Julie Galloway, LPC-RPT
The Pomp, the Circumstance and the Class of 2021
We have entered the month that can only be known as Celebration Central... it's May and its graduation time for the Class of 2021. These grads are transitioning to another phase in their life's journey with caps and gowns to honor the hard work and dedication given for years of hard work.
It’s been a tough year for everyone with COVID and all of the loss we have experienced. But for me, this week has been brewing in my heart all year long. My son was supposed to be in a cap and gown and my tears should have been because of the sounds of Pom and Circumstance. But because of circumstances that were out of our control, my son is not a 2021 graduate.
Make no mistake, I love, enjoy and accept my son. He is my muse and the greatest teacher of life and love. Every meaningful thing that I do can be connected back to something that has to do with him. He has faced more difficulty and rejection than any human being that I know. So, when I think I can't do something, a little voice inside of my head says,"you have a body that works, a brain that functions and a voice that can be heard, you have all that you need."
Because of my journey with my son, I became a mental health counselor to help other families. I had a mission to help others ride the waves that often accompany the difficulties faced when living with exceptionalities.
It was a sweet surprise to me that once I started my career, I realized that I love working with all families with or without exceptions. I just LOVE what I do. I take pride in my work which means I am grateful for the time I get to spend with my clients.
This year, through my adventures with a blooming private practice, I actually became support krewe for a few seniors as they navigated their last year of high school. There were big moments of pure excitement that my clients' shared with me and some that left me to thank Jesus for my son's innocence. But mostly, I heard stories about facing fears, navigating difficult relationships and how to plan for the unknown. Most of these struggles include bravery, courage and lots of resilience.
Although, I have the skills to separate myself, I was reminded a few times about the what if’s and should haves in my personal life. The very thing that I help my clients acknowledge is how irrational thinking patterns is the enemy of Joy. (the moment when the therapist get her own box check...this is the one)
So as I sit and reflect over the beautiful graduation pictures on social media, I thought I'd include one, too. Here he is (with his shirt on backwards) his face covered showing the most beautiful eye that just so happens to be looking right at me. I see you, I know you work hard but I am not ready for you to transition to another phase of your life...you have more lessons to teach me.
Now I can admit that this May was not my son’s rite of passage, this was never meant for him. He did not belong to the Class of 2021. For me, I did experience a little piece of it and I felt the pride of someone who knew a few courageous teens and that feels good enough.
To the Class of 2021-Thank you for the sweetest seat and don't forget that you have everything that you need... a body that functions, a brain that works and a voice that can be heard.
Let the adventures begin!