A couple of months ago I had the crazy idea to start a blog. I call it crazy, because sometimes I wonder if I’m too old for this, and well, I’m not a writer [You will notice soon enough]. I even took a creative writing class in hopes of it sparking some hidden talent that just needed to be teased out. Nope. Didn’t happen. I have always had this ongoing struggle of putting thoughts to words, whether it be verbally or in writing. But, I’ve also had this perpetual need to document my life. I have been my own historian since age 10 [Yah…I have it recorded]. So many concert tickets, movie tickets, travel tickets, photos, wrist bands, cards, notes, journals, and other random mementos. I’ve toned it down a bit…I was becoming a borderline hoarder, and suddenly saving all that stuff is more of hassle when you move into your own apartment. I’m rambling already. I like to consider this my practice round, which I’m sure there will be many.

I’m aiming for raw, fearless, loud and flawed. I go through life in a very unstructured fashion, and I don’t expect this blog to be any different. I’m continuing to embrace whatever is thrown my way. I’m eager to learn, grow, and find my presence, my voice, especially as I get closer to entering the professional world.
There are various benefits of different types of writing, and a couple caught my interest recently. I stumbled across an article by John F. Evans, Ed.D discussing the potential health benefits of expressive writing. I’m trying to follow up more on it, and maybe one of these days I’ll try the Pennebaker Writing Prompt. Expressive writing lacks structure and focuses more on thoughts and feelings, it’s unreserved. It has been found to be a method of healing in times of trauma or conflict.
There is also reflective journal writing. In a study with 131 physiotherapy students undergoing their first clinical placement, they were guided to complete a journal accounting their experience. Majority found that the journal helped them learn from their experiences and helped develop their reflective thinking. Reflective writing has also been used in other health fields. Overall, journal writing may be a beneficial addition to enhancing a clinical experience. I plan to keep my own journal, and hopefully share some of my learning experiences along the way.
Tomorrow is the first day of my first clinical rotation. The first day I step out of the comfort zone that is known as didactic education, where all my uncertainties are tucked safely in a classroom. I finally get to go back to working with patients, the very patients that always remind me why I joined the health care field in the first place. This time I go by a different title…now I go by  student physical therapist. Surreal I know. How do I feel right now? Simple and cliche response, I’m excited, but nervous. Nervous is probably an understatement. Maybe it’s the “am I prepared?” nervous OR the “first day of school, don’t know anyone” kind of nervous OR simply just a “don’t know what to expect” nervous. Probably all of the above. Either way, the truth is, this is the moment I’ve been waiting for. The one I’ve been working so hard to get to. My favorite type of learning experience. I just need to make this experience my own, and take advantage of the opportunity. So right now I can be scared or nervous, but that doesn’t change the fact that tomorrow I will walk into that outpatient ortho clinic at 8am hoping I don’t do anything stupid and hoping my coffee gets me through the morning. Will I sink or swim? Who knows. But if I sink, there’s always the next day. What good are mistakes if we don’t learn from them.