This last week has been much more of an introspective sort of week. My internship supervisors have completed my midterm evaluation and have asked me to evaluate myself as well. This is very difficult to do because I want to be the best therapist I can be. Unfortunately, that leads me to hold myself to unreasonable and at times, unrealistic expectations for myself.
So I have been trudging through this challenging task with all of this in mind. Fortunately for me a very important point was brought to my attention…
A few days ago I was working on the pediatrics floor of St. Johns hospital when I approached a patient’s room. As usual I knocked, said hello, introduced myself and what I do and asked if the patient would be interested in doing music with me. The patient shook his head and said no. With the guardian’s interest and encouragement I walked to the patients bedside and asked about the toys he was playing with.
Soon thereafter the patient agreed to playing a song. Throughout the session we took frequent breaks to talk about his family, toys, and interests of his. His affect was flat through most of the session but appeared to be relaxed so we kept going. Finally, it was time to go. After I sang goodbye, the patient’s eyes began to well up with tears and he nodded when his guardian asked him if he liked the music.
This patient did not express outright interest in active music making, but because I was able to engage with him he was able to have a musical experience that clearly meant a lot to him in the end.
The reason why I tell this story is because three months ago when I first began my internship, I would not have attempted engaged a patient after being told no. I’m not even sure that I would have left my supervisor’s side in any given patient’s room. Internships are meant to be challenging, difficult, new, exciting, terrifying, eye opening, and truly an experience that can only be defined as organized chaos. This enviornment fosters rapid growth.
To measure success without understanding where I have been and where I am now would be an entirely inaccurate and meaningless measurement.
So my very important point, or epiphany was centered around the idea of growth.
Growth is the most important thing. No greatness came from stagnation.
If you’re growing your getting closer to your goals everyday.