Home, School, Work!

Slowly I’m beginning to feel like I’m headed the direction I want to be.  It’s amazing how long it can take to accomplish all of the things you dream of.  Yet, for some it seems to simple to find their dreams & make them happen.  I suppose it really is the journey & not the destination.  My goals/dreams are so much more fulfilling because of the blood, sweat & tears I’ve experienced while trying to reach them.  Each fall was a lesson that made it that much more worth it.

The house continues to come together nicely.  Slowly, but nicely.  Each new thing I do it makes me love it that much more.  It constantly feels too good to be true.  I love this house.  Genuinely, 150% love it.  Somehow I managed to get my dream home, in my dream neighborhood.  Driving home still gives me butterflies when I really THINK about it.  This is where I want to live forever.  It’s not a starter house.  It’s not just something to live in until I make new plans.  No, I want to be 90, sitting in this same house, baking cookies, watching the snowfall.  No matter what it takes I will NEVER give this up.  (Live with an asshole for an eternity?  Yep, sign me up, I’ll make it work.  Just to remain happily here.)

I’ve always had the goal to get a better degree.  To become a “real” social worker.  Yet, I’ve always sat it aside.  Always ignored it.  Why?  School’s expensive.  There’s little need for the degree when I can still find jobs without the degree.  However, eventually I’ll REALLY need it.  So, I signed up.  I got in to the one college I really wanted too & kept hearing the “highly competitive” speech.  “If you don’t get in apply again next year.” Blah, blah, blah.  Somehow I managed to get in – My first semester is over.  I managed to do school full-time (13 credits) while working full-time in a demanding job, add in kids, dogs, etc.  Final grades – 4.0.  I was in utter shock when I saw that.  Next up, I received an email that I made the Dean’s List & was in the top 15% of the students enrolled in the Nursing/Professional whatever category.  Insanity?  Not only am I going to reach this goal.  I’m going to crush it.  It’s exhausting & some days it feels impossible.  But, it’s doable.  I will succeed!  I’m fearful of next semester – I signed up for another full-time crazy semester.  It’ll be great though.

I applied for a new job too – I like what I’m doing, but I miss what I did.  Being basically an “assistant” isn’t my cup of tea.  I LOVE the families I work with, I love the kids, but my gosh I hate the title & the expectations.  Being everyone’s “bitch” is NOT my idea of a good time.  Basically I feel like I’m simply doing everyone else’s work lately when they get away with not doing the shit they should.  Your clients should always be first.  Time management.  It’s doable.  Instead so little gets done & when required stuff is due it suddenly becomes my problem “Here, L, didn’t do this before she went on vacation (though she knew about it for weeks) so be sure you get it done by 5.” or “Fax this for me.” REALLY? You just spent more time giving me directions on who to fax for you than walking to the fax & doing it yourself.  Totally not the job description.  Totally not paid enough. Lately I’ve had a supervisor that isn’t even my own trying to tell me all about how her stuff should be done first.  Isn’t she more important than everyone else? (Really, her words, not mine.)  Bizarre.  And I hate it.

I miss my OWN caseload.  I have far more experience in the human service field than the majority of my coworkers.  Yet, here I am – doing the undesirable work & their work since I know how.  (Yes, I suppose this is the whole purpose of the above mentioned degree.)  It’s just ridiculous – So, I saw a position came open in the same field I was in prior to this one.  My own caseload?  My own office?  No secretarial duties?  Oh.  My.  After the last week that sounds like heaven.  Before I worked with assistance programs – Then ended up laid off thanks to a statewide caseload & the government choosing big cities for “call centers”.  However, there’s still some stuff that needs to be hands on per federal requirements.  This particular position runs the cash assistance program for my local area & a couple other nearby towns.  The supervisor quickly emailed me & asked if we could chat.  Conveniently I’ve worked with her before in the previous position.  She called & gave me glowing comments – I “outshined” all other applicants AND because I was a “RIF” in the last two years & I signed up for the job registry per the union I did not have to complete the hiring process – They can simply offer me the job.  Seriously?!?!?  She mentioned she didn’t want to officially offer it until we sat down & she answered any questions I had, etc.  She just felt like I needed all the details first.  (She’s got no idea how closely I worked with this program – I have zero questions – Let me begin.)  She called again Friday to see if Thursday would work for me.  She plans to have an “informal” meeting over lunch.  Go over details & get my confirmation that I’m still interested.  Yesssssssssssssssssssssssss!  I’m sooooo excited.  I’ll have NO coworkers in town.  NO demands.  I’ll have an office – By myself.  Actually two offices as I’ll get one in the other town I work out of for the next few months too.  My own clients to enroll & work closely with to help empower them to find employment, address barriers & hardships, track what they’re doing to be eligible for the program.  I can’t stress how excited I am!  The icing on the cake – The huge pay cut I took will be reversed.  I don’t know the exact pay, but I know the pay scale they have is almost equivalent to or more than what I was getting before.  This is PERFECT!

Everything happens for a reason! The last year was totally worth it if this is my end result.  I almost hate to get too excited until I have the official offer letter in hand as it’s just too good to be true really!  It’ll be amazing!

The only horrid part – I am dreading putting my resignation letter in.  Ughhhh.   That part really sucks.  I do like my current supervisor.  I do like my coworkers (as individuals – not necessarily their work ethic).  And I LOVE my clients.  Love them.  I’ve met some pretty special people.  I’ve met some amazing kids.  That part is the hard part.  I wish I could take all the babies with me.  For real.  I wish I could trust the next person that has this job is as passionate & cares as much – But they probably won’t.  That part sucks.  Badly.  I’ll move into a new position with new people that need me.  But, it’s still hard to walk away from it.  I keep reminding myself it’s not good bye, it’s see you later.  Someday I do want to return to this work – But not until I have a degree, more experience & the ability to start far higher up than I currently am – Like permanency planning or ISU would be a perfect fit for me in a few years when my own kids are gone.  Everything happens for a reason.

On a positive – If I’m not employed by the department I’m allowed to do foster care.  I’ve really struggled with that.  All these kids.  Nowhere to put them.  Yet, per policy I couldn’t do a thing. (Conveniently that policy didn’t occur until AFTER my supervisor’s supervisor adopted his babies years ago.  Hmmmm?)  That’s frustrating.  I understand it to an extent.  I do.  But in the same breath – When we’ve called 30 homes & nobody wants these kids it’s a hard pill to swallow.  I always told myself it would be fine, that being in the field gave me the ability to help dozens of kids and not just a few.  But, really, I’d still love to help some even more than I’ve been allowed to.  So, this will now be an option down the line.  Not today.  Not tomorrow.  But someday.

Why not now?  We’ve already signed up for a foreign exchange student & I probably shouldn’t overwhelm my husband too much all at once (nor do I have the bedrooms for ALLLL these kids).  YESSSS!  We’re going to get a new son!  I better go to sleep so I’ll have to save that story for a different day.  (On a side note – Even with the foreign exchange student I’d still be happy to be respite & emergency placements.  Just probably not long term.  So, it’s not totally ruled out & I’ll be happy to do whatever I’m allowed to do in the meantime before I’m ready to do even more.)

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