Sometimes my heart pounds with excitement, thrill, passion. It is a regular occurrence and it all stems from one thing. Being a social worker. I understand that most people do not have this elation attached to their job, their profession, their daily work… But I do. All the time. Now, I have some pretty awful days as well, but overall, I am a Social Worker. And because of that, Social Work brings me joy.
I feel this joy the most when I am teaching. I also feel it when I am training (whether Africa or in the basement of a bank in Holland). I feel it when I am brainstorming with a co-worker. I feel it when I am working on projects for the HIV task force I am on.
Although I have always loved Social Work, this new physical sensation of absolute crazy joy is new. It happened when I decided to get my Phd. But here is the thing, you just don’t “get” your PhD. It has taken me a lot of websites, many emails and 2, 6 hour road trips to figure that out. I have researched a lot of programs. 4 of them are within driving/commuting distance. 3 of them are extremely competitive. The one that is not as competitive is, in fact, not very commutable. (Driving across the state 3 hours, for a 3 hour class, then driving 3 hours back, at least 2 times per week). One of the closer ones requires very high GRE scores, and a pretty perfect GPA. The other two accept 3-4 people each year. Out of around 30 applicants.
What is interesting is that the more barriers I find, the more I want it. I don’t know what will make me stand out as a candidate among 30 others, but I know I have to try. Because my heart is pounding. Because I have over 20 years of a career left and I have a lot to give. Because I want to do more. Because I love being a Social Worker. Because I am a good teacher. Because I have some great experiences.
I don’t know how I am going to afford this if I do get in. Apparently universities pay you to get your PhD so that is great, but no program wants you to work full time. Right now I just don’t care. It will sort itself out. Because this is my one life. And if I let 1/10 odds keep me from living it, then I am pretty lame. If I let money keep me from living it then I will never do anything.
I want you all to have the same thrill I do with something in your life. I hope it is your work, because that is where you spend most of your time. I hope it is your family, because they can be your greatest supports. I hope it is where you live because that is where you find opportunity and friendship and leisure. I hope it is your hobbies, because that is what keeps you sane and helps you grow. But find the earth trembling joy. Give all you have to this world. Live your life beyond your wildest expectations. Feel your heart pound with the trill of being you.