Today I am an obstacle to myself

Today I have come to a wall in my job hunting and even to a large extent my life, and that wall is myself. I am an over-analyzer, an over-thinker, and these attributes aren’t necessarily a bad thing and yet I have spent way to much fucking time dwelling on my last job and my role there. I had identity in what I did. I loved what I did. I realize that the trappings that people get bound up in when it comes to “work” weren’t issues for me and it wasn’t work per se to me, but finding ways to make the lives of others better to the best of my ability on their own terms.
But that chapter is closed, and I am somewhere between bargaining and depression when it comes to the 5 stages of loss and grief. It’s an odd thing, this up and down feeling, it exists/persists/insists one day and the next day I have the drive to give it my all when it comes to looking for work. I have looked for work today, but I admit it has been half-assed as I’m caught up in thinking about what was and is no more.

Hope is there, I get it and see it as a twinkling in the distance, that someday..hopefully soon (provided I get my ass into gear) I will be able to continue on in this line of work, as I know this is where my aptitude for work lies. Yes I will look for other types of work if it comes to it, but I know myself well, I know most of my strengths and weaknesses, and some jobs I’m not cut out for simply because of what I know about myself.

Writing has and always been a source of comfort for me. I wrote in journals when I was younger and still do time-to-time, but I also don’t mind exposing myself in writing here. It does seem that I have solace in what I have to write, and perhaps ripple effects of me-too’s will come from putting my thoughts out here…time will reveal all things, not just some things.

***

As much as I don’t read the Bible on a regular basis, I am reminded of Psalm 40, in particular the first 3 verses:
I waited and waited and waited for God.
    At last he looked; finally he listened.
He lifted me out of the ditch,
    pulled me from deep mud.
He stood me up on a solid rock
    to make sure I wouldn’t slip.
He taught me how to sing the latest God-song,
    a praise-song to our God.
More and more people are seeing this:
    they enter the mystery,
    abandoning themselves to God.
(The Message)

I know I am not the audience David wrote to, but regardless I resonate with this, me too David…me too. I hurt, I ache, I “waited and waited and waited for God”; that longing, that suffering, that’s where I am now and yet I say God be praised in my suffering not despite of. Yes I will weep and wail in my own way, I will probably be an obstacle to myself yet again some other day, but God is with me in my own ditch, my own deep mud circumstances. Some days I will take hope in these words and other days I will tell David to leave me the hell alone, but through all these things I realize down to my cellular level that God is here and he loves me and he is guiding me through all this.

Somehow, someway, onward and upward!
~Nathanael~

A new beginning of sorts

As of last week I was terminated from my job of over 2 years. This is where I will start and finish about my old job…

But here, is where I start again, start anew in figuring out where to go to from here.

When it comes down to it, I know what I want to do with my work life; I want to work with individuals who have different types of mental illnesses, working with them on their terms as well as any IP’s they may have. I’ve fallen in love with what my last job entailed, and certainly the individuals I worked for, I have love for them as well. Unfortunately the reality that is at hand is that Illinois, when it comes to funding Social Services (both in those who work my last job and supporting those who need that help) ranks near the bottom; 48 out of 51 for the last two years. If that wasn’t enough of an impetus there’s also the fact that Illinois is an expensive state to live in, and so my thoughts…as well as time looking for work…has brought me back to seeing what’s available in Tennessee, Memphis in particular.

I know what I am capable when it comes to work, I know a good deal of my strengths as well as my weaknesses, and I plan on using this time to be productive in finding more of the same as to what I’ve been doing work-wise over the last 2 years. I will be honest, I am excited and frightened, hopeful and scared, as I know what it takes to do a good job but the nature of building a professional relationship with anyone takes time and I have “new-guy-on-the-job” syndrome with every job I’ve taken. I guess it serves me well in being cautious and deliberate, but my ambivert nature gets perceived as being an introvert, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

So maybe my bro Carlos was right in this being a blessing in disguise. Maybe I was there for a season to go on and find something better for myself, time will tell but I am full of hope and ambition.

Onward and upward!
~Nathanael~

I finally know what I want to do with my [work] life

Lately in my church we’ve been doing a series called “Trusting God with…” and one thing I’ve started wrestling with in regards to this series is work.
I love what I do, and yet I have 3 things on my plate as to what I want to with my work life:
1) Youth ministry
2) Social services, working with those who live with mental illness
3) I’m not sure what the job title would be, but I like what The Marin Foundation does, so something along the lines of building bridges between the Christian community and the LGBT community.

But I have made peace and I’m reading to move forward into…*drum roll* 🙂

I’m going to continue on in Social Services, working with individuals who have mental illnesses.
I’ve crossed the threshold of 2 years doing just that, and I like it, but the issue I have is that Illinois is ranked near the bottom (48 out of 51) when it comes to supporting those who need Social Services and funding (pay-wise) those who work jobs in Social Services, but still I am going to give IL a little more time and here’s why.

My annual review will be coming up soon and I’m putting together a proposal as to how my agency can return to a more client-centric approach in how they do things. I’m also putting together a book, a self-help book on mental illness and yet I realize that the general population will benefit from learning what I have learned, that (hopefully) the stigma of individuals living with mental illness will be decreased.

But despite all that, if I’m not able to prove my worth in this manner among other things, I’m starting to look elsewhere. I’m looking back to Memphis TN and see what’s available in this field that has proven to be the most stressful, most tiring, most emotionally jarring job I’ve ever had…but it is also the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done job-wise. People are people, and this is how I want to invest my work life.

Part of my game plan does include going back to school, Masters in Psychology with an emphasis in Counseling. So maybe Illinois is where I’ll be, but then again Memphis appeals to me as well for many a reason. I fell in love with the people and that city when I was on vacation, good old “southern hospitality” is what I experienced wherever I went. Plus now that there’s a branch of The Marin Foundation being run by Jimmy Cornfoot I’ll still be able to build bridges between the Christian community and the LGBT community.

Onward and upward,
Nathanael