Sunday, October 14, 2007

finding your way.....



The prompt this week for Sunday Scribblings left me scrambling to catch up to a whole slew of ideas marching by. Worst job, Best job, Dream job???? Wow! That's a loaded prompt for a navel gazing gal like moi.....one who just happens to be in a prickly predicament on the career front right about now.

Love the job.........hate the scenario.


So, I thought it best to write about my dream job......a little bit of this and that.......


Well, guess what? That left a bitter taste in my mouth....... it was a dream job piece of writing based on a foundation of nasty medicine. There I was POUNDING on the keys like a banshee letting out cries for the dead, all the while trying to write a light uplifting hopeful quality world post full of sweet touching faerie promise. Could the gap of feeling be any wider?


So, then I thought I'd write something about a previous job, with the intentions of focusing on my favourite place I have worked. It was a lovely learning environment which actually has been my anchor and home for revisiting the values and goals I still have for my career. But, I've written about it before, and I still was harbouring negative stuff in my head from my first attempt.



So.........I went in another completely different direction. Why not attempt a poem about JOBS? Well, I don't know about you, but I can't write a poem on demand.....if it's pushed and pulled out of my heart, it feels SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO contrived. Poetry is an unexpected gift. Can't expect an unexpected gift.......can't even hope for it! The poem was trashed....deleted with one pointer finger.


Time away from the topic, I began to whistle about on this Sunday afternoon making a big pot of savoury sauce, chopping fresh vegies from the market, cooking meatballs, squeezing the garlic, crumpling the oregano......stirring and simmering........listening to a variety of good upbeat music. A bit of live Springsteen..........an ALL NEW Mark Knopfler CD (love it!) and some vintage Al Green........smooth..............jazzy.............his voice is a poetic gift........of warm brandy and soft lights. Al Green is dreaming music.................


........times are good and bad and happy and sad......

I could sense the gap of feelings merge......as I began to find my light footed sunday afternoon dance......dancing with Al........


Instead of focusing on my OWN personal career path, all of a sudden I was flushed by a face of a young man fresh out of school who found himself nervously sitting in my office ready to tell me all about HIS dream job, in hopes that I could help him reach that goal. He wanted to work in the woods.........not as a forestry graduate. He just wanted to work in the woods cutting and sledging and whatever they do in the woods. It was attainable for him.........he just needed to know how to start and who to talk to. All within an hour, we had a gameplan. He left my office with a list of to dos and the knowledge that he COULD do what he wanted to do.



Then, I was visited by a memory of a man who was my age. Somehow he had managed to scrape by, working beyond his capabilities without knowledge of a severe learning disability until he had an Arts degree under his belt. With very limited ability to write a coherent paper, I don't know how he found the way. But he did. His dream though was to become a Minister.....he needed the help of technology and of others to guide him through the next phase of his learning. We worked together intensely, arranging all of this to make it happen. He's now out there somewhere with his own congregation.......and with a big heart of understanding.


And it makes me smile........big feeling seeping smiles..........of helping others find their way. This is the part of my job I LOVE.


It's funny how certain encounters from hundreds of encounters can float up to clarity when you take the time to remember........ when you take the time to step away from your own intense thinking, from your own navel gazing tactics. Sometimes it just takes just the right music to set the mood to make it happen.


Dream job? Good job, bad job...........attainable, out of reach..........wishing to alleviate the barriers to the job..........ability, disability, capability, reachability..........these are discussions I have the priviledge of taking part in with other people almost everyday. Why? Because I'm a Career Consultant. That's my official job title, and my primary role when it comes the career counselling stuff is to be a motivator, listener, cheerleader, and sometimes the realist. Most of the time though, I get to encourage BIG DREAMING. Lots of big dreams get tossed about in my office!
Somedays, it feels like I'm only a baby step ahead of the person I'm supposed to be helping simply because I too am an unfinished human being (my REAL job) seeking my own goals. But that's alright. It keeps me on my toes, just like a dynamic teacher who knows they will learn more from their students than they will EVER be able to pass on.........
We are all learning together, aren't we?


The last beautiful face to slip by me this afternoon was a young waif who sought me out one morning and asked me if I would have a coffee with her. This was years ago, when her daughter was just a baby and when I wasn't even a parent myself yet. Lost and surrounded by drugs and violence.......of unhealthy relationships and no support...........she had one dream. She wanted to be a nurse but she only had completed grade 7. Through some aptitude testing, it was obvious that this little waif was a diamond in the rough. She scored off the map......... So, I enrolled her at the high school level of upgrading.
She promised to seek me out whenever she hit a wall, and I promised to never let her quit despite any circumstances. Within two very tough and very emotional years of ups and downs of hardships we can't even imagine, she graduated and moved into a nursing program. She had her wings..........and off she went out of my life.


