It’s been years in the making.
So, full disclosure, this post was an attempt at manifesting something I wanted. That thing is the job I now have. I’m not saying that the manifesting practice worked, but when I wrote this, I was willing to try anything. The goal was to write about the job as if I already had it, or to write as if the offer had been made and accepted. It was difficult, not knowing what my fate would be, but the wait was worth it. I’m now two months in, and I can honestly say that each day, each week, is getting better. Let this post serve as proof that I can be happy. Let it also serve as a reminder that you deserve more than what you’ve been handed, that we all do, and that you should keep searching until you find that beautiful thing that keeps you coming back.
My journey continues, but I’m happy to say that for once, for once in this life, I have struck gold. Today, I got offered the position of Resource Navigator, and although I wanted to accept before the end of the sentence, I played it as cool as I possibly could. It’s not original, I know, but this feeling inside of me is that of a kid, tearing down the stairs and into the living room, to see what has been laid out under the Christmas tree. It felt like Christmas, and yet, there was only one gift I wanted. There was only one thing that was going to bring me joy.
This year, year 34, and maybe even 2021, has been so eventful. There was my first real relationship at the beginning of the year, there was a summer of finding myself, and then to cap it off, there was a question that changed my life.
“So, what else could you see yourself doing?”
For years, I was convinced that unless I was writing from sunup to sundown, I wouldn’t be happy and fulfilled. I was singularly focused on it, but it wasn’t always that way. The line between love and hate is razor thin. I hated writing for years, didn’t have the patience for it. A big factor in choosing my undergrad major was that there would be minimal writing required. I was a strong test taker. I could memorize pretty much anything, and so college was challenging, but doable. I never thought my style of cramming and memorization would work at a collegiate level. It resulted in unnecessary stress and academic anxiety, but I had the grades to prove that my system worked. Business was good. I assumed I would do something in finance, but I couldn’t muster up much enthusiasm for it.
I thought I hated writing, but there was a hint that things were about to change. In my ninth and final semester, I took a creative writing course, and enjoyed it. Yes, the grading was lenient, but there was more to it than that. Maybe for the first time in a long time, I was tapping into a long-dormant part of myself, a part that’s very creative. After my last collegiate final, I sat down, opened up a blank page, and just wrote, poured out all my thoughts and emotions, and then went out for a cheap coffee. It didn’t feel strained or forced, the writing. What it felt like was that something was surging through me, or pouring out of me, and I could barely type fast enough to keep up with all of the words, ideas, and phrases.
Something had changed. I was now a writer, and although I wasn’t any good, I was committed to making this at the very least a hobby. Hate turned into a love that gained strength the more I practiced. Everything I’ve done in service of this hobby has only intensified that feeling. I’ve been enamored of the craft ever since.
For years, I was so convinced I wanted a job in Marketing and Communications, or, MarComm. That was the place I thought I would be happy, but I couldn’t find my way in. It made me miserable. It seemed like such an obvious fit. I tried and tried, but couldn’t make my dream a reality. I sought it blindly, tuning everything else out in the process. What I didn’t realize was that I had overlooked a crucial moment in my history. I remember speaking to my colleague about being connected to the mission, and how important it was for me. I’d just spent 17 months doing home visits, and I knew I wouldn’t be happy if I wasn’t interacting with the families that we were serving. I took a job that allowed me to make an impact, but not in the way that I wanted. It was a case of saying one thing and doing another. Writing was blocking me from seeing anything else.
And so when I sat down with another colleague, and they asked me what else I might want to do, I blurted out, “Programs.” I’m not sure where it came from. I had been doing some work with the department, and so maybe the word was just floating around in my brain. Maybe, though, maybe it was fate, and the tectonic plates of my life were about to shift.
I started working cases, and I haven’t looked back.
It’s funny, and a little cliche, but when you know, you feel it so deeply that you don’t have to even ask the question, the question being, “Is this what you want?” Within a week of being on this path, I was sold. I texted my coworkers and had a long conversation with my best friend that night. I chatted with this friend for over an hour, and told him I was celebrating. Even if things didn’t work out how I wanted them to, I knew that I had found a path. I had found my way in. I had found my people. It was right here, all the time, and even though I wish I’d noticed it sooner, I’m glad that I saw it at all. I’m always so worried about not noticing things. A part of me has always been worried that I only made sense in academia. Another part of me worried that I’d be lost forever.
Two weeks in, I made my commitment known, even though I wouldn’t know about the job for some time. It was challenging to deal with the uncertainty. I’m sure that my friends and therapist are tired of hearing about it. It’s what occupies my mind the good majority of each day, and for good reason. This would be good for me, of course, but it would be so great for the families that we serve. It’s not that I’m truly adept or a natural or anything like that, but rather, I go back to an earlier memory.
10 years ago, I told my ailing father that I had passion. He knew when to be gentle, warm, funny, and also when to be tougher. His eyes scanned me, and his response was swift. “For what?” he asked me, a little incredulous. That question resulted in a search that would take years. The results were more questions, a palpable feeling of being lost, unsolicited advice, and a soul-searching journey that challenged my mental health. It was a long and arduous journey, but I have an answer to his question. I never dreamed it would take me this long to figure it out, but I am in the belief that I am exactly where I should be at exactly the right time.
My first meeting with the team, we did a “Temperature Check.” The day before, I’d worked an event, and I was physically exhausted. We went around the group, and people talked about how they were feeling, and they were honest. I came clean about being tired, and was met with cheerful smiles and encouragement. I’ve never felt so welcomed and supported in my entire life. Many of these people, I’ve known them for years, and yet, I feel like I’m meeting so many of them for the first time. I’ve entered a completely different world and found out that even though it is challenging, it’s also profoundly beautiful. I am grateful for the guidance that so many have provided. They didn’t look at me strangely, but rather, they acted as if I had always been there.
I’m only happy when I’m in the fire. I need the fire there, to act as a catalyst for personal growth, to help me tap into the emotions and knowledge that are within, that I’ve gained from so many various life experiences. The work that I do now, it perfectly encapsulates the human experience. There is joy, there is fulfillment, there is sadness, and there is at times anger. I’ve been speaking the language of challenging conversations my entire life, and now I get to use it every day. It’s as natural as anything I’ve ever done. To be able to be that voice on the other end of the phone that can offer assistance, and tell that family that we’ll do everything we can to help, I’ve been waiting to do that my entire life.
This is the end of one path, and the beginning of another. I’m no longer content to float. I’m committing, and yes I am going whole hog. This is a brand new adventure for me, and I could not be more grateful, or overwhelmed by emotion. I only wanted to do this if I’d give myself completely to it. There is no doubt in my mind that I’m in this with everything that I have. Every day has been an absolute pleasure, and I hope I get to do it for a long, long time. I tried to write this like I already had it, but I think I needed to let go of some stuff as well. Ultimately, I’m glad that I am where I am, and that I’m happy. Thanks for reading.