There is a weird feeling that I have started to cope with while at work. It is embarrassing to admit but I feel at times as if I’m above the work I am doing. I cannot really explain it but it creates a type of entitled mindset that is not healthy. It started after a month of working my new Job with the YMCA. I love the people I work with. And I love the mission and good work that the YMCA does in this area. Which is why I was conflicted on why I was feeling this way. My days were filled with middle schoolers and inventory management. I have deemed myself the title of Director of Snacks because for a couple hours each day I organize snack in a windowless room for after-school programs. I kept hearing a voice saying, “are you really becoming a professional here? Is this where you want your career to start? How are you really going to make a difference working here?”
I think this is a problem that many others who are my age face their first year after college. I spent four years studying theory and expected to have the perfect job handed to me instantly. I really woke up one day and started to take a step back and think on why I felt so entitled and how I could change it.
This whole experience reminded me of a story from high school. I grew up playing basketball and I was pretty good in elementary school. I grew earlier on than all my friends so I was 5’7 in the 6th grade. Life was the best, I didn’t have to try that hard, rebounds were essentially handed to me. I thought that this was going to be what forever would be like. I was under the impression that I would just be a good basketball player because my Dad was good. So I never really worked that hard at it. So I woke up one day and I was still 5’7, but everyone I played against was a lot taller than that. Junior year of high school, I went from starting to coming off the bench, to no playing time at all. It was never my fault though; it was always the coach. He was out to get me. I mean there was no way it had anything to do the fact that I was a liability on defense. It definitely had nothing to do with the fact I spent all offseason playing video games and munching on Doritos. I remember feeling entitled. I believed that I deserved to be the best without any work. Then my dad came downstairs one night while I was playing 2K13 on my Xbox. I had complained to him all season and I think he was tired of hearing it. He said he didn’t want to come to my games to watch me ride the bench, but if I wanted to work hard he would help me get better. Then before he walked back upstairs he turned to me and said, “your attitude is going to affect your altitude in this.” It was super cheesy but it was awesome. So we worked out together all spring and most of the summertime. We would go to the park and do sprints together. I watched youtube videos on how to improve my skills and even tried to become faster. When the next season came, I had a starting position again and it was awesome. My basketball team was still really bad but it was my favorite season. I don’t really remember what our record was. All I remember is that my dad cared enough to work with me through the process.
Jesus worked hard, and he served others. So I’m checking my attitude at the door of this YMCA and focusing on the blessings God is showing me at work. It is a blessing that God does not care where I work but how I work. It is a blessing that I am not as important as I think I am. It is a blessing that I get to work with wonderful people and help make a difference in kids lives. And it is a blessing that the Lord is working with me each and every day in the process. Maybe one day I will be a starter, but right now I am going to enjoy the process.
For Work by John O’Donohue
May the light of your soul guide you.
May the light of your soul bless the work
You do with the secret love and warmth of your heart.
May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul.
May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light and renewal to those
Who work with you and to those who see and receive your work.
May your work never weary you.
May it release within you wellsprings of refreshment, inspiration and excitement.
May you be present in what you do.
May you never become lost in the bland absences.
May the day never burden you.
May dawn find you awake and alert, approaching your new day with dreams,
Possibilities and promises.
May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.
May you go into the night blessed, sheltered and protected.
May your soul calm, console and renew you.