work.

Impossible – Brandy and Whitney Houston

Looking back over my life, I can really relate to this scene. We all go through hard times where we wonder if our dreams will ever come true, or if they’re just impossible. I know I did, especially after being laid off. When you open your eyes – and I mean really take a look around you – there are people who will help you. The thing is you have to be willing to help yourself first. Have a dream. Wish upon a star. But, don’t let that be all you do.

I had no idea what I wanted to do after being laid off. I was lost. All I knew was I wanted to help people. When teaching didn’t work out, I chose counseling. I applied for the program and went from there. Since then, I’ve sought help from family, friends, professors, etc. I’m open and honest about where I stand and I’m not afraid to ask for help. I try and help myself first though, and I believe that’s why others are so willing to give me a helping hand.

I know at times [we think] we don’t know how to help ourselves; how to get started. Don’t give up and get discouraged though. Write out your dream and seek out ways to make it happen. You can start by researching how others in your area of interest got started, set goals, research educational programs, etc. that will enhance your knowledge in that area. Ask for help. Be open to receiving help. Sometimes, the only person stopping you is you…

I can’t remember where I heard this, but I wanted to share. If you look at the word impossible you’ll see that it spells out “I’m Possible” just the same. So, never stop believing in your happily ever after. After all, impossible things are happening every day. It all starts with you!

There is Music in You – Whitney Houston

“You know the trouble with most people is they sit upon wishing for something to happen instead of just doing something about it” ~ Brandy as Cinderella talking to the Prince

~ Ciara Walker

Job Searching – My Journey

Searching for a job is a JOB itself! After two years of grad school, I’m back to where I started in December 2006 after graduating with a Bachelors and where I found myself in March 2009 after being laid off from my first “real” job after college. It took me ten months to land that job too, and it was my “dream” job – working at a magazine. At least it was my dream at the time. Ten months of completing applications, making follow-up calls, going to interviews – many times with no feedback or response from employers – whew, just the thought.

It was worse the second time around after being laid off and spending about a year job searching. I thought surely I’d find a job with my experience, but to no avail. Once again, I was submitting my updated resume, completing applications, making follow-up calls, and going to interviews – and the phone, it barely rang; my inbox, it rarely got a response email; me, I was barely making it. I was 24 and unemployed with bills to pay. I hit a low point. I withdrew from family and friends – I just wanted to be alone. Thankfully, I was blessed to be living with aunts who understood my plight and helped me along the way – as well as other friends and family members. Nevertheless, I knew my journey had to continue. After the first six months of job searching, I decided it was time to go back to school. I had thought about getting my Masters and now seemed like a good time to do so. I began by looking at alternative routes for teaching that offered an advanced degree. When those didn’t work out, I decided to look into Master Programs. Within the next few months I had decided on a program, moved home, applied, interviewed, and gotten accepted – but, the job search continued.

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THANK YOU for the INSPIRATION

This has been an interesting school year. In my last post I was entering the last year of my Master’s program and beginning practicum/internship. I had no idea what was in store for me. Great things. Great people. Granted, there were a few hiccups along the way due to differences in communication, but when looking at the “big picture” I can truly say I had a successful year overall. My purpose was to help others and that’s what I did. I spent the last year working with a university program for students on academic probation and with the university’s counseling center. It was a little stressful and time-consuming at times [the admin part], but most of the time it was fun, interesting, uplifting, eye-opening, and INSPIRING!

I worked with students ranging from freshmen to 2nd-year seniors of all ages, races, majors, socio-economic statuses, etc. They were all different, but they all had one thing in common: In their own little way, they inspired me. You see, I was there to help them. Life had thrown them a curve ball and they were picking themselves up and dusting off while I was there to help them find their way to first base. In the process [on the way to first base], many of them shared the details of their struggle [the curve ball] and I was inspired by their strength and their determination. Now, if you were to ask them about this strength and determination that I speak of some would probably deny its existence. But, I saw what many of them were unable to see – what many others don’t take the time to see. I saw them from the inside out – and I was truly inspired.

