Baby, I know places we won’t be found, and they’ll be chasing their tails trying to track us down. Cause I know places we can hide. -Taylor Swift “I Know Places”
I might be over-interpreting here, but I think Taylor Swift wants us to run away from our adult responsibilities. I mean… seems pretty clear to me. Excuse me while I pack up my office and high-tail it out of the world of time sheets and alarm clocks. 🙂
Seriously though, am I the only one that likes their job but in the same respect wants to turn in their grown up card for a good session of binge-watching Law & Order? (SVU, of course. In case you were wondering). It’s like a completely equal mix of “this isn’t that bad! What a fulfilling work day” and “Oh my god, I have to do this EVERY DAY? Until I’m in my 60’s?” It’s a bummer to go back and forth between half glass full on Monday and “half-full, half-empty… who cares, just add vodka” by Wednesday. I know that in a way, this is completely normal. I mean, no one loves the monotony that is adulthood all the time. Have you ever heard someone be like, “well, yes, I would LOVE to do that super annoying task that is not in my job description. In fact- I’ll do it for FREE! Just for kicks!” No. No you haven’t. (If you have- don’t trust that person. If YOU’RE that person… none of your co-workers like you. Sorry, but it’s true). On the flip side, though, it kind of sucks. Is this life post-college? Work is ok, then it sucks, then it’s the weekend (whoo!), then work is ok, then it sucks…
You know that saying, “if you find a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life”? Bullshit. I’m pretty sure even Taylor Swift, the multi-millionaire, award-winning, owns a house in every country, megastar isn’t all “I LOVE THIS!!!” all of the time. Yet, somehow, there’s still this pressure that you have to put on this act that your job/life is just completely blissful 24/7 or it just wasn’t “worth it”. I’ve had many instances where I’ve said something like “man, what a crazy day. I had to insert sucky thing here” and I’ll get some kind of response akin to “well, YOU picked that major” or “told ya not to go into social work”. Well geez, that escalated quickly. I said a portion of my day sucked, not that I wanted to flip my desk and set my degree on fire. I think it’s kind of a grown up rite of passage that we are allotted a certain amount of bitching; like how kids get to complain that they’re “bored” all the time.
Back to obsessively listening to Taylor’s new CD. Some things never change, no matter your age. 😉
Working with older youth, it’s common to discuss goals. Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten? What kind of education will you seek? What kind of career do you want? What is important to you?
Five years? They’ll say. I don’t know where I’ll live next month, let alone 5 years.
Ten years? They laugh.
Education? I don’t know. I want to make something of myself.
Career? I want to make good money. I want to provide for myself.
What’s important? Family. Happiness.
The answers are so vague, yet so clear. These kids want what we all want, I think. When it comes down to it, we all want to be loved. We all want to feel like we have succeeded in our accomplishments. Whatever path we take with school and work, we all just want to look back and say “I am happy”. Sure, we want the nice paycheck and a lavish home to go to after a long day at work, but that’s not what really matters. What matters is that when we lay down to bed at night, we can say that we are healthy, we are happy, we are grateful.
Sometimes life can seem overwhelming. Sometimes it’s hard to decide what path to take. Sometimes it’s easier to take no path at all; to succumb to the “I can’t” attitude. Sometimes, though, all it takes is a gentle reminder that the every day subtleties; your morning cup of coffee, your favorite song on the radio, a night in with your family… those are enough.
This life is enough, even if you haven’t got it all figured out just yet.
“I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”
― Thomas Jefferson
Ok so I kind of went M.I.A there for a little bit, but I’ve been really busy with school. In fact I’m taking a break from the paper I’ve been attempting (and failing) to write all day. I’m on page two of fifteen… baby steps, right?
So, for once I actually have different things going on other than the mundane response of “work, school, you know.” I landed an AWESOME internship at a foster care agency and I couldn’t be happier! There were 3 places that my advisor was looking at, and the one I ended up meeting with was my top choice. 🙂 It’s going to be a really great opportunity that allows me to explore all types of different programs within the social work community. Hooray!
