Yesterday, while back at work, I was reminded of why I do what I do.
I had meetings most of the day. Two of them were with students. One was actually canceled (so, okay, ‘most of the day’ is probably an overstatement, but it was on my calendar when I started the day!). And the other was with two colleagues with whom I have gotten much closer, with whom I collaborate, and who are mentors to me as I navigate the sometimes-treacherous trails of the tenure track.
It was a wonderful day, even though I started it feeling a bit overwhelmed by being back from vacation. It reminded me of why I made the choice to come back to this type of job, after taking 2+ years away. It reminded me of why I have made all of the career shifts that I have. Believe me when I say that the “long and winding road” of my life and career trajectory should really be “long and winding road with lots of pit stops, detours, road construction, and blind curves”.
Meeting with students lights my soul on fire. I never realized this until I lost it. Until I wasn’t engaged with people who, for the most part, are eager and willing to learn, who have their own passions, and who are just starting to pursue those. It helps keep me from being jaded. It reminds me of why what we do is important, even if recognition and compensation are not necessarily, um, excessive, shall we say. I do what I do because I am passionate about making a difference for families and patients.
So yes, I’m lighting my soul on fire with my work. I’m feeding my soul in ways that speak to me, not everyone else in my life. I’m nearly in my mid-40s and… I feel like things are starting to come together. Better late than never…