The switch has been some time in coming. I'm not sure if I can pinpoint exactly what it is that made me want to look for something new, but the time came and a new job was found.
I've been working for the past year in a residence for teenage boys with behavioural difficulties. I want to say that I've changed or even altered lives, that I've made a difference for people who need help, and that I've done positive, productive things. But mostly as the days go by, I feel more and more like The Enemy, and I don't think I can do that for very long.
And after a year, I'm not sure that I've made it to where I want to be or to what I want to be doing.
Part of me is devastated to be leaving behind the people that I've met and cared for in this time. Part of me wants to just leave and never look back.
And that is the trouble with the field of working with people: You get emotionally attached no matter how hard you try not to. You're in the middle of people's lives, and leaving work at work becomes next to impossible. I try to centre my life around my horse and my family, and still: other people and their troubles are on my mind.
One of my co-workers asked me what I was planning on doing next, and I said that I'm giving it one more shot and then heading off on a cruise ship to sling beer. She laughed when I said that, as though I was joking.
If this doesn't work out, though, I'm really not sure what is next because I've just spent five years and a large sum of money coming into this field.
I just hope it works out into something that I can manage and see myself doing for a long time to come. I'm thinking positive thoughts and hoping for the best.