Life Update: The Next Chapter

For those who have been out of the loop, I recently announced a beginning of a new chapter in my life on IG and no, I’m not launching a clothing line or beauty brand. I don’t love fashion or beauty to that degree, and no, I’m not releasing any presets hah. Just to be clear, I know plenty of people who do all of these things and in no way talking ill of them or hating on anyone — it is just not my thing.

Bustle did an interview with me a month ago, in which I revealed what my next steps were.

*Recommended to read the feature first before continuing on to the backstory.

After being a full-time blogger for 4 years, I found myself questioning my purpose. I wanted to do more; I became unmotivated and really felt like I was just going through the motions everyday. I was too comfortable and while there is nothing wrong with that at all, I personally found it unsettling. I then stumbled upon @LisaOliveraTherapy’s account and found myself resonating with all her writing. I loved her style and presentation, and became more than a little obsessed over what she was sharing. I believe I started spamming my own IG stories with all her posts, LOL. However, a lot of my followers loved it too and started following her as well.

As I continued stalking her IG, I wondered, how can I be this knowledgable? How can my writing help people like this? I clicked on her website and read, “Hello! I’m Lisa. I’m a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist….” Wait, a what?! I honestly had no idea that MFT’s existed, I mean, I don’t know anyone personally who does this. I just always thought the possible career options for psychology majors would be counseling or psychiatry. I then started looking up information on MFT programs, how to become one, California requirements, schooling, etc. Literally within 3-4 days, I decided that I was going to pursue this path. That being a LMFT was what I wanted and what I believe my purpose is. Helping others has always been something I enjoyed and my blog/IG’s underlying theme has been to promote self-growth. I’ve had handful of personal conversations with people all over the world over their personal issues involving depression, family, suicide, relationship issues, etc., but always knew I couldn’t go beyond offering a phone number they can call to get further help or websites for more information — because I don’t have the professional background or means to help further.

You know when things just make sense all of a sudden? That’s exactly what happened to me and everything fell into place really quickly. The next thing I knew, I was talking to program coordinators, reviewing schools to attend, and applied before I even told KSOLE! Haha. Yeah, he was surprised.

While I will be focused on marriage and families, there’s two key things I also want to make sure I really work on during my journey and career as a MFT — to help raise awareness within Asian American and Pacific Islander communities about mental health and wellness, and to assist creatives and entrepreneurs. When I quit my job, I went through a tough transitional period and not many people could relate. In fact, I fell into a short depression during the first two years of entrepreneurship because no one tells you the truth. We hear overnight success stories and read about how people got to where they are, but there’s so much that’s left out because it’s not glamorous to talk about. As someone who has gone through the corporate transition into entrepreneurship, I feel that my background and experience will allow me to connect on a deeper level with creatives and entrepreneurs.

As an advocate for suicide prevention and mental wellness, and someone who speaks about personal depression and my own connections to Alzheimer’s and diabetes, it was only natural for me to want to go beyond donating time and money. While I am still figuring out more ways to help, I believe that being a MFT will allow me to grow beyond who I am and make an impact within my community. It is by no means, an easy career. It’ll take me 4-5 years to complete the program and my required hours, that’s assuming I find placement for my hours easily. There’s two exams required before becoming licensed and opening a private practice is not an easy task either. I have a lot of work ahead of me, however it is going to be worth it!

Does this mean I’m quitting the blog? NOPE. The first two years are pure schooling — online classes. The last two years is when things will eventually shift and something will have to give, as that’s when I’ll be interning/in clinicals. Balancing reading, homework, projects, traveling, and everything else in my life has not been too bad but I’m only in my first and a half month. I started end of May. However, I do feel a lot more pressure and have started to set more boundaries. I also have started seeing a MFT who works with creatives often so I have someone keeping me sane, and I have my personal trainer to help me alleviate tension and stress via workouts.

I know I will be learning and growing a lot through these next 4-5 years and there are going to be times where I’ll probably be crying and so stressed/exhausted too. However, that’s all a part of this path I have decided to embark on and I hope to keep you all updated once a quarter on how things are going as I want to take you on it with me! Especially if anyone else is thinking about going back to school/starting grad school, unsure of changing in any way, etc.

If there’s ONE takeaway I want to ingrain into you, it is this — IT DOES NOT MATTER HOW OLD YOU ARE, if you feel like changing your path, do it. Do not let society’s expectations and supposed standards stop you from being happy. You can restart, recreate, and redo your life AS MANY TIMES AS YOU WANT — as long as that’s what YOU want. It’s OK to be 31 and finally figure out what the hell you want to do. It’s OK to be lost and confused at ANY age, it’s normal and completely fine as long as you are taking the steps and doing something that will help you figure it out. DO NOT just sit there and think it’s going to hit you, fall into your lap, be given to you. You have to actively seek out what you want and by all means, explore all avenues that interest you. Sometimes your passion ends up turning into a job that actually burns you out, and in turn, no longer interests you. So it’s important to try a variety of things and see which one really sticks/brings you happiness.

Wishing you the best of luck in your own journey and if you have any questions about this career or your own journey, feel free to DM me on Instagram!