Christmas was a lot of fun. 🙂 It was great to see family together making good memories–especially those who hadn’t seen each other in a while. I haven’t posted or spent time with other people much since then. I’ve been taking time for myself lately to center and focus on preparing for next week. I start my job soon, and I know I need to be in a good place mentally and spiritually to help me through.
I feel good in that I know this is the right direction for me now. Grad school was a goal of mine for a long time. Finishing my master’s was deeply satisfying and felt right. However, the Ph.D. program felt all wrong for me. I felt like I was gaining very little and devoting myself to the wrong path. I had absolutely no sense of giving back or contributing like I always had in Montgomery with AH and my volunteering. To be real I met a lot of great people, but I didn’t connect with anyone on a deep level. It’s hard to put my finger on it, but something very important to my personal fulfillment was missing.
I was told by multiple people that the job I’m taking is not good enough or not prestigious enough. The people I was surrounded by made little effort to understand my situation and personal preferences. For some people it’s Ph.D. or nothing–because anything less than that is failure/quitting. I was uninspired to say the least by that mindset. Frankly it’s narrow-minded to assume people actually working in direct service positions are somehow less important than people who are paid to do research instead. Both are important roles in psychology. Both deserve respect. In the end, direct service positions are often much more emotionally demanding and spiritually rewarding.
My new job will be much more stressful and emotionally involved than the teaching/research I’m used to. I expect the little annoyances that used to frustrate me will pale in comparison to seeing the aftermath of abuse and dealing with parents who take no responsibility for the damage they’ve caused. My job is to encourage parents to work their case plans and improve themselves so that they can regain custody of their children. No matter what they have done, I have to do my best to motivate them. Of course I know that if people don’t want to change, they will not change. That part of the job won’t bother me. The parts that intimidate me are that I was told I will definitely get cursed out on a daily basis, sometimes I’ll see kids go back to homes where they are likely to be abused again, I will be in situations that are potentially physically dangerous, and there is absolutely nothing I can do to change these things.
I know there is a way that people deal with the bad parts of this job, and still remain effective in doing what they can to make a difference. I know a lot of it has to do with reminding yourself that it’s all about the kids. I have some plans for other ways to destress and stay centered (including prayer, exercise, talking it over with co-workers, etc.). I just know it’s going to be a hard job to adjust to–even for the best applicant. I just have to remember in the meantime that they hired me for a reason, and I do find solace in the fact that I will FINALLY be able to combine my passion for helping others with my love for psychology.
I guess the bottom line is I’d appreciate prayer as I go through this transition. I need to be good at this for financial and insurance reasons lol. Most of all I want to do a good job for the kids on my case load. I feel like this is the right direction for me. I think I’m on the right path. One great thing about this process is I’m able to rely more on God than I have had to in the past. Prayer is a huge part of helping me find inner calm. I guess this needs to be added to my list of Radical 7even goals. The first month or so–heck maybe year of this job–will be a big radical moment! I know it’s just like ripping off a band-aid or jumping into cold water. I need to just devote myself fully and acclimate lol.
Thanks for your support.