I would really like to talk to the person who said “Your twenties are your best years”. Because truly, I’m not seeing it. Unless they meant that your twenties are your best years because you feel completely and utterly lost as far as what your’e supposed to do with your life? I mean, if you are into both physical and emotional roller coasters, then by all means this is the ideal decade!
I just turned 27. The last year has been one of the biggest upside down, side to side, fucking loop and swoops I have experienced since I was 15 and went into foster care.
I have always had a plan. I have always known what my next step is. From the age of 17, I had the next 10 years planned out. I knew where I was going to school, what degree I was going to graduate with, what my job would be and what my overall career goals were.
Until I didn’t.
I literally got “hit on my ass”, after working as a child welfare worker for a year and a half. I was not honest with myself about how close the work was to home, and that I subconsciously was going into the job to influence system change in a system where the change comes from above and trickles down – not the other way around.
All of a sudden, I wanted nothing to do with anything related to the last ten years of my work in the advocacy world or children’s aid. I wanted to get as far away from advocacy as I could. I was exhausted and frustrated and wanted to find a job that I could leave at work and would provide me with the opportunity to discover who I was outside of my role as an advocate for children and youth in care. So I left Children’s Aid and worked for a local health food store. Again, I planned that this would compliment my upcoming Yoga Teacher Training.
After three months I quit without notice, sending a letter to the owners of the health food store about a number of concerns regarding the manager. The concerns were significant, however, no other co-workers felt they could come forward. So the powers higher than me, put me right back where I left – in a role of advocacy. The letter I wrote sparked an investigation and co-workers came forward thanking me for raising awareness to what was going on.
I was back to the drawing board. How did I end up back here? What was the lesson the universe was trying to tell me? I didn’t understand why I couldn’t escape being in the “ra ra this is not ok!” role.
As I asked people this question, many of their responses were “Because it is who you are…It is in your blood…You speak up for people who don’t have a voice”.
So here I am. Writing this blog. Putting the thoughts in my head, into written word hoping that sometime soon, the Universe provides me with some form of clarity.
- If this is who I am, no matter where I go, I will always be an advocate. I will never be able to not speak out in the face of injustice. So rather than run from it and shut that part of me off (unsuccessfully it appears), I need to make peace with it and embrace it.
- The reason I wanted to shut off my advocacy was because I felt it was taking over my life and identity. I was also experiencing non-stop emotional fatigue from always being “on” and fighting for justice. Maybe part of making peace with my inner advocate, is doing work around knowing what is too close to home, and establishing boundaries and an identity separate from the advocacy work I do.
- I need to get back to my passions and employment opportunities where my skills can be embraced and utilized. After the last year, I know that I do better in a non-profit, grassroots setting. I need a sense of community among my co-workers. I love working with youth. I have passion and believe in social justice. I need to have a collaborative relationship with my supervisor. I enjoy having my foot in a few doors, as opposed to a single role.
In three weeks, I leave for Argentina to visit family. Although I felt like many would judge me for this decision for financial reasons, traveling thousands of miles away ironically offered me a sense of grounding.
At this point, there is nothing I am looking forward to more than getting on a plane and escaping what has been the last year. Everything feels up in the air. Maybe thats why meeting myself physically, where I am mentally holds a certain amount of comfort…
photo link: http://www.hellocaller.com