Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rain in the Valley

It's been raining in the mountains.

A hard rain's a gonna fall, as Bob Dylan says.
Last week, I referenced New Friend. New Friend is, in reality, Supervisor. Sadly, she is leaving the office to pursue life goals, for which I wish her only the best. As a result of her departure, she can no longer be referred to as "Supervisor" and shall henceforth be known as "Britannica." She spent a good three days or so brainstorming her new nickname, with the help of some choice coworkers, and that is the best our office could come up with.

Britannica's leaving is tough. I'm certain everyone at work will concur with my saying she has been the glue for the past two years, somehow keeping tabs on the eight thousand aspects that make our mission a reality and not just some pipedream. I honestly do wish her the best in her endeavors and still have every intention of seeing her on a regular basis, but the office just won't be the same without her. She is a phenomenal, inspiring person, and I hope I can make a fraction of the difference she's been able to make here in this valley.

Stepping up to the challenge
With Britannica's leaving, things are getting intense at the office. If there was something I hadn't learned from her yet, I'm learning it now. Activity reports, grant summaries, general verbage, contact lists. I've been hand held long enough, and now is the chance for me to honestly just jump in. It's time to sink or swim, and I'm doing my best at doggy paddle. When I think about all I've learned in the past month, it really becomes overwhelming. It is also promising, in its own twisted way. If I can handle this much, I can only get better at it.

Office Anecdote
Britannica had a serious relationship with her expo board. I'm talking they had been together about two years (from what I can gather), they went home together on a regular basis, and he was practically her entire world. Now that she's leaving the office, she is leaving him as well.

The Expo Board has been left in my care. I have inherited this wonderful piece of white plastic. First thing today, I color-coded my to-do list with places for check marks and my life feels so complete. Being able to SEE my to-do list, and having other people (read as: OfficeMate) see it makes me feel much more accountable for my work. If something is not checked off, others can call me out on it. Hello, superior productivity. Hopefully we'll get along just fine.

Everything else.
My money has yet to be returned. I'm not super worried about it. The whole experience has made me realize how many stupid things happen because of money. I may not be rolling in the big bucks, I may have ripped a belt loop off a pair of jeans this past weekend (damn you, jeans dance!) and Mr. Merlot may not have the fancy Toyota "T" on him anymore, but I'm happy. I am genuinely happy.

I am currently living with wonderful and understanding people (no, honestly, they're like the best people I've ever met). I am lucky enough to have a job where I get to help others, help those who need it the most. I have met some of the most genuinely awesome people in this town. I am inspired on a daily basis by the wonderful people I work with and even more by the strength of the people I serve. I have a roof over my head, food in my stomach and gas in my tank. I don't need much more. In the past month, more than ever in my life, I've begun to evaluate what really matters.

This rain in the valley, it's doing nothing more than clearing off the dusty distractions from my life. All these worries in my life; money that will eventually make its way back into my account, friendships that may never materialize.... they're being washed away.

And what's left are people. People have helped me in this past rough month. They've helped house me, they've lent me money, they've listened to me vent, they've sent me support in so many forms (including surprise flowers at work!).

And that's why I want to help people. Because, when there is nothing left, no other outlet when you have no hope, you're just looking for a helping hand or a patient ear. Others have been that for me, and I so desperately want to be that for so many others.

That is why I serve.

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