People sometimes tell me that I'm wise, which is a compliment that makes me feel very good , but sometimes I have a hard time believing it. Sometimes I spend too much mental energy comparing myself to other people, and sometimes I have negative emotions I can find no solid explanation for. During those times, I do not feel wise at all. I think everyone feels this way sometimes, it just might be harder for people like me to get over. I have learned that even in these times, if I can find something that gives me a feeling a purpose, then I can find my happiness. Right now, I have a very strong sense of purpose thanks to my job.
The thing about working with children, I've learned, is that although they can be extremely stubborn, they are also extremely resilient. Just when I'm ready to lose my temper and start complaining, something always happens that pulls me right back in. A few weeks ago, it was an unexpected question from a camper who wasn't having the best day.
"Jennie, am I a good person or a bad person?" Where did that come from, I thought to myself, you were just playing baseball with your friends, and now you're suddenly pondering moral philosophy? Whatever the source of this question may have been, I was able to answer it and then talk to this camper for a few minutes, and by the time he high fived me and went back to his game, I think we were both in a better mood.
This low paying, temporary job is important. Because children, frustrating as they can be at times, are very valuable people who happen to be extremely impressionable. And three days a week, a group of children whose backgrounds I don't always know, are watching me. They are watching the way I carry myself, and the way I treat them, and that, in some small way, is impacting how they think about themselves and their place in the world.
Sometimes I don't feel great about myself, but then again, sometimes I do. Because I am doing something that matters, something that I really enjoy getting up in the morning to go do. It helps make me feel like I have a purpose, and that is important.