last night, i had a meeting with my seamstress who is creating this gorgeous gown for me for my godsister’s wedding where i am maid of honor. before we got down to business, we talked at length about our journeys in life (in terms of work) that have led us to where we currently are. when i tell you this woman is resilient and awe-inspiring, i mean it to my core. it then made me think more about my own work and how it is more than just a job, it is a career that fulfills me.
there are some jobs that i absolutely loved that just weren’t meant to be a career for me – everything from teaching swim lessons and senior citizen water aerobics classes to being the customer relations manager at a car dealership. i loved that i was doing and the people i was working with but for me, there was something that was missing. because i knew these jobs were not going to be my longterm career, i did not mind.
what i did know is that long term, i needed a job where i felt fulfilled every single day. i needed a job where i was truly making a difference. then, i needed to make that job into a career.
growing up with two parents in law enforcement, law always intrigued me. from the time i was five until my junior year of high school, i was determined to be a lawyer. my dad has his jd and i knew it was a profession i could enjoy while also helping people. as i got older, i realized that there were aspects of that career path that did not particularly appeal to me and wondered if it would still be doable. i was still planning on majoring in law in college until i took a psychology class as an elective. i had the most amazing teacher (who i now get to work with every single day since i work at my old high school as a counselor) and realized psychology was a field that totally captivated me and would allow me to help people.
listening is something that has always come naturally to me. it is also something i have always enjoyed doing. even as a child, i really took pride in listening to my friends when they had an issue because oftentimes, i knew that i might be the only person they could share with openly without any judgment. when i realized this was something i could do as an actual career and that it would improve the recipient’s mental and emotional health, i knew i had to become a therapist.
fast forward through undergrad, grad school, countless part time jobs and research projects, and here i am – able to give back to an amazing community of young women (mostly of color) and let them know that their feelings matter. knowing that they feel both heard and understood makes me feel like my presence in their lives matters. it makes me realize that i have more than just a job.
that brings me to my thought of the week:
“to love what you do and feel that it matters – how could anything be more fun?” -katharine graham
i could not think of a better quote to describe how i feel about my career choice daily – even on the days that are absolutely gut wrenching.
do you love what you do? do you feel that it matters? i would love to hear about it below.