Six months has passed by in an instant. I mean, it dragged on in a lot of ways, and I had to learn a ot of important lessons the hard way.

It’s a new year. 2015 has ended, I’ve graduated, passed a bullshit exam to get licensed, and found my place as a social worker in an apartment complex for people who were once homeless, and yet, with Syrian families screaming and crying thousands of miles away as bombs made by American companies gets dropped over their heads, and with black and brown kids being gunned down by police officers around the country, with my own failures haunting me every night, it’s hard for me to feel a sort of pride. I survived the year. That alone feels quite miraculous to me.

I got to know a little of what I don’t know. There have been one too many moments of me feeling like I didn’t know what I was doing. 6 years of social work education,  a few years of social work-y jobs and internships and I’m embarassed to admit that I’m not all that great at my job. So many days I wish I was more than who I am.

I let my heart get attached to someone I shouldn’t have, and so there were a lot of tears and awkward arguments. It hurts, and I guess it’s supposed to; the message has been made quite clear.

All of this probably sounds like such a downer but I know myself to still remain very optimistic. Realizing what I’m ignorant of is an important step to keep learning, to keep striving.

Whether I like it or not, there are now people who depend on me. Social work is often the business of motivating people, and unfortunately everyday it starts with me. I must be motivated myself to motivate others. In the company of colleagues and friends who want to do good, this business is quite joyful as it is challenging.

I tweeted a few days ago that in 2016, the only person I want to disappoint is myself, and no one else. It sounds like a very simple thing to be able to do, but the desire feels like a very tall order. The most likely reason I’ll disappointment myself would be that I wasn’t enough, that I didn’t do enough, which, in my line of work, would result in disappointing other people. This ambition means a lot to me nonetheless.

There is definitely shame in the fact that I’m still very ignorant about the realities of domestic violence and physical disabilities, as I serve people who’ve experienced domestic violence and people who live with disabilities. I aim to be better. I’ve subscribed to various podcasts delving into topics of social work and disabilities. I should listen to at least two a week. I should also be reading more. My goal at this point is to read and process 5 seminal books on disabilities and 5 books on domestic violence. My valued colleague pointed out to me more than once that me being a novice social worker ignorant of many things is not an acceptable excuse for anything. My colleague is right. So this current reality of me being ignorant is something I’m willing to work hard to change.

Another thing I’ve come to realize is that I need to get over my heartbreaks, current and past. I honestly do struggle with a lot of inner pain and loneliness everyday. I think a part of me has ironically cherished this, that with these struggles I could relate to others who were also struggling and at a deeper level than I was. I’d hold this pain in, tolerate it, and retreat to the safety and privacy of my man-cave. Well, it’s time I let go. It’s time I leave singledom, for good.

These realizations and goals didn’t come easily. I’m sure there are so many more to happen, and probably they too will hurt. I’m trying to be a better person, and in that process these hurts are necessary.

I’m still me I think; though, Ben Folds does rightly point out, “Even the things that seem still are still… changing.”

 

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