October 16, 2016

Staying Motivated With a Busy Schedule

Leggings: Express 
Sweater: Gianni Bini (old), similar oversized sweater here 
Shoes: Target (old), similar here 

Meet my baby, Ava who is our beautiful 3 year old golden retriever. Ava is the light of our lives and is the sweetest dog I've ever had. When I first met Joey he insisted on getting a golden retriever! I love dogs and I have always had them growing up, but I was living in Pittsburgh while I was completing my doctoral program and he was living in Ohio... I hated to miss out on the rotten puppy stage. I also knew that golden's shed and I was worried I would be vacuuming constantly (which I do!). Despite the hesitations, we eventually got her and he kept her at his home until I completed school. Luckily, he would bring her to see me when he could and seeing her little face helped keep me sane through the busiest time of my life! I couldn't love her any more!

After completing my masters degree in mental health counseling and working for a couple years as a therapist, I decided to further my education and was accepted into Duquesne University's doctoral program. I remember feeling SO determined to follow this dream and I wasn't going to stop until it was finished! I knew the next 4 years of my life might be hectic, but I had no idea how challenging it was going to be to balance it all. I lived alone in a city which I didn't know a soul, worked two jobs, and remained a full-time student. I had a terrible break-up during the first year but before I knew it, the love of my life caught me completely off guard! I got married during my third year of school, bought a house, moved to my hometown and commuted to school for the last year. I wrote my dissertation for the last 1.5 years (which was about 350 pages), had to distance from family and friends to complete it, missed out on so many family functions, activities, and gatherings. I never thought it would end! However, despite all of the challenges it brought, I was BEYOND LUCKY to have my family, husband, and Ava who pushed me, supported me, and encouraged me very step of the way! I am so thankful for them and I am so relieved that it's over- 10.5 years of school is no joke! I would have to say my support system was my number one motivation to complete the program! I now get to empower, motivate, and encourage people to make changes in their life.
 In addition to life as a therapist, I would like to teach at a university in the future, but right now I am keeping busy with work, researching and publishing my work, and now this blog : ) 

What have been your biggest challenges and what kept you motivated?

"Stay positive, work hard, and make it happen"

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