My Life is My Job… My Job is My Life?

We are constantly bombarded with:

Follow your dreams

Birthday celebrations at the office

Birthday celebrations at the office

Do what makes you happy
Work life vs. home life
If you don’t like it, leave it

Obviously these carry undertones of privilege and access that not everyone has the fortune of taking advantage.

As the U.S. News reported more clearly in their article called “Why You Shouldn’t Follow Your Passion,”

“Do what you love” is privileged advice that ignores the fact that the majority of the world’s population works to get food and housing, not for emotional or spiritual fulfillment.

There have been many times that I have been madly in love and passionate about my work. Then there is the “ying to my yang,” those disappointing times that sometimes creep or jump at me from out of nowhere. After work, I Skype with my loved ones back home and I vent, I share.

My personal life and my work life coexist—they affect each other.

Talking about my day (which is predominately consumed by work) with my loved ones allows me the time to reflect with someone else about my joys and struggles. It allows me to attempt to understand the tangible things and actions that affect my mood, my personal well being, and my growth. I take that reflection and try to input it into my (work) day.

What I’m trying to say, is that it is OKAY to let the two influence each other (there are caveats to everything in life… so do with this as you will). I have benefited a lot in reflecting on my personal actions and using them towards my advantage in the work place. I have found what my passions are and pull on those little moments at the workplace when I can utilize my passions and skills to improve my work. When my work feels more passionate, I get better results. I put more energy into it. I can present it better. No, it most certainly not always easy to find those little things that brings you passion. But sometimes, I just have to look harder, maybe stretch the meaning of that passion more because I’m certainly not leaving this job opportunity any time soon (technically) and I want to enjoy the experience as much as I can. It’s a perspective thing, right? We hear that a lot, but do we put it into action?

I feel like this is an important time for me to understand what I love and what I hate, what inspires me, what makes me feel stifled and use that to find develop my productivity and efficiency in any job setting professionally and personally.

Having job security that also gives me emotional fulfillment might just be a matter of searching a little harder:

If I can’t do what I love,
Find what I love in what I do.

On Being American When in Mexico—On Being Biracial When in the United States

Hanal Pixan (Day of the Dead Procession)

  This is the conversation I had in Mexico with someone who is racially white and nationally from the U.S.  Backdrop: Merida is an up-and-coming city nationally and internationally. It has started to heavily delve into the tourism sector, which has sparked a lot of economic development in the area. Because of its weather, low [...]

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A three-fold cord is not quickly broken…

Sekou Toure Team

Lately, its been a little quiet in New York…with Tuesday being a big exception as ‘Polar Vortex 2’ hit the city again. It’s really, really cold. A fun, warm ‘inside’ activity for me is to browse through old pictures. Some memories must always be lived again and again J .  While wrapped in more blankets [...]

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It Truly is the Season of Giving:

love book and smile

  This year I am in charge of a Park Road Book tree for our students here at Communities In Schools. Each year this small, locally run, book store in Charlotte puts up a tree the day after Thanksgiving  for their patrons to sponsor our students. Students create ornaments, request books, and turn them in [...]

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People, People, People

Who wouldn’t want to be a part of this group?!

The holidays, especially Kwanzaa and New Year’s have reminded me to reflect. Recently, the topic of people and relationships has been on my mind a lot, professionally and personally. I enjoy a robust and diverse friend group and work in a field that focuses on people—and the connections between them. Over the holidays, I caught [...]

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Coming OUT as an Ally

When asked during my interview what motivates me to do this work in LGBT advocacy specifically, I responded that I was interested in the power of theatre to cohere and uplift marginalized communities. I gave examples of the oppression that LGBT communities face. I told my boss-to-be that I hoped a year spent working for [...]

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Learning to Listen as a Leader

Kouzes and Posner in The Jossey Bass Reader on Nonprofit and Public Leadership describe the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership. This fellowship has given me the opportunity to be around many leaders. Here at the Carolina Thread Trail and the Catawba Lands Conservancy, I work closely with Tom Okel, the Executive Director. I see him [...]

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Impact Partners – Davidson College &YES Prep Public Schools

aisha

Working as an Impact Fellow for YES Prep Public Schools certainly ensures that my days are never predictable. Collaboration with the Communications, Advancement, and District Partnership Teams provides me with varied insight into the professional world I never would have gained in another postgrad position. Apart from planning the YES Prep College Rush Run, I’ve [...]

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Swimming in Trash

Day 2 Trash Crew celebrates their effort

Crunch, crunch, crunch. I walked from the trails’ edge to the shoreline—about 10 feet. The crunching wasn’t leaves fallen from the trees, it was trash. Every step was the crunch of trash. Seven Oaks Trail was an incredible graveyard of trash. On the edge of the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, we’ve been working to complete [...]

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A Day at the Jail to Learn More About What we do.

My time here at Communities In Schools has been full of new opportunities. I have learned so much sense my start in mid-July. Communities In Schools is the nation’s leading drop-out prevention program, and here in Charlotte-Mecklenburg we have had great success. The mission of Communities In Schools is to surround students with a community [...]

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