Despite lofty encouragement heaped upon me from my parents throughout my childhood, I was never an overachiever in my school days. I wasn’t a gifted and dedicated brainiac like my wildly smart sister—which doesn’t bother me so much now that we’re both grown ass adults (though I’m still a just a girl)—and I struggled immensely in all of my non-English classes from 4th grade til my graduation from Baylor. Of course I could’ve and should’ve always put more effort into my education, but much of my class concepts truly did not register with me. I found the only success I had in school was in my reading and writing courses (thanks to whichever ancestors gave my sister and me such language arts skills) where writing long-form essays and poems felt easy to me. However now that I’ve been in the workplace for the past 3 years, I’ve become diligent and determined at work. My old workplace was where I developed the perseverance and devotion I didn’t have in school and I finally became good at something. At one point I was doing the jobs of four sections/clerks at once and I barely bat an eyelash. The work made sense to me and I enjoyed helping as many coworkers and clients as possible. Of course I despised how folks at my old workplace usually took advantage of me and what I could get done (right when I started overachieving for the first time), but I loved the work I could do. And when I moved from Legal Clerk to Community Outreach Court Coordinator, I got my best work done! I felt like I was doing a job that helped people—albeit slapping a bandaid on a complex wound—and I became an expert in social service resources and processes. I loved answering attorney questions, running pretrial conferences, walking clients through the court process, and making sure everyone was connected to the right providers. I worked extremely hard at my job and I was supported by a wonderful PD and some folks outside of my old workplace and once I was left alone to finally do my job the way I wanted to, I felt like I was happy where I was.
I’m very lucky to have the new job I’m in (here’s my home office) where I have lots of kind and helpful coworkers and a position I get to create. My initial work transition was difficult and at times I felt like I might’ve made a mistake leaving a job I was so comfortable and proficient in, but I know that changes, although uncomfortable, are only helping me grow. When I was freaking out over being the new person at work and not knowing anything about the job or my tasks, I thought about how happy I was in my old workplace and if I should’ve stayed there. I was holding on to the job because it was comfortable and brought me joy for a period of time and I didn’t (and still don’t) want the clients to be left with someone who doesn’t care about them as much in my position. Letting go is truly painful for me. I put so much time, effort, and energy into Community Outreach Court and I believe my work made the program better. I brought around 500 clients through the court system so they no longer had fines and fees on their records and they could obtain their licenses for housing and jobs. I connected hundreds of folks with service providers who hopefully assisted them with the housing eligibility waitlist, vital documents, SNAP benefits, free dental work, and subsidized community college. Coordinating Community Outreach Court is one of my favorite accomplishments and I know how lucky I am to have worked in that program at the time. I have to let go of my controlling nature over who replaces me, how the program will be run, how many clients will be assisted, etc., because I have a new job to focus on. I can only hope to retain the relationships I had with coworkers, service providers, and clients, and try my best to help vulnerable community members in my new role.