The past two months have been a whirlwind of activity, and the past couple of weeks have been no exception. Starting in late December, I began applying like mad to social service jobs. I had several interviews in the past few weeks, and was offered one on Monday. I signed my offer letter today. I start next week.
Saying hello to this job means saying goodbye to other things, namely two extracurriculars that have been extremely meaningful to me in the past 12-18 months: volunteering as a crisis line advocate and dancing.
My volunteer work has been meaningful not only because of the service that I have been providing, but because of the relationships I have built with the staff and community of volunteers at that organization. I truly love the place and I wish that I had been able to take the part time job it offered me. I will miss it dearly, and I hope to stay in touch with the people who work there. I am taking in flowers, coconut chocolate chip cookies, and a card tomorrow as a way to say Thank You to the people who have blessed me with training, emotional support, and professional support the past 14 months.
Y’all know why dancing has been meaningful to me. I’m not writing off dancing as being Done Completely And Forever, but working full time will certainly put a damper on my availability and energy to dance on the side. I will miss a number of things about dancing: the exercise, the performance, the cathartic release to dancing to my favorite songs, getting dressed up pretty, hearing from customers and fellow dancers that I’m hot, the $$money$$, and the several lovely women who I have come to know, respect, admire, and love. Taking the job that I did really drove the fact home that I made bank as a dancer. I knew that conceptually- how many people are able to work part time and go to Hawaii twice in one year? (That being said, I was living month-to-month and didn’t really save much.) But taking this job which pays $13.50/hr is quite a bit lower than my average hourly income from dancing ($20-30/hr). Hopefully I’ll still find the time and energy to shake my thang a few times a month because it feels really abrupt to just say Goodbye to this chapter in my life. In any case, I’d like to also take flowers and sweets into my club as a way to bring myself some closure regarding my Amazingly Awesome Dancing Chapter.
I’m saying hello to a stable income, full time experience in the social services field, and working in an environment dedicated to ending sexual violence. I am saying hello to the possibility of attending an MSW program. I am saying hello to new connections, new paths, new possibilities. I am saying hello to more ambiguity (such is life). And I know the truth deep down: more often than not, life is circular and not discrete. I’ll volunteer again, just perhaps not with the same group of people. I’ll dance again, though not at the same frequency or place or for money. Life moves in patterns and narratives as we continuously reinvent ourselves with the stories that matter to us in each moment.