I will go on record and say that the past year of my life has been the most challenging one of my professional career. I was trying to run two programs and was chronically understaffed and overwhelmed. I worked through my lunch every day and after hours every day. I made it through the best that I could, but it ultimately took a toll on my sanity and health. I wound up with a relapse of mono and a stomach ulcer. I lost site of the things I truly enjoy and went into survival mode.
Still, I plugged along. Being an adult means bills. It also means living up to your responsibilities. Working with children, I knew no matter how hard it was, I had to do the best that I could for them. They drove me crazy half the time, but those kids were counting on me. I plugged along and got through each week. I made it to Christmas, then to Spring Break (onto a much needed Caribbean cruise), and eventually through the end of the school year.
I never lost site of the fact that I know my ‘self’. Just getting the job done has never been part of me. I need to be able to grow, to get better, to improve. Knowing that my talents lied elsewhere, made it an especially trying time for me. I was also brutally honest with myself and others about the work that I was doing.
“And to the degree that the individual maintains a show before others that he himself does not believe, he can come to experience a special kind of alienation from self and a special kind of wariness of others.“
I’m lucky, it worked out for me. I was able to transition into a position as an Executive Assistant position recently. I have consistent hours and less emotional stress. I help coordinate things and make sure events happen without a hitch. For the first time in many years I feel like I’m honoring my professional background in radio and event planning, academia, and my graduate degrees. It has also given me clarity to reflect on my life.
No matter which career path I follow, I’m still the same person. I’m a performer. Music speaks to my soul. I’m analytical. I’m creative. I’m driven. I’m a staunch believer in equality and social justice. I’m never satisfied with status quo. Life is a journey and I have a lot of roads left to travel. These are the same answers my fifteen year old self would have given. I have a certain amount of pride in that.
While my goals have shifted, I’ve never lost sight of my dreams. Here’s to acknowledging your self and making changes in order to stay true. In the months that come, you’ll see a lot more writing from me. You can also be fairly certain, you won’t be seeing me working with children.