Friday, March 27, 2009

Lowest on the Totem Pole

I think that even as of a few months ago I felt like I was always apologizing, I was, to draw from some old symbolism of my own, a fetus. Incapable of doing almost anything at work on my lonesome.

And you know, even before I was born I still had my built-in partner-in-crime, my twin sister.

Today, I realize that there are a lot of things I am able to do as someone who primarily works with our primary service population that my supervisors can't do. There's a lot of change and good I make, and that's one of the reasons I can't for the life of me worry and fret over politicians--I make change at a grassroots-level. That's what I am lucky enough to get to do for a living.

I have so much to learn. I mean, my brain isn't even fully-developed, I'm still a teenager in there. Connections are still being forged.

And even though I don't help interview summer staff, or write the June training schedule, I still get an awful-lot of self-determination in my position every day. I get to make suggestions, set precidents (like sending things in PDF), and share the knowledge I do have with my colleagues. It's not a whole lot, and I am in awe 99% of the time at the experience, knowledge, and common sense held by my co-workers and supervisors.

There are also unique things I bring to my work. Coming from art school, having the ability to sew, having the ability to design publications and format files into portable documents to e-mail. I like that there are some things uniquely mine, and yet so much of what I am experiencing are things that all my colleagues have experienced, too. And they can't just tell me what they learned, because that's not how lessons are best learned. I have to experience these things for myself. Sure, there are growing pains, and times I feel incompetent or out of my element. I also need to have faith that my colleagues wouldn't put me in a place that I would flounder.

Oh, also, I have to get in shape and do more backpacking. Totally do-able. I didn't think I could ever swim the 550 but I have that thing nailed (even if my breaststroke form is TERRIBLE). As frustrating as the stubborn streak that runs in my family is, that's the same stubborn streak that helps me accomplish challenging tasks. I might WANT to give up on them sometime. And some days, I do. But I'm a pretty tenacious person. I don't have anything against me like half my kids have against them in the inner-city.



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