I’ve been interested in Social Work since college (many, many, many moons ago). I was a Psychology major in college. I studied the whole gamut but I was most interested in personality theory. Freud, Jung, Adler, Eriksen, and even the controversial but fascinating B.F. Skinner. I started Grad School but had to stop when our first little bundle of joy arrived. I was studying Counseling with the hopes of being an HS Guidance Counselor. That never materialized. While I never actually used my degree professionally, I found that my education in conjunction with my strong people skills (sounds cocky but it’s not an opinion it’s a fact) allowed me an advantage in every job I’ve held. I know people.
Imagine my happiness when I recently learned of an opportunity in Recovery Case Management. It occurred as do many things lately, it just fell in my lap. The Universe has been very good to me of late. I have opened myself to the possibilities and I have found them everywhere, in fact, they seem to find me. Funny story.
I have been detailing cars to make extra money for years. I had a customer in town. She paid me with a check and a twenty for a tip. As I was driving home I noticed that there 2 twenties stuck together. I turned around and asked her if she meant to give my 40 dollars. She had not. I gave it back to her. She was so moved by such a simple gesture of honesty (not a big deal I really can’t imagine doing it any other way) that she promised she would spread the word about me. Well, a referral, who I had never met and may not have, casually mentioned that I would be a good Case Manager at the Rehab she worked at. 2 weeks later, thank you Karma.
The timing and circumstances were perfect. I was just coming off of Disability after reclaiming my health and my financial needs are very different now. I could never have survived on the wages when I had the financial obligations of Homeownership and family. Now, my needs have changed. I want to do something that doesn’t feel like work. I have found such an opportunity and it has been the best move I have ever made. It is a natural fit for me. I get to talk to people, work with them, and do something that is bigger than a paycheck: help people. Call me corny, call me sappy, call me over the top but I swear on my new Kidney that I am all about that at this point of my life and I have found my happiness.
A year and a half ago I was sad, sick, and longing for something to be hopeful about. Today I spring out of bed and I go to a place where I work hard at something that doesn’t feel like work. It feels like a calling. I get humbled every day by how fortunate I am and have been; some of the people I work with have been to Hell and back. I get uplifted every day when I recognize their progress and am thankful for my small role in it. While I want to save the world, it’s just how I’m wired, I can take comfort in the small victories and not take the ones that don’t make it as a personal failure.
I may still be broke, but I’ve never felt more useful. In my many recent conversations about identity and self-worth I have delved into the connection, and the disconnect between our vocation and our actual selves. I am one of the lucky ones where my identity closely aligns with how I pay the bill