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  • jlopez571

The Origin Story

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

Hey Humans! So nice to meet you. I assume if you are here that means you have been bopping around the rest of the Therapy With Jenna site and know a little about me. What you wouldn't know is that creating my therapy practice has been a HUGE life change. Ahhh! To quote my father, what about your 401k?! I have been a therapist and provided mental health services for my whole career, but I have never been my own boss or a business owner. I have never not had a set salary, benefits and, you guessed it, a 401k, with matching! That was a lot of security and stability to give up to take a shot on myself. So I thought it was a great idea to come here and talk about cha cha cha cha changes.

Change is hard even when it is good and we feel the change is worth it. It requires us to examine ourselves in a deep and meaningful way in order to figure out what actions and ideas we are going to need to take to get there. This is why so often humans avoid change because the self examination process can be difficult and is not always going to feel good. In my case, I was working in the schools as a Social Worker and here comes Corona virus. I have worked incredibly hard on my hypochondria over the years, but nothing prepares a hypochondriac for a global pandemic. This is what triggered the idea I may need to make a big life change. Can I be in a building with 1000's of potentially asymptomatic teenagers and manage my anxiety, will they wear masks, won't they wear masks, Oh my!

Once the idea was planted, the first thing I examined was, should I be making a decision based from fear and anxiety? When I sat with that, the answer was pretty clear, I don't want to be someone who is driven by fear. So, no, I should not decide to leave my job out of fear of the Coronavirus. Ok great, problem solved! Except there was still this very subtle voice in the back of my head saying, but you don't want to go back to that job. My inner voice was being pretty clear and so she was hard to ignore. This made me take a step back and think about the previous school year, before Covid. Doing this allowed me to remember how unhappy I had been. When I really examined those feelings, I realized I had been unhappy for at least the past year alone. The next question I asked myself was; well then, what has been keeping you there? It turns out stability is a hell of a drug.

I pride myself on being someone who has never been afraid to do things my own way, being independent and not shying away from the unconventional. So, WOW, was it a blow to the ole ego to realize that the things that had kept me in a job that was slowly making me feel pretty terrible were the safety and security of it's conventionality. When I thought about leaving behind all the standard norms of salary, benefits and a retirement plan, it made the pit of my stomach tighten like I was free falling through the air with no end in site. It was terrifying. There I was again, realizing, I was making decisions rooted in fear. Fear of failure, fear of not having the income level I had worked so hard as a Social Worker to achieve (in case you didn't know we are egregiously underpaid and under valued), fear of losing a decent insurance plan and fear of not having money 30 years from now to use to live on.

So. Much. Pressure.

Luckily, my previous self evaluation had helped me to figure out, I do not want to make decisions based in fear. So I knew I had to let these fears go in order to figure out if a major life change was what I needed.

Spoiler alert, it turned out it was exactly what I needed! I took all those fears out of the equation and asked myself, are you happy with your job. The answer was, No. Then, I asked myself, what would make you happy with a job. The answers included but were not limited to; being the boss, taking my mornings back and being able to focus on my children without rushing out the door, doing therapy, helping humans grow and evolve, giving back to my Queer community. Once I was able to focus on my true wants and desires, rather than my fears, it was very apparent I needed to quit my job and make a change.

This is the origin story of my practice, Therapy With Jenna. Was quitting a very good, stable and highly sought after (summer offs!) job in Social Work scary? Hell yeah it was. Does that free falling feeling causing a giant pit in my stomach come back over and over again? Of course it does. Have I cried? Um, yeah, I am human aren't I. Has it been incredibly fulfilling, empowering and satisfying to take a chance on myself? Absofuckinlutely!

So, come along for the ride my friends. In addition to providing quality therapy services, I hope to connect with humans and process the life stuff here on the blog.

I look forward to connecting with you!

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