Yesterday, I had the opportunity to return home. Not my place of residence, but the place where my heart resides. I spent the day volunteering at the day shelter for homeless men, where I was employed for five years. It was far more than my workplace, though. It truly was, and as I discovered, still is, my home.
As I approached the front door of the day shelter, my whole face lit up, knowing what, or rather, who, was behind those doors. As soon as I entered the day shelter, I saw a mixture of familiar and new faces among the staff, volunteers, and the finest gentlemen in all of Louisville. And I promptly burst into happy tears, as they greeted me and welcomed me back. I was home.
When I left my position there over two years ago, I did so, not because I disliked the job or the people there. It was quite the contrary actually. I never stopped caring about the gentlemen or my colleagues, and that job was the first one I ever left that I did not actually want to leave.
The decision to accept a higher paying position that allowed me to work from home was made solely because it was what was best for my family at that time. It definitely was not an easy decision, but it was the right decision. As my last day approached, my boss knew that I was struggling with saying good-bye, and she shared with me some wise words that I have thought of nearly every day, You are doing what is right for you and your family right now, but it does not mean that it has to be permanent. She was right, at least, that is my hope.
I had not been back to volunteer at the day shelter since last spring, which is the longest stretch of time that I have not been there in the past seven years. Even though some things have changed, the feeling of being home had not. That feeling grew stronger with every hug, conversation, tear, laugh, and activity shared with the staff, volunteers, and the gentlemen.
My day there began with happy tears, and it ended with me shedding more tears, as I drove away. I did not want to leave. I kept thinking over and over, I want to go home.
It is easy to get caught up in second-guessing my fateful decision to accept a new position, but I continue to focus on the opportunities that my current position has afforded me. I do not regret my choice, as I have learned a great deal and changed, hopefully for the better, both personally and professionally. Taking some time away from this sacred place also has helped me to appreciate it even more and caused me to do some soul-searching regarding my career path.
Right now, I cannot return home as a staff member, but that does not mean that I am not on a path that will lead me back there or to a similar place. You can go home, again, as I did yesterday, and I know that I will end up where I am meant to be. I always do, whether working at home or going back home.
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story