Good morning, friends! I hope you're all enjoying the weird bipolar weather that IS the Maryland forecast! Spring is most definitely in the air this week and I'm beyond grateful for it.
You know what else is crazy? Me. LOL! Jk, kinda. I have always been a wild heart though, I say what I feel, I hold people accountable, and I will not start it but, I will NOT hold back when I finish it, I will push back against authority if they are shitty leaders or I know they dont have the greater goods/missions best interest at heart, I am not afraid of confrontation but, I'm also a hardworking, passionate and hungry for the climb. I grew up hearing a lot of "You won't get anywhere in life without a degree, Col!" It's hard being the female blacksheep in a family FULL of strong, educated women, lemme tell ya, the pressure I put on myself and the anxiety of hearing "you'll never get anywhere" kind of made me feel like I was being discounted down to a piece of paper being my worth and knowing how much I hated school in high school, I struggled really hard and almost went back to school at least 5 or 6 times since being out of high school and never followed through because, after years of therapy and shadow work, I learned that I was scared to death to fail in the ONE thing that was deemed worthy of me being successful. So, I failed before someone else could fail me. I didn't even KNOW I was feeling that way or self-sabotaging in that manner, I just looked at it as not a huge priority to me but, deep down I know it was just a cop out excuse to cover a deeper meaning, you don't just sabotage yourself for nothing.
Fast forward to present. I've been with my agency for 3 years in September. When I tell you I LOVE my job, I sincerely LOVE my job. It challenges me professionally, there's room for growth and I adore my colleagues, I'm more than content, I'm happy. I was having a conversation with one of my coworkers recently and he said to me "DID YOU KNOW THAT YOUR GRADES REQUIREMENT WITHOUT EXPERIENCE IS A DOCTRINE?!" I did know that's but, I guess I had never really thought much about it until that moment. I don't know what hit different that day but, I almost got emotional, because I'm emo AF. It was a "You GO girl!" moment in my head. I proved them all wrong, I made my own way, I was determined and worked really hard and made strategic moves and NEVER once have said "that's not MY job!", I've taken opportunities I didn't even necessarily want but knew they would be an opportunity to grow and gain more knowledge in my future professional life. It wasn't just a moment of me sticking my tongue out (I'm not petty at ALL, they know I love them lol) but it was a moment of motivation and reflection. To see where I started and how far I've come and how every single thing I've done has brought me to this place. Every person who forwarded my resume as a contractor, the networking I have done, accepting everything that came my way even if it was scary and seemed too hard. I KNEW transitioning from my last position to my current was going to be a BIG one and there have been times where I'm like "Maybe this was bigger than I was ready for?!" and then I look back to where I started and see the growth. I'm getting more and more confident by the day and just like EVERY new position I've ever had, it's just another level of mastering your position, getting organized and working hard.
Long story shortened, maybe, if you're deemed the wild one that doesn't fit into the narrative of what success looks like to those around you, do it your way anyway but, DO IT. I'd NEVER give up the time I spent home with my children while others were building careers and getting degrees. I will never regret the crappy dead end job when my youngest was a baby that helped me perfect my customer service skills that helps me tremendously TO THIS DAY. You can do anything you put your mind to, hard work pays off, and the Lord works in mysterious ways, but that's a story for another day!
Lastly, if you're the family of the blacksheep (let's be honest, every family has an outcast or two, shout out to my brother for holding it down with me!) PLEASE consider how your "motivation" or "encouragement" affects an INDIVIDUAL. What works for you does not work for everyone and sometimes it causes more harm than good, I say it all the time at work, but it applies at home too, "LEARN YOUR PEOPLE!" everyone is so different with different goals and wants and needs and nothing is as cookie cutter as your opinions may seem they are. Luckily for me, I'm stubborn to a fault and will prove anyone wrong before I give them the satisfaction of watching me fail BUT not everyone is me and you could do real harm to someone's spirit by telling them that if they do not do it your way, they will amount to shit, especially if you're in a position of power or authority to that person or if they look up to. People always say now "it's not MY responsibility to cushion your feelings" well, duh but, why do you WANT to cause harm to someone's spirit, that says more about you than it does the person you're talking to or about. (And this is NOT directed in any way shape or form to my own family but, generalizing and pulling from my own experiences. No one in my family has said it's not their responsibility to tiptoe around my feelings, we're aware that were responsible for ourselves which INCLUDES our conduct regarding other people AND their feelings and that's our choice to not be assholes)
I gotta wrap this up and get the kid up for school and then get to work myself but, I'll leave you with some wise words one of my mentors repeated to me over and over and I say it to myself even now that I've moved on from his division, "Stay the Course", not just THE course but YOUR course. You know what you want and how to get it, and it doesn't have to be the way they tell us it should be, go to trade school, join a union, start from the bottom and work hard all the way up until you're where you want to be. Show and express gratitude, NEVER miss an opportunity, and do not allow any other human being on the planet hold you back from believing that you can do it your way and still feel successful, you got this too! Never count out your experience and if degrees are your thing, I support that 100% as well. Education is crucial, I'm only saying that people learn and internalize things in different ways, and we tend to lose sight of that.
I hope you all have a great rest of your week, I appreciate you!!!