All of the jobs I've had have nothing to do with my Associates Degree (in Applied Science, for Graphic Design). They've been minimum-wage, and usually, the pay never truly equaled the work that was being done – be it in the auto parts warehouse, be it in the ice cream shop, be it a residential summer camp counselor, or a before/after school teacher.
Looking back on it, though – even though it took me until July 2016 to pay off my student loans – the richness was not in the paychecks, but in the people I interacted with. ESPECIALLY as a summer camp counselor (GSHOM), and before/after school (and sometimes infant/toddler, and sometimes preschool...but largely, school-age kids).
In the restaurant where I work now, it's the same (though I feel more like the pay I'm earning is on par with the work being done). The people – my teammates, the customers – make each day so very rich. Especially on Sundays. On Sundays, guests from the homeless shelter come in, because the county soup kitchen is closed. The give us a ticket, and we give them a good lunch.
The owner of this establishment passed away unexpectedly, and on March 1st. He was such an incredibly genuine and caring man. We said goodbye to him yesterday, and thanks to some interactions post-service that snowballed with what I'd already been feeling, I have a baseline idea of what I want to do when I grow up.
I want to help people.
I have my limits – I know what I would NOT be good at – but I do know that I want to help feed, shelter, and clothe people. I want to hold space and listen to them. A few friends suggested art/dance therapy, especially for kids (I spent 8 years working in daycare, and 3 summers with a Girl Scout camp). I don't how how, where, or when...but thanks to that inspiring man...I feel very strongly that I was meant to help people.
I feel very positive.
A lot of hard and sudden changes have happened in my life in the past half-year. Some changes were the result of a slow burn. Some changes I brought upon myself.
And I feel very good, at this moment. I feel very positive, and like anything is possible.
Seize your day, make it a good one; take time to listen to someone who needs to talk, ask someone if they need a hug, take the time to make a difference in someone's day.
I'm off to therapy today, and I'm going to have a VERY good discussion with my therapist.
(Know who made this image? Please let me know, so that I may give credit!)