If there's nothing else that I've learned over the past 16 months, it's that you have to take chances to get the life that you want. I don't think I could possibly list all of the times I've learned that lesson since I started this adventure. But, there is definitely one chance that, as the school year wraps up, stands out to me.
I think it was almost exactly a year ago that Kira (who I just knew through work and Butler Tech) mentioned to me that there would be an opening for a guidance counselor at Fairfield High School the following year. As soon as I heard that, I was immediately intrigued but scared at the same time.
If you've gotten nothing else from this blog, you've probably figured out that I am a creature of comfort. And I am not a big fan of change. I was finishing up my 9th year at the job I'd had since I finished grad school. I was very lucky to have the job and get to do what I went to school for but, for several reasons, I wasn't happy anymore. So, when I learned of this job opening, I thought, I wonder what would happen if I applied? I hadn't been actively looking for a new job but, right from the beginning, it just felt right. Of course, I needed some reassurance that I wasn't crazy. After all, I was very secure in the job I had and, as a single person, stability is a big selling point for me. But, as I had slowly learned over the last 4 months (at that point), staying in the same place doesn't always mean happiness. So, I talked to the people I trust most in the world. My siblings (who always want me to be happy and work in education so I knew they had informed opinions) and Renee', who, at that point, had already become someone I could bounce things off of and not feel crazy. I knew she'd tell me the truth without any bias and make me think about things that I may not have thought about, good or bad.
As you can probably guess, I decided to go for it and apply. As Renee' said, what's the worst that could happen? And you'll never know if you don't try. Maybe I just needed to hear that from someone other than my own thoughts. Either way, it was the push I needed to write a new resume' and submit the application. Now, all I could do was wait. And, if nothing happened, at least I had made an effort.
As luck would have it, I got an interview and it went well. I was offered the job and, without any hesitation, I accepted it. As I said before, it just felt right. In more ways than I could describe. I shared the news with my family and a friend or two ;)
I went in to my new school to meet some people and see my office. I immediately felt at home. The people I met the first day were so nice and welcoming. What an amazing feeling. I knew the chance I had taken was going to pay off. I'm just not sure I could have imagined how much it would pay off. I love going to work. Sure, there are days when I'm tired. But, in the end, I love my job and the kids I am lucky enough to work with everyday. The best part is that I have become great friends with my co-workers. They make me laugh every single day. They make work fun. I can't remember the last time I spent so much time smiling at work.
It's difficult to imagine how different things would be if I hadn't applied for the job. Thankfully, I don't have to think that way. Because I took the chance. And the results have been better than I ever could have imagined. To everyone I work with on a daily basis - Thank you for making my first year at Fairfield one of the best I've ever had! Nancy, Kira, Kelli, Marilyn, Tracy, Linda and Russ - I feel lucky to work with all of you on a daily basis - Thanks for making the chance I took one of the best decisions I've ever made :)
And so, the picture below seems to be an appropriate ending to this entry -