Being a social worker I can't tell you how many times people have said to me, "I am so glad you do what you do because..." then they say things like "I could never do that", or "you really don't get paid enough" or "I couldn't do it because I need to make more money." I don't spend too much time thinking about how little money I make since I knew what I was getting myself into.
However, I do spend a LOT of time trying to figure out why there is so much drama, red tape, bureaucracy, and incompetent people. I can't understand why some programs are run so ineffectual. When I'm in a job like this I can't help but think—sometimes—about how little I get paid to jump through hoops.
Then I come across a job like being a Shadow at Anasazi and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I absolutely LOVE my job. I love every annoying aspect of the red tape, the training, the lack of space, the new people, figuring out the computers, phones, etc. I love the monotony of policies and procedures, trying to figure out where I fit in in the big non-profit, and the fact that I will, yet again, make little to no money.
I find myself over and over again thinking...I am actually getting paid to:
- walk in the wilderness
- learn to survive primitively
- have an outdoor office where I sit on a blanket and do a session with an adolescent
- spend the entire day sharing "seeds of greatness" (strengths) with adolescents
- work with amazing co-workers who are passionate about the outdoors, living in a way that is an example to youth, and come from amazing backgrounds with even more amazing stories to tell
- be part of an amazing legacy
- and so much more...
Only when I realize I need to pay bills or I need to fill my gas tank do I stop to remember that I am barely making ends meet. I can handle this though b/c the pay off for having a job that I adore, and feel like is home, makes up the difference.
And so as I embark on this new adventure I just wanted to say that I am truly grateful for my new job, the journey it has taken me to get here, and for the lessons I am learning and will continue to learn.