Monday, August 19, 2013

Amy's Bandwagon: When I Grow Up

Being a part of this challenge has really made me think and do a little self analysis on many different areas of my life. The most recent area of my life that I have been analyzing is my career path. I guess you could say I'm always thinking and questioning my choice of careers. When I was 18, I chose a really good small school with the goal to work with small children. 20+ years later, I have been working with the geriatric population for 16 years. I like what I do, but I don't love what I do. I have worked in Nursing homes since 1997 and now that it's 2013, I'm not sure that I find it fun, interesting, or challenging.

Before I decided to go back for graduate work 7 years ago, I had thought about getting a graduate degree in nutrition or art therapy. On some level, I am happy that I have a MSW (masters in social work), but on another level, I wish I had done something different. Ultimately, it was a good decision to go back for my MSW. No matter where my career takes me, my social works skills will always be useful. What I need to do now is figure out where to direct my social work path and hopefully find something that will allow me to engage with others and use my passions in my career, or at least be passionate about the path that my career takes me.

I am thinking that I would love to find a way to combine my social work education with art therapy and with eating disorders and nutrition. I even wrote one of my main social work papers in grad school on art therapy and social work. I tailored the paper to scrapbooking and social work. I have taken some conferences for continuing education credits with a focus on art therapy. I need a few more credits when it comes time to renew my license in 2014. I am hoping to find some credits within the nutrition/eating disorder/art therapy arena.

Unfortunately with 3 kids and limited income and time, I don't have the luxury to do whatever it takes to find credits in the area that I want. I will be looking for them, but unfortunately, it may come down to what ever credits I can find and then hope that I'll find educational materials that I can learn from another time.

One of my concerns with nutrition and eating disorders as a professional career path is the fact that there are too many medically based programs and educational classes and not enough holistic ones. I don't just want to continue fixing the outside problem without finding out the real reason why. I love watching shows like "The Biggest Loser" and "Extreme Makeover," but I don't think they delve nearly enough into the reasons why people are addicted to foods or why they eat foods that they shouldn't. Why does your body crave certain foods, foods that aren't good for you? I hope they go into this in more detail behind the scenes and just don't show it on the show. I know that I am starting to learn a little about why I make certain choices that I make. I am learning to be more aware of the choices I make and consciously decide to eat something instead of just stuffing my face. I still have a long way to go. I still need to make better decisions more often, but I am making better decisions all the time.

I'm hoping that I can continue to learn more about stress management, food addiction, eating disorders, and other areas that I am interested in and start to manage my own life. Then maybe I can start to feel comfortable about working with others with these issues. I honestly believe that art therapy can be a complement to helping people with nutrition and eating disorders. I just hope that I can one day honestly figure out what I want to do with my life and be happy and passionate about my work!


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