This pandemic has thrown the gauntlet that officially changed me into a new person. Change may not be the correct word, as I have always had this part of me as a definitive characteristic. I am now a confident loner.

In high school I developed a handful of close friends, but had close acquaintances throughout all of the typical high school social “classes”. I made good with numerous people that included the jocks, the popular bitches, the hicks (aka farm folk), the nerds (I was one, so easy). I was an “in between-er”. My brother’s friend described my brother perfectly…


Tonight, we will celebrate.

Tonight we will celebrate. I will take the long train ride home. I’ll read a text from our roommates, asking if we are renewing our lease for next year. My hair will be whipped around in the chilly wind, and I’ll make my way to the corner liquor store for some red wine once I find my way home.

I’ll find two pieces of paper, tossed onto the bed and see the job offers that Nate has received. After 6 weeks of an internship, he’s been given a full job offer. My brain flutters from one possibility to the next…


I lay on the ice. Knowing that the ground below me is temporary creates an illusion of privilege. I am a sliver, laying on a slab of morphous, grateful for the moment of support. Grateful to be the sliver.

I gaze up at an expanse of cloud, stars, and sky. The moon is intruding on most everything, causing me to squint. A dart of vibration followed by a hum and boom, reminding me of my place as the sliver.

So many times I have experienced the natural world, the industrial world, the emotional world. They’re very different, but also so…


Clinical Social Work. I didn’t want it. I didn’t know what is was. About a year ago, I sat in my boss’ office and asked her if she thought I should pursue clinical social work in grad school. I remember her saying yes, but I don’t recall the reasoning.

At that point, my perception of clinical social work was something that was done in a hospital. It required medical knowledge and the ability to have a “strong” stomach because medical stuff was intense. I expertly lacked both of those qualities. But what the heck. Here I had a choice to…


Teenager.

Up until this year, it was a dreaded word for me. As a social worker, at my last job teenagers were avoided.

They have baggage, they run away, they will stay loyal to their birth parents(How is that actually a bad thing? It’s complicated..), they do the opposite of everything you tell them, they make their own rules.

It makes sense that as a welfare worker, teenagers are generally the most time consuming humans on a worker’s case load. But why? …


A discussion on vulnerability and strength within the pursuit of growth.

Our society gives us conflicting messages about vulnerability and strength. Lately, I have been struggling to hold the balance between the two.

What prompted me to reflect on the topic of vulnerability was a voicemail left by my internship supervisor at 1:33 PM on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. She called to let me know that she forgot to tell me something in supervision yesterday. It was about one of my recorded sessions with a client. She said in the message that it was not urgent, but she wanted to let me know about something she heard. Fear immediately took over…


If you are a Netflix regular, you have access to hours of quality time with the ultra calm and therapeutic painter Bob Ross. The Chill with Bob Ross series includes hours of Mr. Ross painting beautiful, Alaskan inspired landscapes. You may be lucky enough to choose an episode that features his pet squirrels or family member appearances. Nevertheless, Bob Ross paints the scenes with ease and in under 30 minutes. After watching a few episodes, you will ask yourself why you’re not standing in front of a canvas. I found myself thinking about the technique and nature scenes, and wondered…


I am a child protection social worker in central Wisconsin, and have been in my current position for just under two years. I work with foster children, their biological parents, and foster families.

I picked up a copy of “Three Little Words” written by Ashley Rhodes-Courter, in hopes of gaining more insight surrounding the child welfare system and foster care. Ashley’s recollections of her experiences were instantly captivating, and taught me unexpected lessons.

Children are so much more perceptive than adults tend to expect.

Ashley frequently spoke about conversations that her foster parents and caseworkers had that were supposed to…

Jillian Peterson

Foodie, Traveler, Social Worker, Child and Family Therapist, Future LICSW

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