Being humbled — an expression whose meaning has been defined for me in a whole new light in 2013. I took the position as Assessment Specialist at Aurora, Inc. five months ago today. As with every new employee, I had expectations of the upcoming rewarding moments affiliated with the job, as well as the hardships that I may be faced with. My initial assumptions couldn’t have been further from the truth. I have been both surprised and taken back by how grateful and kind the folks that have walked into my office have been. Their stories alone have inadvertently challenged me to reevaluate my own life to see where improvements could be made. I have come to see my time working with our community’s homeless population as the most unique opportunity, and have already learned quite a few valuable life lessons. However, there is one in particular that I would like to share—one that has truly been laid on my heart.
As humans, I feel it is sometimes in our nature to magnify minuscule problems in our lives if there seem to be no significant concerns present. I myself have been guilty of this a number of times. It is rightly very easy to take life’s blessings for granted, but it wasn’t until I began working with Evansville’s most resilient and strong on a daily basis that I began to see just how much of a vice taking things for granted has essentially become for me. When you are speaking or working with folks who do not regularly get their basic needs and necessities met, your perspective on what is important begins to take on a new shape. I began to see things in a new light, minimized stressing over the small things, and am now more grateful than ever for the many supports I have been granted in this life.
In the end, I leave you with a lesson that it has unfortunately taken me twenty-five years, an understanding of how we are all connected, and a change of heart to learn: Gratitude is one of the best ways to find contentment. We are often discontent in our lives, desire more, because we don’t realize how much we have. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, be grateful for the amazing gifts you’ve been given: of loved ones and simple pleasures, of health and sight and the gift of music and books, of nature and beauty and the ability to create, and everything in between. Be grateful every day.
My upbringing took place in New Harmony, Indiana. I really enjoyed the small, close knit community. From there, I continued my education at the University of Southern Indiana (USI), earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Work in May of 2011, and decided to move right through onto the fast-track master’s program offered by USI. I completed the program this past July of 2012.
My motivation for a career in social work spawned from my childhood. Born several months premature, I battled my first couple of years with a plethora of doctors and surgeries. During this time, I came to know several ‘no less than amazing’ social workers. They offered me a sense of support during trying times and helped me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I thought if I could help one feel the same sense of support during a hardship that I felt during that struggle, then this career track would be more than worth it.