My love affair with words started in a Brooklyn apartment in the 1970s.
My parents overheard two-year old me talking alone in my bedroom. I had memorized Chicken Little after hearing it read to me so many times and would sometimes hold the book and pretend to be reading as I recited it from memory. So when they found me with a book in hand, they assumed that's what I was doing. But when they got closer, they saw the holding Bing Bang Pig: a book they'd never read to me before.
I wrote my first story when I was 5; some pretty cliche poetry in high school; and then majored in English Literature in undergrad. I figured I'd end up teaching English in high school or college.
I've always loved words. But life took me in a different direction.
I left New York with my boyfriend, now husband. During a pit stop in Michigan, I decided to pursue a career in social work. In 2000, we moved to Portland, OR and I got my MSW. After almost two decades in that field, I decided it was time to move on. Closing my therapy practice was an incredibly difficult decision and process. But it was the right one for me.
After deciding to end my career as a social worker, I floated in liminal space for a while.
A few years before closing my practice, I had began courting my creativity again in new ways. I started writing poetry and posting it regularly on Instagram. I created an Etsy shop for photography and then later for poetry merchandise. I performed at a few storytelling events.
I found my way to celebrancy school and simultaneously began exploring copywriting as a career. I loved it so much that it lit a spark in me that I hadn't felt in a long time. Rather than force myself to choose one path, I decided to lean into my multi-faceted, needs-to-be-doing-lots-of-different-things-at-once-or-I-get-bored self. So I did some reading and took a course and started down that path as well.
Some overlapping themes in my past and present professional worlds:
A love of words and stories. Deeply listening. A desire to help people pursue their dreams and goals. Poetry. Beauty seeking & meaning making. Service. Putting words to things that are hard to articulate. Writing. Speaking. Space holding. Shining a light on things that are typically in the darkness. Bringing people together. Honoring what matters.
In a previous lifetime...
I was social worker for almost two decades. I held many roles throughout my career, but the majority of that time was spent as: school counselor/social worker in high schools; Dean of Students at East West College of the Healing Arts - a massage therapy training program; and therapist in private practice.
I also have a decade of teaching experience:
Faculty at East West College of the Healing Arts, Therapeutic Relationships course
Developed & taught continuing education course for LMTs called "The Ethics of Client-Centered Presence"
Adjunct Professor, Advisor, & Field Placement Liaison at Portland State University's School of Social Work