Thursday, August 12, 2010

what i plan on doing with *AHEM* the rest of my life:

I have been debating over this very question ever since graduation day two years ago. What am I going to do with the rest of my life. And to my surprise, I came to a very unsettling discovery: I may never really know. I change my mind so much, that one minute I want to be a massage therapist and the next I want to be a teacher. So I started thinking about my passion and what all of the things I would love to do have in common. I started thinking about a legitimate career that I would be truly happy at for more than a year or so. And I discovered, through self reflection, that all I really want to do is help people.

The problem that I have with my current job as an Adolescent Substance Abuse Case Manager is not that I hate my clients or that I can't handle the enormous amounts of paperwork that Medicaid shoves on us {to what I can only explain as a mass conspiracy to limit the time we have left for our clients, thus saving them money and leaving these people ultimately helpless, I digress} . No. My problem is that it's hard for me to be passionate about something that I can't relate to. The first time I got drunk was in a college dorm room freshman year. I didn't go to parties in High School, and I never went to class high. I never even smoked marijuana until Sophomore or Junior year - and I didn't ever get addicted {yes folks, marijuana can be addictive. spend an hour with one of my clients and i dare you to tell me it isn't...}. My parents weren't raging crack/cocaine addicts, I didn't have to join a neighborhood gang to ensure day to day survival, and I didn't spend my childhood years raising my mother's children from various one night stands. I actually had a painfully normal adolescence with two parents who loved me and provided me with nearly everything I wanted.

This leaves me in an uncomfortable situation, because I feel as though I am not making any sort of difference and as a result I cannot do anything to help these kids other than be there for them and love them as much as I can. While love is important, helping teenagers dodge a life in prison is probably something society would rather I spend my time doing, that's just the reality. And on another note, maybe it's just me, but if I'm going to talk to some one about my problems and expect them to make some sort of an impact, I will more than likely look for some one who has actually been there.  This has been my dilemma lately.

So I know in my heart that my gift is working with people. I'm really good at it, and it seems that {lucky me} the more difficult the population, the more I enjoy it. That's just fucking crazy, excuse my french. But that's another reality that I am facing -- I like working with difficult populations. So now it's confession time: a few years ago I was raped and ever since that happened I have wanted to reach out to other victims of sexual violence. It's uncomfortable to talk about, and as a victim I can relate to the feeling of lonliness and lack of self worth.... because let's be honest, who really wants to talk to their friend about how they were raped last night? Especially when they were raped by one of your friends. Or maybe not a friend, but maybe the guy that sits behind you in your Biology Class. Who wants to feel how painful and scary and random rape is? Nobody. So the victims of these crimes live every single day, for the rest of their lives, re-playing the moment over and over again and thinking of ways that it could have been prevented. Because every rape victim is told on a daily basis, wheather intentional or not, that it was their fault. This is another reality. And maybe they aren't told flat out "Hey, that was totally your fault!" {although some of them are, sadly} but they begin to notice that people around them avoid certain topics, say certain things certain ways, or maybe even watch a movie with a sex scene in it that coincidently looks a lot like a rape scene and even though it isn't supposed to be, they feel a little sick and the person their watching it with looks at them like Uhhh, what's wrong with you... it's just sex!

So I know how it feels to be that isolated. And there's actually a huge population of men and women who seek services to deal with these feelings, and I am pretty confident that being there for that person would feel pretty rewarding. Almost like coming full circle. I think that I have always wanted to come to the point where I could work in this environment without it becoming too emotional or too personal, and I really believe that I am able to do that now. I can sit and listen to some one else's story -without sharing my own- and help them think of ways to move on.

Then, I decided that I was going to get my Master's in Social Work because I figured that this degree would be flexable enough that I could persue this dream that I have. I did a little research, and the School closest to me has a dual program that made me feel -for the first time in a long, long time- this is where I fit in! Can you believe that they offer a Combined Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) and Certificate in Gender Violence Intervention? Perfection!

I love when things fall together and all feels right in the world. Fingers crossed, I'll get accepted and somehow be able to afford this program {not looking forward to re-uniting with my old not-so-good-friend FAFSA}.

What are your passions? How do you fit them into your everyday life?


  1. I think this would be a great career match for you. You're such an open, loving, and understanding person. And this job would be very rewarding at the same time. I hope the acceptance goes better than my recent experience! I will keep you in my thoughts! Love you lots and lots.

  2. You know, what I absolutely love about your blog is your ability to be so open with everyone. There are no shades or gray or finely tuned summaries. This is you that your giving out. I appreciate that. :)

    My passion? I have been out of highschool since 2005 and went to a year of college, only leaving to find myself for another 4 years. It has now been 5 years and I still can not put my finger on it because I am passionate about so many things! If I had to choose one as a career though, it would definitely also fall into the category of helping people, but in a sense of the law. I hope to finally get that degree so I can kick ass in law school.

    How do I fit that passion into my everyday life? Well, as of right now(3 years and counting...) I work for an insurance company. As you may or may not know, the insurance business have a never ending list of rules/guidelines/regulations...just like the law. In most cases, we are dealing with the law directly. I'm the person who will clarify if such rule/guideline is acceptable or not. If disputed, I am the person to prove the law/rule is correct by finding exactly where it is filed in our guidelines. A lot of paperwork and reading basically. :)

    Thanks for sharing again and sorry if this comment was too long. You rock.

  3. Hi, I found you through BohoPhotography. I really, really enjoyed reading this post. I am currently a junior in school and studying English Literature/Sociology. It's taken me a long time to decide that I want to be a professor, and some days I still have doubts. When I was really in a season of questioning and doubt, someone told me to ask myself, "What makes you come alive?" And whatever that answer is, go do some form of it. My answer was similar to yours: I want to help people and liberate them with knowledge.
    My mom always says that the journey is the goal. There is no true "end" to the question "What is my purpose?" It's something that is daily renewed.
    P.S. I think that the Social work and certificate in gender violence intervention is WONDERFUL. I am a minor/emphasis in Gender Studies and greatly interested in gender equality and ending abuse.


speak your mind! always!

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