Hello, my name is Emily and I am a recovering college graduate

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

Make mistakes

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.


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