Today, I just want to say Thank You – not only to my students, but also to the students around the world that they represent. So…

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My Journey Update

Sooo… It’s been a while since I’ve posted something and a lot has happened in the past five months. I made it through my first summer classes in grad school (whew!). I had a full load, and I worked two jobs so that was an adventure. In the end, I came out with all A’s [YAY Me , lol]. To celebrate, I took a vacation to visit a friend in Miami! This week, reality set back in when classes started Monday. I started my 2nd [and last] year of the program, so it’s bitter-sweet. I don’t have many classes, but I’ve started Practicum [for those who don’t know it’s when you’re required to work in your field of study to gain some experience – it’s like an internship, but requires less hours]. Being that my field of study is counseling, I’ll be working with people [other than my classmates] individually and in groups. I’ve already had a few meetings this week, and I sense it’s going to be an interesting, exciting, and challenging semester!

I think of it as I’m embarking on a new journey, and there are so many things that come to mind when I think about this journey that I’m on… the past, the present, and the future. As a beginning counselor, I think about things that I’ve said and done in the past and wonder how I could have handled situations differently. I think about where I am in my life now and how I can apply the things I’m learning to help myself [and others] through challenges that may occur. Then, I think about where I’ll be 5 years from now… a year from now, even. There’s so many aspects to consider [career, relationship/family, etc.] that it’s scary and exciting at the same time! I know these are all journeys that I will begin soon. As of now, I’m just taking things one day at a time.

Something that I try to remember along the way is that I can’t change the past. Yesterday is gone. Today is a new day – a new start – another chance to get things right/make things right/be a better ME [YOU]! And tomorrow is not promised, so I must live Today to the fullest!

I’ve been so busy lately, that I don’t always adhere to that last part, but I’m working on it! 😉 Interested in keeping up with my journey?! Subscribe! There’s more to come!

Thanks for reading.

~ Ciara L. Walker

My Pursuit of Happiness – Obtained

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged – two months to be exact, and a lot has happened during that time. To get back into the swing of things, I’m going to do the SITS five-day “Back to Blogging Challenge”. For those who don’t know, SITS is a group of more than 7,000 women bloggers who encourage and support each other by reading and commenting on blogs. Now, this challenge started and ended last week, but I figured it’s better late than never… Right! So, for the next five days, I’ll be Getting Back to Blogging!

Day 1 of the SITS Back to Blogging Challenge: Re-upload your first post or rewrite it, giving a before and after look.   

I wrote my first blog, My Pursuit of Happiness, a little over five months ago. So, instead of reposting it, I’m going to rewrite it with an update – I find this option appropriate with all that’s going on. [Read about My Pursuit of Happiness here].   

Shortly after I posted my first blog (like, literally 9 days later) I received notification that I was accepted into Graduate School, and four months later I would begin my journey to obtain a Masters in Counselor Education. How Continue reading

My Pursuit of Happiness

Life rarely happens the way we plan it.    

Inspiration:    

I was interviewing a girl the other day who said she had a five-year plan when she entered college. She wanted to become either an OBGYN or a nurse and pursue a career as an obstetrician or head nurse administrator. She planned to accomplish this by the time she reached her mid twenties. Now, at 27, she’s a personal trainer and fitness event coordinator. She just started her own business a year ago, and she’s taking training to the next level by educating the community about the importance of health and fitness. Her story is very inspiring to me because, although not in her initial plan, she loves what she does and she’s changing lives along the way.    

My Story:    

That has always been my goal: to love what I do and make a difference in the lives of others. My initial plan: major in Journalism and Psychology and write for a magazine if I pursued Journalism or open my own private practice working with children if I pursued Psychology. Either way, I’d be fulfilling my passions: writing and helping others. That was nearly seven years ago when I started college.    

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