Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hellloooo there!

Hello out there in Blogland! Remember me? I can't believe it's been so long since I've written a blog entry and touched base. How are you? Enjoying the weather? What have you been up to? Wherever you are and whatever you're up to - I hope you're doing well and having a bit of fun!

At the beginning of last month, I wrote about the closing of the women's program I was working at and some of the changes that were taking place in my field (and in my life). Since then, some exciting (and not so exciting) things have happened. Here's an update:

I'll start with the not-so exciting things...mainly, the fact that I've had this annoying and persistent cough for a few weeks now. It began while I was in Winnipeg with J+H visiting my family and friends. It was particularly annoying because I had all of these wonderful things planned while I was visiting such as shopping at my favorite vintage stores, catching up with friends over wine and attending family parties. Unfortunately, much of that was thwarted by the full-blown head cold which then turned into an ear infection and now is just a nasty cough that won't seem to go away. I've gone through a dose of antibiotics and even begged for more this past weekend (the doctor refused...hmph!). I can't wait 'til it runs its course and I'm feeling 100% again!

Moving on...the exciting things! Shortly after the women's program ended, I received a call from one of the Directors at the agency I was working for. "Would I be interested in a contract position beginning on Monday?" (She contacted me late Thursday evening just days before starting.) "Of course!" I replied and have been working with an amazing program ever since.

It's funny how you think that you'll only ever love one program or population to work with. It's not that I actually believed this entirely but when the program I was working for ended, I kind of romanticized it and was ultra sensitive to J's attempts at optimism when he said there might be other programs and populations that were just as fulfilling and interesting as the one I just experienced...and he was right.

I'm currently working as an interim Employment Counsellor at a centre which serves youth (ages 15-30) but are slowly transitioning into a new model which includes all ages. I am absolutely loving it!

There are two things that have made this experience incredibly enriching and rewarding: 1) I've never worked with youth before and 2) I didn't know much about the community the centre is situated in.

I've always been curious about what it would be like working with youth and if it was something I would enjoy. It's been such an eye-opener and I feel so lucky that I'm having this opportunity to see what it's like. I love the energy at the centre - it's busy, loud and full of activity! And I really like meeting all of the youth, listening to their stories and helping them with their job search or training needs. I love finding out what they're interested in and what they're hoping to do. I especially love sharing resources and information, as well as making recommendations that might be useful. It's been such a treat working with them!

As for the community the centre is located in - it's referred to as a "priority neighborhood" which I won't go into the logistics of nor will I attempt to give an accurate definition of. In very simplistic terms it's an under-served area which has been identified based on various factors (I know, vague) and which involves having priority for infrastructure investment (again, vague). If you want to know more about it, please feel free to google. In any case, it's in one of those areas that people (usually those that have never been there - maybe from deep in the suburbs) often have very strong and often negative opinions about to the point of fearing it. Let's just say there are a lot of incredibly ignorant views floating around, some of which are the result of fear-mongering. In any case, having the opportunity to work in this neighborhood and see how vibrant, diverse and community-minded it is has been amazing.

The experience has been really wonderful and I've been learning so much on so many levels. I feel energized when I'm there and like I get to use different parts of my personality that often get neglected when I'm in quieter surroundings. And I haven't even mentioned the staff - they're really great! People chip in whenever help is needed and there's so much interaction and sharing going on. People seem really happy to be there and there's a lot of banter and laughing going on. The director is also really fantastic and the staff obviously love her. It's a really nice place to be.

So, all this to say that I'm feeling good, despite this annoying cough. I'm just happy to have this experience, albeit short-lived. Who knows what's next for me? More exciting things I hope. If not, I've got a list of things that I can catch up on during the down time but more about that in a later post.

Take care and talk soon. It feels good to be back. xo

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