Five years later? We met again on the maternity floor at the local hospital. She was dressed in her nursing uniform, and I had a newborn in my arms and needed some guidance from her. She has never looked back.
I don't really know where this is headed........kind of like my career path right now. What I do know is that there are parts of my current job which fill me with such joy and satisfaction that I find it difficult to consider giving that part of it up. It's a navel gazing conundrum......one which I have had to entertain for too long now. ....... one which I need resolve. Better get back to the stirring and simmering......and the music in the background. I seem to do my best thinking and reminiscing on Sunday afternoons.


"I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. That makes it hard to plan the day." EB White

For more Sunday scribblings check this out................



*****ps If anyone is trying to reach me by phone, the line has been dead for three days. We are not being rude....... We don't know you've called. Hopefully it will be up and running Monday. As far as the internet? I'm "lunching on someone's else's dime" in the neighbourhood. Long live wireless internet sources!!

9 comments:

Gypsy said...

I hope you never give up what you do Dana and I bet there are hundreds of people you have helped who would agree with me. People like you are needed in the world or where would all the lost waifs go for guidance. Sure there are other people with the appropriate education and pieces of paper proving they are up to the task, but that doesn't make them right for the job.

My Mum once worked with children who had a mental disability in a school and she was brilliant at it. She had a gifted rapport with these children and they responded to her in kind. My Mum doesn't have the education or the degree to say she can do this job and when the powers that be decided "cuts" had to be made the Principal had to let her go. He said he had to do so with great sadness because of all his staff she was the one who got the best out of these beautiful children. As she wasn't "qualified" she was the one he had to let go. That was a tragic loss to those children and just as much to my Mum who loved them and got a great deal of joy from helping them.

My point is that some people are just MEANT to be in certain roles in life and you sound like one of them.

The Alchemist said...

That's a great quote from E.B. White it about somes it up for me. Although I do realize that everytime we try to fix rhe world we make a bigger mess of it.

Awareness said...

Thank you Gypsy......I feel for your Mom. That wasn't fair....but it seems to me that organizations are much more concerned about crossing the "t's" and dotting the "i's" than they will ever be for the HUMANE side of what they are supposed to stand for.

Alchemist....yes, the quote made me laugh. we do tend to screw things up whenever we try to make this place better, don't we?

Matthew said...

This is a really wonderful post. You have such an easy way of inviting in the reader to hang out, listen to some tunes, pull up a chair and enjoy a few insights. I was singing right along with the Al Green...

Now I know your official title but I've known for awhile that you are kind and encouraging, an inward-looker who unearths truths and shares them willingly. Did you know that my wife is also a counselor? She provides single and family counseling to the military and I often marvel at her stories of the human condition.

Lastly thanks for the peek into your process to tackle this weeks prompt--its always beneficial to see what a writer goes through to translate the mind onto the page.

Matthew

Kamsin said...

"the place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet" - I thought of this quote reading your post, don't recall exactly who said it. Hope your questions get resolved and hope your career path winds it's way round to somewhere your gladness and the worlds need continue to meet.

Awareness said...

Matthew....thank you. It seemed like the only way to write this one this week.....to write about the process. My job title is a bit of a misnomer. Most of the counselling I do is personal and group.....similar to what your wife does, just a different group of people.

Kamsin....I love that quote. It conjures up many visuals and thoughts in my mind. I was actually going to write a piece like a cover letter to God. I may use this quote in it. Thanks. I have never seen it before....and you know what.....I think that it what we all should strive for.....deep gladness meeting deep hunger.

Kimberley McGill said...

Sometimes it's hard for me to see beyond the boundaries of my own skin too. We're imperfect - but as Leonard Cohen's lyrics say: "there's a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in" It looks like the light got in!

ana said...

I loved this post, specially the effortless flow with which it seems to come to you....
Great post indeed.

Thank you for your wishes, My appointment went rather well (only a torn ligament, I was expecting worse).

Awareness said...

Kimberley.....I love that line from Cohen...it's one of my favourites. It reminds me of stained glass....and nothings more beautiful than the light filtering through bits of stained glass. We are imperfect in our own beautiful ways. thank you for reminding me.

Ana. What a relief that must've been! Glad to know it was only a torn ligament.