I can remember the moment almost ten years ago when I told T, “Someday I’m going to work for The N…” At the time, it seemed like a pipe dream or a joke. Living in the Midwest, how did I ever think I would work for a national organization based in Washington, D.C.? Of course, I was only kidding when I said that years ago. I had just gotten home from my first big conference. T and I were talking in the kitchen of the old house. I was sitting on the counter in the corner where the edges met, and T was leaning up against the island listening while I talked. I was full of enthusiasm as I told him all about it. I felt like an entirely new world had opened up to me. I wanted to learn more and more, meet people who knew more than me, and get more involved. I had found my niche. Fast forward ten years to yesterday. I started a new job working for THE N… No, I didn’t have to move to Washington, D. C. There are field offices across the country, and I was in the right place at the right time (for a change!)
I took a week off between jobs. During the entire time I was home relaxing between jobs, I held my breath. I waited for them to call and tell me that there had been a terrible mistake. “I’m sorry, but you weren’t really our first choice for this job.” or “I’m sorry, we just don’t want YOU.”
I took a picture of the building as I walked up to my new office. Tears welled up in my eyes. I’m here! They’re actually going to let me do this job! I stood on the drive as the humid, summer morning air wrapped around my legs. I looked at the beautiful, old building before me, and I vowed to care for it and protect it. I walked through the impeccably manicured gardens, and knew I would find time during my days to know these plants and help keep them free from weeds. I entered, and I looked up the expanse of the spiral staircase to the galleries above, some full of art while others were full of potential. I sat my bag down and positioned myself behind my desk. This is where I belong. I felt it immediately. Like a mother knows her own child, I knew that I was meant to be in this place at this particular moment in time.
I hope I can live up to my own dreams. So many times in the past, as quickly as a dream has come within reach, it was just as quickly snatched from my grasp. Feeling happy or excited scares the hell out of me. I don’t trust those feelings. Is it because I don’t feel deserving of happiness? I’m afraid I’ll mess up. I’m afraid I don’t deserve anything good.
I hope so much this time is different. I feel a kinship with this place, and I want to make us both proud.