a month ago, i started my job. i was a mix of scared and happy. happy because i wasn't unemployed anymore. happy that it was with a familiar population and a setting i enjoyed. scared because it was new and a change. turns out, i really love this job. i'm sitting in louisville right now, excited to get back to nashville to go to work. who am i? over the four months i was unemployed, i was grasping for anything and everything to make me happy. feeling like a let down, like i had failed at life, i was trying to fill the void that feeling creates. nothing really worked. i was missing not a thing, but the actual doing of what i was made to do.my passions in life have changed so much over the last (at least) six months. i have become so much more focused on what i want to do, that i don't mind saying no to things and not taking on something i don't enjoy.
this doesn't come without it's share of heartache and being uncomfortable. i feel like i'm examining the damage of a tornado on most days. i think that comes with the territory, i still don't like it. i like to have the appearance that i have it all together. i haven't, and probably never will, but i like for people to think i do. i want to appear strong and tough, like i can handle whatever comes my way. i've had to ask for more help lately than i feel has ever been necessary in my life.
sitting in my office the other day, after closing up with clients, i was thinking about what brought me to where i am today as a person. both professionally and personally, emotionally, spiritually, everything. we all know my work in human trafficking, no need to re-hash. i was wondering what kept me coming back to working with teenage male felons. i realize how closely they may relate to each other, especially after the conversations i've had lately. the future (and really the current) criminal is a teen. these kids are future traffickers and the future trafficked. my heart for trafficking isn't just for the victims, but for those committing the crime. i can only imagine the life they came from that brought them to where they are today. they didn't make the decision to commit crime based on the adrenaline of it, but because they thought it was the only option they felt they had at the time.
basically, sitting at my desk, my entire world crashed. the structure i had spent the last couple years building was false. mostly because i forced my opinion/thought to be that way. i wanted to make something happen fast. i still want to tell the story, but maybe the story is different than the one i had originally written. maybe i need to let it write itself, or listen a little closer to the story that is already there.
i need to do a lot more listening and asking.
seriousness aside, the new job is pretty great. i have a full caseload. the boys are fun and interesting. everyday is a challenge and i am reminded how i don't know as much as i think i do. they do a lot of teaching and i do a lot of listening. all the kids want to talk for a long time, but sessions get more interesting as time goes on. some stories are really sad, but i try not to focus on that. the juvenile justice system is twisted; not really geared for therapeutic environments. or therapeutic intervention for that matter. it's sad because they are only teens when they leave. we are selling them short when we don't give them the skills to survive in the world. i don't need the job security that badly. i can always do something else. that an entirely different blog entry though.