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Corporate Girl in an Inner City World







Hello Again!

It’s been a while…been over a year since I’ve posted anything for Heart Doctor and I know some of you have been missing it! After a year of huge transition, I’m back with a new series of journal style blog posts that summarize my revelations, thoughts, and reflections as I move from Corporate America to the inner city…and begin my practicum internship counseling women at Union Gospel Mission’s women’s shelter called “The Hope Place.”

There, beautiful women of all shapes and sizes, who have been marred by physical abuse, substance dependency, homelessness, sexual abuse, trauma, and loss are slowly restore to life– to dignity and safety…beauty for ashes!




Climbing down the ladder

At my 5 year mark with a successful career trajectory at Microsoft, it started to dawn on me that…I wasn’t MADE to do this. Yes, I was gifted, I enjoyed the business and corporate world, I was a top performer, but…deep inside, I knew I was created for something more. Something different. To wake up every morning and know that I know that I know, this is it. I was created to do this. I was crafted fearfully and wonderfully to do this….to do what?

This was the question.

I write about that process in more detail in my previous blogs (Writing my Obituary and Career Health Check )- the process was centered around asking myself 2 things:

“What gives me the greatest bliss in life?” and “What infuriates me most?– something in the world I want to see changed.”

In that process, I realize that first of all- I enjoy one on one time talking to people about life and going deep, more than anything on this earth! And secondly, that anything that creates what I call a “sick cycle” of dysfunction in family, marriages, individuals…infuriates me the most. The things that cause or are the results of fatherlessness.

(Think: porn, adultery, drugs, eating disorders, infidelity, poverty, etc)

Tall order.

Not like I can save the world but God directed my attention to the possibility of going back to school–to get equipped. He reminded me that at the tender age of 16, shortly after my parents divorced, I had actually asked God to be a…heart doctor. “To bind up the broken hearted…”

Fast forward and after 7 years at Microsoft, I resigned and am now moving into my 3rd year out of 5, getting my doctorate in Psychology and Counseling. Yes, God is answering my little prayer from so long ago…to make me an ACTUAL doctor…something I never would of imagined and rely on His grace daily to progress in. I left to get a degree that will open doors for me to write, speak, counsel, research--to do what I love, to fight what I HATE.





Why am I doing this?

This is the question I asked myself as I drive into my first day at my counseling internship. I was nervous and excited at the same time. The Hope Place building is new and beautiful…resembling a new dorm or hotel of some sort. It has its own kitchen, cafeteria, gym, computer lab…even a little beauty salon type room.

Strangely the building reminds me of my old office at Microsoft. But instead of people in business casual mulling the halls donned in business casual, there’s women…women of all shapes and sizes, of all ethnicities– their dress is simple, unadorned…and worn.  These women are true survivors.

Instead of conference meetings in the larger rooms, there are classes being held to educate the women on their rights. Their right to not be beaten. Their right to earn and spend their own money. Their right to be safe– healed and whole.

Instead of intense meetings drilling into business review numbers, the staff sits around a conference table showing pictures of the faces of new “guests”– one by one, telling sad stories of drugs, abuse, neglect, and jailtime. We analyze people here, not numbers.

Leaving Microsoft was scary for me. The security of the job, the pay, the benefits, the title, the travel…the prestige…the office with the view, the valet parking. Trust me, I did ask myself– am I crazy??  What did I just leave?

I will always love my time there and continue to work for them in more limited capacity– honestly, my analytical/high tech part of me needs to be gratified by that still. However…it wasn’t enough to be there. And moving on, I feel convicted that it is so easy to move from getting value and validation from that corporate job…to the title of doctor, the credentials, that status.

But WHY am I doing this?

But WHY do I get up each morning?

Do I live for title? Do I live for recognition? Do I live to check things off my to do list??

I realize that I have to imagine each day as my last. I think if I can choose what I do on my last day, it would be…to love someone. To make someone feel special. That’s what I want to do.


Daddy’s Girls

On my first day in my internship, I noticed many things. The biggest thing is what a special place this is…It really is such a place that is saturated with joy, God’s love, grace and…truth. In one of the classes they take (called ”Patterns of Abuse”), they read their “Bill of Rights”– the right to safety, their right to make positive changes, their right to not be responsible for other adult’s problems, their right to privacy… truly, a place for women to know their true identity, to walk out of patterns of destruction and into new life.

Another thing I really was surprised by was how the girls would sometimes even preach to each other during class time or community time (their morning devotional hour)– asking questions to encourage accountability or a woman to get out of abusive relationships they may currently be in. We don’t have to do all the counseling, they can counsel themselves too!


Baby Steps

As I make baby steps in my learning experience as a beginner therapist, I’m so excited to start learning and get hands on…past 2 years of text books and school work!

I started school with a myriad of interests but I still feel that my interests are very varied–(My interests are Emotion-Focused Therapy, Attachment Theory, Family/Marriage counseling, Women, Sexual Healing, etc– also interested in possibly focusing my doctoral expertise in sex trafficking aftercare). I am hoping that as I get hands on with some of these areas, I will narrow down my focus even more.

I think the key for me now is to get past the “Can I do this?,” the “Will I be good enough?,” the “Will I remember all the techniques/skills I learned – transferring head knowledge to practice?” and the “Will they look down on me because I come from a privileged background?” to….being confident daily in gratitude to give what I can…

…in and through Christ only.



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