Hello, my name is Emily and I am a recovering college graduate trying to prove that the piece of paper framed on my wall and the letters after my name mean something.
I keep finding myself making all of the mistakes my professors in college told me not to make and a few of my own. The professor’s pounded self-care into our heads so that we couldn’t help but dream about it. They talked about the high rate of burn out in my field. I thought I got it. But then I got into my job, I find myself wanting to prove that my degree means something. So, I bend over backwards and work through lunch or sometimes just don’t eat at all and I come home crazy hungry, grumpy and really tense.
I remember my professors telling me, “If you don’t know the answer, then admit it and tell them you will find the answer.” I know that I don’t know everything, but I find myself trying to come up with answers I don’t have. I finally am forced to the point where I have to either make something up or admit I don’t know. Frustrated, I try to answer to my best ability and slide in that I will check with my supervisor. I just want to prove that my degree and license mean something.
I want to jump in and do my job. I listened to the person teaching me about my job and took copious notes. I read my entire curriculum and prepared it to be ready to teach. I paid attention in my training classes. I finally got to write my first home study. I want to do it correctly to prove that I’m really not incompetent and really my degree and “LSW” mean something. But then I made grammar mistakes and missed important information.
After four years of studying and writing, I want to prove myself. As the youngest employee at my agency, I want to prove myself. As a professional that is younger then everyone I am assessing to become a foster parent, I want to prove myself. As a person living in recovery from mental health issues, trauma, addictions and co-dependency, I want to prove myself. I just want to show all of these people that my degree means something… that the letters behind my name mean something… that I’m really not incompetent.
I want to prove to myself that I am and can be a social worker… but even more so, I want to prove that I am good enough.
I guess I’m realizing that I’m trying to find my worth in my work when my identity has already been settled. I am good enough not because of anything I’ve done but because Christ chose to love me and he deemed me priceless just as I am… end of story.
So… sometimes I
Ask if a boy is a girl
Forget to ask important questions
Answer questions I don’t know the answer to
But, it’s ok, I can live, learn and just be me, because God loves me and cherishes me just as is. I am free to be a flawed social worker.