I've been a little, actually A LOT burnt out lately with work. There are some irritations with my current job, of course, but the core issue is the same issue from every past job. I doubt that I can be effective at the work I do. I wonder if I'm good enough for it or cut out for it.
I spoke with a former co-worker about this last week. I said "John, I think I'm in the wrong field." John was always my #1 cheerleader at Southlight, so I expected him to reassure me that I'm doing better than I think, I'm great at what I do, etc. Instead, he said, "I don't know...maybe you really are in the wrong field."
Though not what I wanted to hear, I had to appreciate his honesty. He went on to say, "If you want a career where you have some way of knowing you're doing a good job, this is not it."
I stayed up late last night thinking and trying to figure out the direction of my life. Where would I live if not in Asheville? What would I be if not a counselor? Where would I be if x,y,& z hadn't happened or if I had done A instead of B? Am I really exactly where I am supposed to be at this moment?
I know I can't change people, so how can I help? I started to think about what others have done to help me, what has worked & what has not worked. I decided that the people most helpful to me have been those who listened without judging, believed in me, gave me a healthy dose of perspective, or inspired me in some way or another.
Even if I had the luxury of a million mentors as a teenager, I probably would have made hundreds of wrong choices, regardless of their efforts. I had to suffer enough and make my life unmanageable enough before I could realize I needed to ask for help and start making changes. (Even as an adult, I struggle with this "asking for help" thing.) But, when I felt the need to change things, it was the people who believed in me that set the stage for change.
I have a few adolescent and young adult clients right now that I really worry about. The ones that cause me the most heartache are always the ones I like the most.
Will I be able to help them? I don't know. There's no way of knowing if I make a difference or not. I can only hope that the fact that I care matters for something.