Women of Impact(Posted July 9, 2020)
In August, I will be celebrating my 42nd year of having defended my doctoral thesis. I began my graduate studies at Washington University. After completing comprehensives exams, research for my masters and doctorate, working at the VA and at a children’s hospital, and a year at UNC-Chapel Hill for my internship, I earned my Doctorate. Then, in Atlanta, I had to take national, state, and oral exams to be admitted as a licensed psychologist. This is to say, I spent a good part of my young adult years preparing to do what I do. My identity has and continues to be tied in with being a clinical psychologist as both a career choice and the paid work I do. As I have contemplated retirement, I have wondered what could “take the place” of my practice and my professional identify. I am clearer now that my professional identity will continue whether I am carrying a caseload of clients for whom I provide services or continue volunteering with the Red Cross, with refugees and asylum seekers, or serve as an Adjunct Volunteer Professor in the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Department of Emory. I am now doing part-time independent practice but nearly full-time volunteer work as this has always been a cornerstone of my gratitude for having had the opportunities I have had and lived a life filled with meaningful work. There are other activities I hope to initiate or continue to enjoy; including writing poetry and short stories, traveling, learning to speak another language, having more time to read, becoming a more proficient cook, and spending more time with family, friends and the Transition Network. However, a gradual moving away from paid work but continuing my relationship to my profession is helping me transition but not leave behind what I have loved doing. However, it is not what I do that defines me but rather, who I am.
Material from www.thetransitionnetwork.org, 18:27:38 September 18, 2021.
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