Getting older sometimes has its perks (you can buy beer) but it also has it downfalls (wrinkles, gray hairs). For some reason, being a year older and closer to the prime of my life has made me think about my life, career, and put things in perspective. Plus having setbacks at work has helped my epiphany too.
I love what I do. I've never doubted that I chose the right career path, being an engineer is something I love. I also know I chose the right field, protecting the environment is something of a calling, I guess you could say. I have poured my heart, soul, and knowledge into this field, into being the best engineer in my area, and have always felt I needed to do more so that my contribution be more valuable to my employer.
Then setbacks happen. You begin to see, that no matter how many cracks there are on the glass ceiling, the ceiling is not budging. You keep trying, you try yet again, and the disappointments keep coming.
I'm not a quitter. I set goals, follow through with them, no matter how difficult they are. I'm not bragging, it's just how my brain functions. It's a curse, I guess you could say because I'll get so wrapped up in finishing the goal, that sometimes I miss the whole picture.
Then it happened, another setback at work. I had poured my heart and soul into a project that I thought would be awesome, and it was turned down. Not even given a chance to discuss it, and present it, just simply turned down.
Rejection hurts specially when you have invested part of yourself into a project, when the project is more than just work, when it is something you truly believe would benefit all parties involved.
I was upset, until now.
Maybe I've been looking to apply my talents in the wrong places. Yes, I am a good engineer, and I am good at my job. But being an engineer is only job. It's not who I am. Perhaps all those other talents I have been blessed with were not meant to be shared in this setting.
I was blessed with the ability to conquer my hatred of math, and pursue a degree most people don't ever dream of attempting. I was blessed with the intelligence to see it through, and a job that lets me apply my knowledge and protect the environment.
But that's just part of me. I have so much more to offer and for the longest time I've been trying and trying to use my other talents at work. I have prayed, I have cried, I have fought, and the whole time I forgot that sometimes an answer to a prayer is simply no answer.
All of a sudden, the glass ceiling is not important anymore. I still love my job, my career, and I plan to continue in this path until I retire, God willing. But perhaps I am meant to share the rest of me in other venues where those other talents can be best utilized.
Who I am is bigger than the career I chose. I am a Sunday school teacher and have discovered how much I enjoy working with kids, and I can apply those talents in place where my rewards are smiles and the knowledge I have "planted the seeds" in them. I am mother, I am a wife, a sister, a friend, and I have the chance to share my talents in all those roles.
So now I embark into the journey to find those other places where I can help others and use my talents. It won't be at work, that I know now. I probably won't be paid for it either. But I guess that's where the difference lies between your job and your life purpose. Your life purpose fulfills you and completes the person you are and that is its own reward.