(Written in August 2016 but unpublished)
Growing up I was taught not to brag and always be humble. Receiving this honor last Friday was overwhelming on many levels. Had I been able to get words organized and out of my mouth, I might have said things more eloquent.
I was so moved being invited into such a prestigious circle of individuals I look up to, admire, and aspire to be more like.
I've felt called to be in the helping profession all of my life and spent the last 23 years doing what I love. The clients I've seen, the colleagues I've had, and the places I've worked - positive and negative - helped me grow more passionate about the profession.
Spending the last 5 years at UNT, sharing my experiences with future counselors, has been such a rewarding result of my life's work. Investing in the future of our profession is a payoff that's hard to top.
TAAP is the vessel that guided me to expand my network and group of support. This profession is unique and I value people who "get me". I have met some of my dearest friends and most brilliant colleagues through the association.
My mom was the first person to introduce me to the concept of counseling. When I was 15 she took me to counseling the first time. She was a saint to have the heart to love me through my turbulent adolescence. She bought me the first self-improvement books I ever read. Her heart and unrelenting belief in me molded my understanding of support. I know she is in my heart everyday but I dearly wish she could have been with me in human form on Friday.
I am away from home for hours and days for work, conferences, advocacy events, and rallies. My family - even when they don't understand the reason I keep going when I'm exhausted - understand my desire and support me. Having them with me at the banquet was such an honor. I am so grateful for my brother and sister for taking time from their lives to be there. I am grateful they love and support me and my purpose. I was so blessed to also have Caleb's dad with me. He has been one of my most loyal allies for close to 20 years.
Apart from being made for the helping profession, the only other purpose in my life of which I'm 100% clear is being a mother to my son. I was thrilled he was by my side and that I have made him proud.