May 20, 2010
I am waiting. Not patiently, though there's not a choice, really, when nothing happens. No signs of life, no email, no recognition that I have made a contribution in the world and it is missed. Did I anticipate the end? I always felt like the other shoe would drop some day. But at the same time, I was damn good at this job, it thrilled me, it gave my life meaning. I made a difference.
A touch of drama there, but I was hurt. Ten days before, I had run away from my job as night supervisor of a women's homeless shelter. Run, not walked; the end had come not as I had always suspected it would, some broken glass held to my face, maybe, or an attack around midnight. Instead, a final confrontation with a new supervisor, an anomaly among the stellar staff, made me see that I was not safe there. I was questioned and threatened by the woman who should have had my back. I would not return to my shift. This journal, which I began with the job, ended with this entry, where two things were on my mind: one, who did I let down, and two, where would I go next. Though there was no question that I made the right decision, I was sad that I never said goodbye to the women. "I stop into the library downtown [a draw for the homeless] to see if I can bump into anybody. But usually no one's there."
Next: a career? I keep coming back to the YMCA. No good jobs available as of yet, but I thought that maybe a several month internship would be cheaper than school, and I'd end it with a job. Or should I get an MA in something now while I have nothing better to do?
Ah. Look at that.
Just six months later, I'd begin work at the Y, paid, without any qualifying degrees. After a couple of years, I'd enjoy it enough to add a few certifications and make it official. Today, I'd say I'm doing what I was meant to do, and that no one could ever have told me it would happen this way. The grief I expressed over my work at the shelter was real, but the job, with its elements of danger and high adrenaline, was not sustainable. The "other shoe" reference makes me think I knew this deep down, and yet the kick it gave me was addictive. My work now, as a trainer, is the right balance of challenge and comfortable.
I resurrected this journal on a road trip last week, wanting to get a few thoughts down. Stuck as a bookmark among the pages is my fortune from a restaurant I visited, which reads
Soon life will become more interesting.
Christmas is coming; we are at the end of our season of waiting. All will be revealed in the morning. What's around the corner at any given time? I had no idea that May. I was at a loss. But with hindsight, I can see that Christmas was on its way.
It always is.