Recently, while teaching, I was compelled to write the words, “You are loved,” on a chalkboard outside my classroom. I wrote those words just seconds before I entered the classroom when taking a moment to consider my journey over this past year. I took many grand leaps to step out of my comfort zone in both my personal and professional life, bravely vaulting forward into the unknown. When fear shadowed my path, I remembered that indeed I was loved and with that little else mattered. Fear, then, did not stand a chance of disrupting my path and amazing things happened. I remember thinking that each of my students also took giant leaps of bravery as they started their art therapy internships, a sort of shared journey into unknown and oftentimes uncomfortable waters. When leaving for the day I noticed that the words, “You are beautiful,” had appeared underneath what I had written. What a treat it was to see those statements together–A true testament to my belief that small, positive things can, and will, grow in meaningful ways.
With this in mind I started this painting and incorporated those words in the initial layer. As this painting evolved it also turned into a piece about loss. I learned that The Sarah I. and Albert G. Reuben Counseling Center, where I have been employed for the past 6+ years, was closing down. This decision feels like a devastating loss to our community. I am incredibly proud of the work that I did at The Counseling Center. I have put my heart and soul into beautiful work with countless survivors of unimaginable trauma. As The Counseling Center prepares to close, I remember that my clients’ work to heal continues to grow with them. Like this simple sentence that I wrote on the chalkboard that grew when shared with others, they too can find the next sentence in their healing story. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work at The Counseling Center. I am grateful to have been supported in the past to grow and develop my craft with extremely talented and hard-working colleagues. The Sarah I. and Albert G. Reuben Counseling Center, all that you have been to so many: You will not be forgotten.