Archive | July, 2012

I am not a joke.

10 Jul

When I was five years old, I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up.

A princess.

Well, William found Kate, and Harry is a little to ginger for my tastes, so eventually I ended up back at square one.

I guess I went through the normal little girl phases. I wanted to be a teacher for a while, I guess. In fourth grade, I wanted to be an Egyptologist. (No joke, I gave a presentation on it, even.) Eventually I packed up and went to college with dreams of becoming a Blood Spatter Analyst for the FBI. (WHO FORGOT TO TELL ME YOU NEEDED MATH AND PHYSICS FOR THAT??!?!)

So then, once my scientist dreams were crushed by realizing I was far too pretty for science OR math (I kid, I’m not too pretty, just too right brained for either), I went into PR. I probably would’ve stuck with corporate sales if rich people weren’t such a soul suck, but this drove me into the arms of the lovey dovey non-profit folks. And here I am.

And some days, I feel a little lost.

I guess I thought by the time I was the grown up I’ve always wanted to be, that I’d have my shit together. My 13 year old self would be incredibly disappointed (although enthusiastic about all the shoes). To be fair, some days my 27 year old self is a little disappointed.

A lot of the people I went to high school with are changing the world. They have jobs they love, and jobs they excel at. My college friends are mostly high paid fancy engineers who are considered knowledgeable in their respective disciplines. They have to take tests to do their jobs. Ummm…. I can make a mean spreadsheet?

I was the first person in my family to go to college. It was never not an option. I never considered a life without college. I was supposed to have “potential” and “ambition.” Some days lately, I can barely get out of bed. This was not the life I saw for myself, and yet I feel powerless to make any changes. I don’t want to start over – I have five years of fundraising experience. I love what I do. Yet it frustrates me when people look at my job as “unimportant” or a “cake walk.” Yeah – with two events a year, I have a very flexible schedule. I can work from just about anywhere, at just about any time. I also make much less money than a lot of my counterparts on the corporate side of the coin because we devote so much to our mission. (Actually, I have amazing health insurance that I pay almost nothing for, a pretty awesome 403b, which is the non-profit 401k, and get a whole lot of vacation time.)

I don’t like feeling like a disappointment, and yet some days, I can’t help it. I want so badly to be able to see the good in what I do, but lately, all I feel is a sense of deep longing for something…. more.

What do I have to do to make you understand that my job is not fluff? That I make a difference? That even though I don’t work 13 hours a day (since when is that a measure of success, anyway?), that even though I don’t make six-figures, and won’t for quite some time, that I matter? Or will I always be a joke to you?