And the journey begins

Well hello y’all! (yes I said y’all!)

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So where do I begin on this big journey of mine….
This past December I walked the big college stage and began the beginning of the rest of my life. In January of this year, I started an internship as a Recreation Therapist at the Austin State Hospital, and my passion for mental health help grew.

Going through school I always imagined myself working with victims of human trafficking and forced prostitution, but when I began this internship I began to see a huge need in the public sector of mental health. Especially in Texas. Working at a State Hospital you see the bare bones of state health care. I saw cuts, drawbacks but people continuing to help others despite all the things the State threw at them. I loved that, and I wanted to continue with it. This past semester was the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. I drove my 1.5 hr commute crying almost everyday when I began working the floor. The extreme stories of some of the children I worked with broke my heart into pieces, but seeing the resilience and the strength these children had gave me hope. Before starting my internship I made the decision to apply for graduate school, and that was my dream. And after getting accepted, my dream soared. I was so excited.

But…. after talking to clinicians at the hospital I was interning at, I decided that I wanted some field experience as a Recreation Therapist before spending more money on another college degree. I’ve been mulling the ideas around my head that I would like to pursue Counseling or Social Work, instead of a graduate degree in Therapeutic Recreation. So with this new idea in my head, the BIG GIRL JOB search began. I began searching the nation for state psychiatric hospitals with Recreation Therapy jobs open. The Austin State Hospital wasn’t in a financial place to offer me a job, so I looked out of state. I stumble upon a job posting for a Recreation Therapist position open at the Montana State Hospital, and I applied on a whim. I never thought I would even get to the point of interviewing, let alone be on first name basis with their Rehabilitation Director, but I did. I submitted my application, my resume and an emotional cover letter testimony. And after speaking to the Director, I found out that I was really the only person that applied and interview for the position. Well after an informal interview and a formal interview I was offered the job on the very last day of my internship. SOMETHING THAT IS COMPLETELY HARD TO FIND! Me, Hannah, very recently college graduate finding a BIG GIRL JOB before I had my diploma in hand. Me, Hannah, finding a job that will give me full benefits, weekends off, paid vacation time and in a place that is in the middle of National Forests and National Parks. What more could an outdoorsy, adventurous girl and her pup ask for?!

This all seems too good to be true right? Wrong! This is working out so perfectly and it terrifies me. Me, Hannah, a Southern California girl moved to the South of the USA, moving to the northern tip of the USA. I’ve seen sand and surf, i’ve sweated throughout the winter time, and now i’m moving to a state that snows a majority of the year. WHAT AM I THINKING? Well, i’m thinking about the people that need help. I’m doing this for myself, getting a new start, starting a new life, living healthier, but i’m also doing it for the people struggling every day with mental health crisis’.

This all means, I have a month to pack my stuff, pack up my dog and cat and move 1,700 miles away from home. A month to find housing, and to solidify the specifics of this job. Can I do this? Yes, I can, and YES I did. I applied for a one bedroom cute little green house, without a cosigner, and I was approved the next day. And within a week, I will have my lease to sign. The next big step was to find someone to take over my rental house in Texas, which I did in a matter of days. With the help of my mother, father and my sister, I was able to complete all of this. I haven’t slept much at night due to my anxiety of moving hitting me right before bed, but I am comforted knowing that i’m not doing this alone!

AND THE NEXT THING TO LOOK FORWARD TO IS THE DRIVE TO MONTANA WITH MY MOTHER AND MY SISTER. The stops along the way, Moab, Monument Valley, Idaho Falls, this nature loving girl’s heart is so FULL!

I hope y’all are ready to hear updates and notifications of this journey!

With love,

HANNAH MONTANA 🙂

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