Transitioning my home and my business from Massachusetts to California has me thinking a lot about gratitude... and guilt. Today I turned off the lights to my office, locked the door behind me, and turned in my keys and my badge on my way out. Just an hour before I led a group about goodbyes, surrounded by tearful clients who know the tradition all too well. It was not "See you later," or "See you around." It was "take good care," and I meant it.
I spent the last seven months teaching clients the ins and outs of self-care and coping skills, how to say "no" in healthy ways, and how to spend time productively instead of succumbing to negative thought patterns. I have seen clients come and go; and some that return. I have watched jealousy arise in clients when their peers get to go home before they do. I extended grace to those who return, reminding them that there is no shame in seeking help. This time it was my turn to go. A few tears ran down my cheek as I walked down the hallway and out to my car for the last time, feeling a little guilty for leaving. I began to count my blessings during my time there, remembering the clients that I guided toward a little more hope.
Now I face the road ahead (quite literally), to the west coast where I will help children with autism find their own voice. They are waiting for me; clients who gravitate toward music and resonate with song. It is time to move on and embrace this new beginning, however challenging, because there will always be one simple truth. There will always be clients.