What is that saying? The only constant is change. David Bowie got it. Maybe I just need to listen to his jam on repeat to get me through what lies ahead.
Anvil to the Face
It’s been an exciting and exhausting week for ol’ Quitter. In fact I don’t think I’ve gone through such a range of emotions since puberty hit me like an anvil to the face thirty-three years ago. (It really is quite unsettling to have both tears of joy and sadness leaking from your eye holes at the same time.) But I’m all about feeling it, healing it, letting it go…and, of course, sharing it here.
I’m a Real Boy
At the ripe old age of forty-six I have been hired for my first full-time job. Salary. Benefits. Sick leave. Vacation Pay. Regular hours. As someone who has spent her entire adult life cobbling together part-time jobs, contracts and shift work, these are all novel concepts to me. I almost cried when I read the offer of employment letter and can only liken the experience to how Pinocchio felt when he discovered he was a “real,” boy. And it’s not about the money, anyone who works in the Social Services field can tell you it’s never about the dolla, dolla bills. It’s about this agency seeing the value and potential in me so much so that they are prepared to commit to me permanently. That’s a big deal.
Work That Matters
As I prepare to type this next line I‘m cringing at how corny it will sound, but it really is true. The job I’m headed toward is my “dream job.” Work that I am so passionate about that I currently do it for free because I know it’s what I’m meant to do. And now I’ll be with an entire organization of people that feel the same way I do.
So what is this new professional adventure I’m about to embark on? My new job is in the health field as a Community Health Worker advocating for people who experiences barriers in receiving the care they need. Which is a super fancy way of saying “helping people who slip through the cracks.” It’s work that matters. It’s work that keeps me in check, reminds me of my privilege and the need for humanity and caring and understanding. It’s work that makes me want to jump out of bed every morning and get at ‘er. It’s what I believed having a job should feel like when I was a little kid.
It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye
But as excited as I am to be moving onto this new challenge, it means letting go of work and people I hold very dear. For the last four years I have gotten to support amazing people with intellectual disabilities who have ended up being some of my greatest life teachers. It was field I never imagined myself in and now stands out for me as an experience that has been life changing. Nothing prepared me for how sad I would be about leaving.
So I’m doing the only thing I can do, walking with my sadness and embracing the change. There is no growth without new experiences and I refuse to stagnate. I accept that all my feelings, both good and bad, are all part of the journey.
I’m taking Bowie’s advice, ”Turn and face the strange…”