My Old Job, My New Job, and In Between

Sometimes you just need a break.

This was how I felt in May, after the school year ended. Three years into my job as a speech-language pathologist for Oklahoma City Public Schools, I hadn’t even really thought about looking for another job. It’s hard to find a job with a schedule as enticing as a school job, and I liked working with the students. But in late May I saw a post on Facebook advertising a job at the J.D. McCarty Center here in Norman. I decided to apply.

As I went through the application and interview process, I began to realize something: the workplace where I had spent the last three years of my life was actively making me miserable. For three years, I convinced myself I was not miserable, but a new opportunity forced me to be honest with myself, and with those around me. I hated my job, and I couldn’t stand the thought of going back.

It wasn’t the students, whom I miss and worry about. It wasn’t my supervisors, who did everything they could to help out the many speech-language pathologists working for them. And it certainly wasn’t the schools themselves or my coworkers at those schools, all of whom were just struggling in a flawed system to do the best by their students.

The point of this post isn’t to point fingers or to even to delve into the many reasons why I didn’t enjoy my work. I guess I could blame any number of people if I wanted to. But I could just as easily blame myself. Work wasn’t ever meant to satisfy us; it was always meant to glorify God. Too often, I resented my job because it didn’t meet my expectations for what a job should be. But I know if I had leaned into Christ more, then He would have given me more than enough joy to help me through each day. And I didn’t.

But the past is past. I decided to leave, and J.D. McCarty was gracious enough to give me this new job. I’ve been there for a month, and while I still feel like a new employee, I’m in awe that it’s possible to look forward to going to work. I’d say it feels like home, except my home feels like home, and my work still feels like work. But I think it’s as close as work comes to feeling like home, and I never expected to feel that way about a job.

They say everything happens for a reason, which is fine, except I don’t think that’s very comforting when you don’t know the reason. Thankfully, I have a God who loves me and works everything for my good, even things that suck. I know that there is far worse suffering in the world, but dreading going to work in the morning is definitely a thing that sucks. And I’m fairly confident that all things that suck are designed to draw you closer to God, because they remind you that only God can satisfy you and only He is good.

So I needed a break in May. Not just from work, but also from writing. Honestly, writing started to feel like work, which is silly, since it’s just a hobby. So I took a break from writing, and it gave me perspective on why I write. It’s easy to get caught up in getting clicks and wanting to stay relevant, and I hope that after my hiatus I care less about that and that I just write for the sake of writing.

I only recently started to miss writing, so I think that’s a sign I should write again. I don’t know if this blog will look like it did before or look completely different. All I know is that I’m going to write what I want to write. The alternative is exhausting and work, and it’ll just make me need another break.

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