I'm back to work at the school and it has been a CRAZY week, but I survived with flying colors! I am in the middle of my third year in this position. I can see the rewards of all the work I have done re-organizing my office to suit my style. We just finished the third year with a new demographic software, and we have pretty much all of the kinks worked out. Those we don't, we are aware of and know how to fix when they pop up. All of this, along with some really great co-workers, makes for a good work environment. I am so thankful to be able to go to work and feel good about so many things.
That said, let me take you back to my first day in this position. It was the first day after Christmas Break. Although I had helped the person who had the position prior to me; she left because it was too stressful, there was an incredible amount of duties I had never touched. I mentioned earlier that this week was CRAZY-that first day was a nightmare! At the time, I do not believe I had EVER felt that overwhelmed before in my life. I cannot express to you enough how tight my chest was, how bad I wanted to throw up, and how many times the thought "what did I get myself into" popped into my head. Let's just say I did not just want to cry a good portion of the day, I wanted to BAWL!
As a young person I tended to self-sabotage myself. This happens to a person that is reacting to a stressful situation. There are many forms of self-sabotage. For me I would often ignore the situation, or even do things to take myself out of the situation. Often this was a huge mistake that showed my immaturity.
My sophomore year in college comes to mind immediately as I think about this. The prior two years had been full of changes. My parents got divorced. My mom struggled. I graduated from high school. I had a summer romance. I went off to college, away from home. My life was full of friends, classes, and all of the typical teenage drama you might remember. My sophomore year I was appointed Yearbook Editor and I was so excited. And scared. Than my mom called to tell me my dad was coming back home. Of course I didn't recognize it at the time, but I was in a stressful situation. I will spare you all of the boring details, besides some of you reading this already know them, but I was kicked out of college for drinking. Now there is more involved to this story, but those are just details. You get the idea, stress led me to subconsciously make purposeful choices that I believe I knew would remove me from some of the situations.
Being only 19, my frontal lobe had not fully developed yet. My mind was not thinking about the long term consequences of those actions. I could not psychologically deal with the situation or even the actions that resulted. Thankfully I had family support during this time, especially from my Aunt, whom I love dearly. I had closed myself off from my parents, and she stepped in. That time in my life comes to mind often as my days are filled with the minds of teenagers in my own home, and all of the struggles that they face. I can see my mom bite her tongue to keep from reminding me of my own struggles as I deal with my children. She doesn't have to remind me, I just don't like to admit I remember.
I do remember though. Sometimes I have to remind myself to remember! Teenage years are a struggle under normal circumstances. When we remember our years, we can invoke compassion. Not something that is easy to do when facing a hormonal teen, but something that is essential. Something that I need to practice more of.
As a young person, I found myself in stressful situations that I did not handle well. Over the years I have learned to push through those moments, and make the choices that make sense. Some of this has come with the development of my frontal lobe, some has come with very conscientious practice. I have learned over the years that I have tendencies to self-sabotage. I can watch for this, and push through and make the right choice.
That first day of my position, I wanted to quit. That was the old self-sabotage person peeking out. But the older, wiser me pushed through. What do I need to do to get through this? How can I make this work out for my benefit? My first instinct was I can't. I have to let God. And that is what I did. I prayed to him that night before I left. I gave it up to him. "God, I can't do this. I need your help." I immediately felt the comfort of knowing that there were only so many hours in a day, and I could only do some much in a day. I needed to just take things one crisis, project, and phone call at a time. Let me say, this is totally against my nature! Because I allow God into my life, I am able to do this. Some days are easier than others, but this is exactly how I have gotten through the last 2 1/2 years. And now, I love my job! I love the challenge. I love the people. I love the new opportunities that I am presented with each year.