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Monday, September 1, 2008

25!!

7/30/08!!!
A depressing-ass day. The best way to describe it. Major birthdays for me are a time to self-evaluate and plan. Look at the past with an analytical eye as if it were someone else. Looking back at the goals you set and decide if you met them or not. If not, why not? Was it out of your control or were you slacking? What can you do differently?
This is the process I went through. The only way you can truly benefit from the process is to go hard. Interrogate yourself like a Muslim in Gitmo. So I did that and what follows is what I came up with. For your judgmental enjoyment, my f-ups in black and white.
At this point in my life, I wanted to have been finished with my MPA, had a better playing job, traveled more of the world and made some type of tangible impact on my generation (a book, an initiative, etc.) I'm not really there yet. First the MPA…
MPA:
Grad school has been a rather rewarding experience. I've met some of the brightest people there. People with good ideas and even better intentions. Some of these people really want to change the world and I'm confident that many of them will. I mean, these guys are truly inspirational. The environment is so tense that you can't help but feel some pressure.
I could have been done, but I felt that I rushed through undergrad; I really wanted to savor this degree. I wanted to really absorb the material. I mean, I am going to have a pretty healthy debt; I better at least enjoy myself. So my new goal (since I didn't make the last one) is to finish in the next 2 semesters, God willing, that means focusing and putting school first, before people, things and activities. Making sacrifices!! Remembering where I was as a child and keeping my promise to myself to never be there again!!

Professional Life:
I'll start this by saying I love my job. Being a social worker is something that I'm actually good at. But it feels like I've hit a ceiling there sometimes, what's next for me there in terms of professional development? How much longer can I endure the commute? When do I get a raise? It's a thankless job with terrible pay but that's the nature of the nonprofit beast. I think another part of me needs the stability. As a kid, I moved around a lot and stability was a foreigner to me that spoke a different language and ate food that I had never heard of. Even thinking about leaving is a frightening, well maybe not frightening, but anxious moment. Having to prove myself all over again, separating myself away from the norm, that can be a lot of pressure.
But I think it may need to happen, especially if I have hit a wall. So, the plan going forward:
1) Determine my professional worth to the organization. What professional development path do they see for me? Does it align with what I see for myself?
2) See what's out there. Test the market and get a readout.
3) Don't be afraid to take the next step, whatever that may be.

Traveling the World:
The world is so much bigger than Northern California. Living in 3 different regions in the US taught me that much. People that aren't naturally from the Bay Area tend to appreciate it more. Everything from the weather to the forward-thinking politics, to Silicon Valley, to housing both UC Berkeley and Stanford, two of the world's best institutions.
I grew up in between Chicago and Kentucky before settling in California. I think living in those very different regions have helped shape my character and really appreciate this place. Going to Mexico, even TJ and Rosarito, gives you more insight to people. The Dominican Republic was the most beautiful place I've ever been in my life. I saw these natives with no money but happier than anything I had seen in a while. No whining, just working. Never taking their paradise for granted. Those things help you appreciate your life so much. I have to do more of it. To anyone reading this, go get a passport!! ASAP!! It's worth it. The experience you get abroad is unrivaled by anything else that I've ever done.
In the next few years, I have a few places planned: Italy and Brazil are at the top of that list. Hopefully, I'll make it there. Anybody that wants to go, let me know. I will include you in my life plan (if I like you, that's very important). Set the goal with me and let's do it. Screw it!!
The key for all of those is for me to focus, focus, focus. On the way there, I will lose some people along the way and that sucks. That sucks salty donkey nuts, but it happens. Gotta make it happen though. Stay strong through it all. Leave your comments, opinions, f-you's, whatever you want. Suggestions are good too. If you want to stay anonymous, leave it in the truth section on my profile and I'll get it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Charles:
I love your postings. You are so open and honest and I really like that about you. A lot of people can learn from your experiences. Can you write more about why you think it is important for you to "discard" some people out of your life? Is it because they require too much time? Are there just certain people you get rid of? Has something happened in your past that has made you think this way? I'm sure this mindset has hurt some people that care/cared about you. It would be great to hear an update of what is going on with you now and how letting go of certain people has helped you.