I also cleared up an issue with my transcript that was going to prevent me from applying for graduation next semester. I’ve been trying to get this resolved for around 4-5 months, so this is another HUGE hooray.
Basically, things are going great and I am so glad that I stayed committed to getting my education despite the many times it would have been easier to throw in the towel. I remember very clearly being 18 in my first shitty apartment, making less than $8 an hour at Joann Fabrics, thinking that my “real life” was so far off. I was so incredibly impatient and I wanted the house, the car, the kids, the marriage right now. Brandon would tell me all the time that “we will get there” but I didn’t believe him. I thought that I was going to be forever stuck in my awful apartment with forest green carpet and coin-operated laundry. Now, albeit 5 years later, things are finally falling into place and I realize more than ever that hard work pays off. These things didn’t happen just because time passed and I got older; they happened because I worked for them. I put myself through college, I decided that I wanted a career rather than a job and I made it happen.
It might sound self-centered and braggy (I don’t think that’s really a word) but damn it, I’m proud of myself.
& I’m going to try to stop being so scatter-brained and write more than once every other two weeks, promise.
If you’re feeling like your goals are too complex or are too far-reached… just keep going. You can do it.
For whatever reason, people at my job always want to know what I’m doing when I’m not handing them dumplings. As if we are on a blind date and they are trying to get to know me, when really, I just want their money. (I feel like jaws just dropped all over the place. WHAT?! Serves DON’T just work for the fun of it?!)
Anyways, the conversations usually go something like this:
Customer: “So are you in school?”
What if I wasn’t? I feel like the conversation would get really awkward. Like, no asshole, this is all I do. This is the end of the line for me. So thanks.
Customer: “That’s great! What year are you in?”
Me: “I’m a senior.”
Customer: “Almost done, then! How nice. What are you majoring in?”
Me: “Social Work.”
Customer: Awkward glance at spouse. Awkward glance at me. “That’s… nice. I guess you aren’t in it for the money then, huh?”
Me: “Well, you can actually make a nice living-”
Customer: Laughs. “Yeah, sure. Hey can I get some more coffee?”
Every. God. Damn. Time.
What happened to the little group of questions/comments that were considered public knowledge to be inappropriate? “How much do you make a year?” “What size do you wear?” etc., seem to be in the same playing field as “Your future career sucks.” And I would like to know how everyone I come across is an expert on how much a social worker makes. Most people don’t even know what a social worker does let alone how much money they bring home. So, for all of you uninformed people out there, here is a little breakdown so hopefully you aren’t an asshole in the future.
FACT: Social workers are not the people who hand you food stamps. (Not that there is anything wrong with those people.) Social workers direct you to social services, if you need them, but are not the employees of those organizations.
FACT: Social workers do not make teensy, tiny unmanageable salaries. I’m not sure why everyone assumes this, but it is not true and it is annoying.
FACT: Not all social workers are employed by child and youth services. This is one area of employment that those with their BSW can explore but it is just one of many!
FACT: Not everybody that is on some type of social welfare is “taking advantage of the system”. I’m sure that if you lost your job and had no way of providing for your family, you would not want to be stereotyped either. Yes, there are people who do take advantage; just like there are people who abuse alcohol and drugs, teenagers who lie to their parents and as we’ve seen in recent events, people who misuse guns. Welcome to the world: it is not, nor will it ever be, perfect.
The point is this: it is both rude and ignorant to speak about things you don’t understand. So stop. Doesn’t anyone listen to the age old advice “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” anymore? Sheesh.
P.S: For all of you whom are against social welfare and government assistance, I hope you enjoy spending your tax returns with all those credits for things like: having kids, going to college, buying a house, etc. God, it’s so annoying how you “take advantage of the system” by spending government money! Have you no shame?!