Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Slide

To be perfectly honest, I am really hating my job right now. I have developed a list of reasons why I am staying as a gentle reminder every time I feel like walking out.

  1. It's a year
  2. It's a year of service.
  3. The prospect of looking for another job.
  4. The prospect of being jobless.
  5. The prospect of being homeless.
  6. The idea that I could help someone.
  7. The vast need of the schools, communities, administrators, parents and children that I work with.
  8. My inability to give up.
  9. My desire to be an agent of social change.
  10. The resume I will have earned after this year is over.
The list is still growing. I would say that the chief motivating factor is #2. In my youth, I was awe-inspired by the military. I thought about, perhaps romanticized a bit, the requisite self-sacrifice to serve others. The feeling direct service gives can't be beat. It's better than any drug, Indirect service feels like a slow death via a combination of starvation and water-torture. For some reason, it never felt that way when I was on the board of Camp Wildcat.

It seems like every day, I spend a ridiculous amount of time convincing myself that this is where I belong, that the work I am doing is useful and pertinent and actually matters. I'm still not so sure. And by the end of the day, I feel as though I've convinced myself, but that I haven't done much more than that.

I would love to blame it on the district - admittedly, I do feel as though there are WAY too many administrators being paid WAY too much to do what they do; I do feel as though the facilities are WAY too cold and that keeping the thermostat at 67 degrees is stealing from the kids; I do feel as though I am just one cog in a giant machine headed to hell - but these are things I can't change. My lack of motivation can't be a product of things I can't change, otherwise I won't accomplish anything this year.

I just hope that if I keep slogging through the routine, that if I continue to show up, that everything will work itself out. I need to get myself to a happier place in my head, a more content state of being. My discontent is a sign that there is some serious self-work I have left. I guess I should get to work.

1 comment:

  1. Here's the thing--those things you hate, they're part of every job, and if you left, you'd think your new bosses get paid too much to do too little. I know I've thought that about every job I've had and every job I've ever seen. My dad says this is why you get an education, so that eventually, you get to be the overpaid and underworked boss. That's the dream, right? That you work your ass off, sacrificing your youth and probably all the other important things in life to one day be able to set the rules, at which point you won't even give a damn any more.

    Anyway, my point is: I think you doing this, sacrificing like this, putting someone else's needs above your own, being poor and stressed out in order to try to make the world a better place, is super inspiring. And YOU are my hero. And I am SUPER proud of you. And these kids in this district are lucky to have someone who has a heart like yours, because you work tirelessly to make an impact. And even if it's small, even if it's just one starfish that you throw back into the ocean, it's one starfish. And that starfish makes a big difference. Again, to quote my dad--you probably won't know until the end, or well after the end, what sort of impact you've made. But maybe you implement something that makes a small difference for one kid. And that kid doesn't join a gang or something, and instead s/he grows up to be President. And President kid-you-helped makes a big change that helps a lot of kids that go on to help a lot of kids, and none of that would have happened if you didn't freeze in some Spanish-speaking hell.