Samara O'Shea

Feelings Become Words

Reader Hope from California left a comment on my “Back to School” blog yesterday and my heart skipped a beat. It’s beautifully written and enthusiastic. I have felt all this year that getting my MSW is an ideal next step for me. Unfortunately I haven’t been unable to articulate exactly how or why. Feelings have not become words for me in this case. Hope, however, hit the nail on the head with her comment. Reading it made me happy and sad all at once. I am thrilled for the next chapter in my life and sad to leave this one behind. I asked Hope if I could post her comment here and she graciously said yes. Thank you Hope—for reading this blog and sharing your thoughts with us.

Samara, I am thrilled for you! Thank you for leaving the website up. I’ve always loved writing and receiving letters and your site was one of the first I discovered when I went to out in to the ether to see if anyone else had this ‘crazy’ hobby. I subsequently bought both your books and a couple of others on letter writing. I truly thought I was the only one who had this devotion to this ‘dying’ art form but nope, there are plenty of us who love fine stationery, pretty stamps, and appreciate the unique characteristics of individual handwriting. Thank you for sustaining all of us who love the written word!

As for your future career and educational goals, well, I see them as a perfect next step from what you created on this site. At the very basic level letter writing is all about communicating between one person or entity and another. At the most intimate level the letter is a place to problem solve, lay one’s soul bare, become vulnerable, encourage, inspire, etc. Letter writing is the act of intimate written ‘conversation.’ What is therapy and counseling if not intimate conversation and the laying bare of one’s soul? I see your next step as completely serendipitous and you will no doubt find a home for your writer’s experience and considerable skill in your counseling career and methodologies.

My own career/educational experience crosses over a bit with yours. I have a Ph.D. in Performance Studies but never once thought of becoming a working actress. I, too, work for a university but in student affairs. I work with students all day every day and have had the pleasure of teaching, developing and teaching workshops, advising, leading teams, etc. While I’m not a stage actress my performance training and critical thinking skills have been invaluable to my current profession. In my wildest dreams I could not have planned for this but I’m pretty happy about how it all turned out.

Many blessings and best of luck to you!