13 July 2005

Let me say it again...

I love my job.
More than I expected.
The best part is, they love me too. Actually, I receive more compliments and praise from management and co-workers than ever in my life.
I thought I would be well enough by October to start going to school full time and that I would be able to continue working.
Now I realize that it is probably not possible. As much as I would like to hope and pray and work towards it happening, I know that I'll end up sicker and have to quit both and just recover.
School is 7 hours a day, 5 days a week.
Work is 5 hours a day, 4 days a week.
Doing both would create three 12 hour days, plus two 7's and a 5.
I worked a 50 hour week a month ago and thought I was going to die. It hurt so bad. My eyes had deep grey circles underneath.
I can easily do one, or the other.
If I just stay at my job that I love, I can and will move up through the company, but 15 years later, I'll probably only make $40K a year, if that.
If I go to school full time, I'll be making $40K after about a year and it will get better as I get better.
It seems obvious right?
Have you ever seen the magic when a child in crisis finally opens up? When the moment comes that you know they trust you?
When they start speaking again?
This happened today.
There is a 4 yr old with topaz eyes who hasn't spoken since she arrived 3 weeks ago. She would just stare at me with those big round eyes and I couldn't get her to smile, or talk. I can make anyone smile! Last week she finally started laughing and smiling. Monday, she approached me and tapped me on my arm. I asked her what she needed and she just looked at me with those eyes. I tried to get her to point, or speak, or draw me a picture of what she needed, but she just blinked at me. Finally, I held out my arms to her. She jumped into my arms and held onto me like she was sinking. I told her that if she ever needed another hug, to just come get one. She nodded and went back to the doll house and barbies. Today while she was playing with one of the other girls, I heard her whisper, "No, you have to open it." She looked at me with a surprised expression that mirrored my own. Up until that moment, I wasn't even sure if she spoke english since her mother doesn't. But she had never responded when I spoke to her in spanish either. She still won't speak to me, but I've noticed that she doesn't speak to adults, only other children. But now she knows that I know. I still don't get words, but I get a lot more non-verbal communication from her. She catches my hand whenever I walk by and follows me around the shelter. Her mother thanks me profusely everyday for loving her children.
And then:
They treat me like some kind of God-send. My responsibilities and experience are growing. They gave me an office and a desk and a computer. Everyone else shares desks and computers. I share my office with the Children's Specialist, I am officially the "Family Support." We work side by side. I "safety plan" with the kids and teach them how to dial 911. I show them a chart of their bodies and find out if they've been abused. I make CPS reports. I order popsicles and juice boxes. I supervise volunteers. I help facilitate a parenting class and children's group therapy. I sing "London Bridge" and read stories. I plan "Movie Afternoon" and "Splash Day" and instigate water fights. I rock babies. I held two at once while they cried today and came home with snotty shoulders. They count on me. I love this place. It's gotten into my system.
I need an education. I don't want to end up stuck, with no education and a sense of obligation so strong that I let the place sap my vital life energy. I have to find a way to do what I want and what I need, within the limits set by this unwelcome illness.
Pray for me.


Nama said...

oh leah, i will keep you in my prayers. remember that you do have a gift, a way to change these lives and touch them in a way no one else can. i understand your need/want for an education and the comlications that ensue from your illness, but don't just throw that gift away. there will be lives that go untouched if you do.

Tiff said...

I agree with Nama. I'll pray for you to, but remember the gift you have - maybe you need to go for something with that. One of my hardest choices was to go into teaching instead of something w/ better salary, more recognition, etc. And now go figure, I'm in teaching and although offered a paying job with benefits I opted for my paying to student teach in the inner city for 4 months. My point is sometimes the Lord enables you to see a greater purpose. This life isn't about money or what others think of you necessarily. Think eternally. Along with Nama, "Neglect not the gift that is in thee."

Tiff said...

Sorry after that long comment....
I have faith in you....and so does your Father in Heaven. A lot. :o)

Nessa said...

I really didn't mean for it to seem like it's only a money issue. I also happen to love the beauty industry. I'm actually a little bit obsessed with it and also feel that I have a lot of talent in that regard. Oh choices...

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