I begin this post tentatively and a little bit nervously. I also have a bit of indecision. I am not sure yet how to proceed with this post. One editor who is helping to manage this blog for me while I do my work asked me to write originally. My point of view is not altered. I am still addressing you personally, but she asked whether I could come up with something that I had not covered before, basically original content. I believe she has commercial interests in mind but that’s ok, she pays me for my content from time to time.
I have been musing about this for quite some time. So I feel compelled to talk to you about this. I was also wondering whether I could serialize this post and those that will follow, because while I have selected different themes, my train of thought and the events in my life are all somehow interlinked. Let me begin with this heading’s theme then. It is in regard to my day to day life. Those of you who do vocational work may have similar musings, thoughts and feelings. You are always welcome to share these with the rest of us. My subject heading, call it a sub-theme, deals with my immediate future, or at least what must happen in the next few weeks of my life as a social worker and a woman with a heart that is feeling a little fragile right now.
Let me then just speak from the heart. Let the words flow and see where it takes us. I have worries and concerns but today I am endeavoring to set these aside for now and just try and stay focused and exercise some faith. Worries and concerns, it goes without saying, is part of my job. Where it sometimes gets in the way of my personal life, it could be considered something of an occupational hazard. Because not a day goes by when you are not thinking about some or another case file sitting on your desk while you try to rest and recuperate at home. They also say that change is always difficult, especially when you are venturing into unknown territory.
It causes the butterflies in your stomach to flap around wildly. Perhaps it wants you to stop stations and do a U-turn and go back to where you were before. My line of work and my personal feelings about my vocation are now causing me to go forward in this life to do new things and begin new projects. I can’t give you a timeline but let’s just say that for the next few months at least I will be doing field work. To do this effectively, I am forcing myself to live among those that I am to serve. I travelled through the area yesterday morning by bus and what I saw on the streets and pavements caused me to shiver with both fear and pity.
Right, I am going to be as honest as possible with my thoughts and feelings and as detailed as I can be in regard to this day in the life of a vulnerable social worker whose feelings are, for the time being, getting in the way of her work. Ladies, it’s that occupational hazard I mentioned earlier. Like psychiatrists among their peers, social workers also need to be counseled. After all these years, I am finally scheduled for a first consultation with a colleague that I have never before met. While I have been involved in much facilitation before, I still have nervous pangs about how my first counseling session as a patient will pan out. How will it go, and how will I react? Will the experience be positive, as it should be or will I break down?
Time will tell. And right now, time is precious. I am loath to take my time with projects because of all the critical deadlines, both professional and personal, and yet, habitually, I tend to work a lot slower than my peers. So, perhaps this is something that my new counselor will help me address. Anyway, I was taking the bus to the largest mall in our area to have my phone fixed. Where I will be staying in the near future, it is about five to ten minutes drive away. I thought excitedly about the prospects of coming here to let off steam every once in a while when I’ve earned my break.
Positive feelings begin to abound as I begin to wind this post down. There was not much time for window shopping at the mall. My phone had to be fixed and then I had to head off to the projects to collect my keys for my small office-cum-living quarters. Social workers are already quartered there. They are doing work among the poor as we speak. What caused me to lighten up a little was the fact that most of my work will be research-oriented. I will be making my rounds among the people, accompanied by other field workers of course, observing events on the ground and preparing notes for later work on my Dictaphone. I will then proceed to my quarters and begin the process of compiling my findings and putting together suggestions for new projects which need to be prioritized for this new field area of mine.
I climbed off the bus some way before my destination deliberately. I wanted to get a good feeling of what was going down on the ground. Never mind just seeing it, I could literally feel the grinding poverty on my skin. While I am never going to be working alone, I could sense that, this time around, I have my work cut out for me. Have I labored long enough with my current train of thought? And will this story be continued into the next post? Time will tell. Let us just wait and see.