Friday, January 21, 2011

"...the end of a decade, but the start of an age."

Well here it is. My last day of work at my first 'real' job. I've been so fortunate to have been in a supportive and forgiving environment while I embarked on my journey into a career in local government. Today is really bittersweet for me. There are so many things that I loved about my job. I often get to be a one woman show. I can dress up and pretend to be important or come to work with my hair a mess (scrunchy and not blow dried). I wear jeans on Friday, but really could do so any day because we don't have a dress code. I can take lunch whenever I want or go run errands. I can have visitors to my office or run and meet the farrier in the middle of the day. Calling in sick or taking time off is never an issue. I encounter many citizens and volunteers who are truly passionate about their town and they inspire me. Cleaning out my office brought a tear to my eye last night but then the nearly 3 hour night meeting dried it right up (thank god Grey's was a repeat bc I don't have DVR and I wouldn't have wanted to wait and watch it online).

But now I'm preparing myself for a new mountain to climb. One year out of school and I will already be serving in the position which I had been coveting. I will be the Public Information Officer for a city of nearly 52,000 (coming from working for a town of 5,000). I get to be the face of the municipality and will be set with the task of convincing people that their tax dollars actually do good things for them. I will try to show folks that we bureaucrats are actually well meaning public servants who want to make their community a better place. Thats a lofty mission, I know, but its certainly the broadest intent of what I do! I think I also have big shoes to fill when I arrive on Monday morning. I am scared to death but excited to (hopefully and ideally) be "important" and needed and challenged and useful. I hope this is a place where I can grow and learn and develop my skills to be a better public administrator.

I'm really not sure what the next step is. I don't think this will be the pinnacle of my career (at least not salary wise) but this IS what I want to be doing. So I hope that I can (afford to) stay put for a while. I haven't had consistency in my life in a really long time (try... high school). I'm always working toward the next step. But right now, I'm entering a new "age" in my career, I have my equine partner who I think can allow me to reach the height of my equestrian abilities (I will never be a high-level competitor, but I think Granite will allow me to compete and reach my own goals and the goals I have set for him), I have the love of my life by my side and I have family back home who are huge cheerleaders (and the the fact that they are so far away is literally the biggest regret I have right now). I also have a small handful of devoted friends who are around to support me, provide me with comic relief and to remind me not to be too hard on myself (talking to Jordy and D specifically on that last portion).

I hope that I can wrap my competitive and forward thinking brain around this new found stability. I hope that I can live in the now and make the NOW better instead of always worrying about what is next. I haven't really allowed myself "resolutions" this new year because of all of these transitions and uncertainties (new job, new schedule, new barn....) but I have some goals for this new "age".

(Professional)- I want to come in to this new job with an open mind. I want to embody the role of "PIO" and make the position the best it can be. I want to be devoted to my position, the municipality, and my career as a public servant.

(Equestrian)-  I want to give Granite every opportunity that I can to be the best equine partner he can be. I don't want to rush him. I don't want to allow him to stagnate and not grow. I want to challenge his mind and his body with everything from trail riding to schooling shows to lessons and clinics. I want him to be a jack of all trades even if he ends up being a master of none. Hes my lifetime horse and I don't want to give him any limits.
- I want to be a better rider. I want to explore new disciplines (someone let me HUNT for god sake). I want to be open minded. I want to learn more technical knowledge and become a horse woman and not just a rider.

(Personal)- If I can provide even 1/2 of the enrichment to TK's life that he provides mine, I will have succeeded. I want to understand that I DO deserve everything that he gives me but I also want to constantly remind myself that he deserves just as much. I need to allow myself to be spoiled, but I want to pay every bit of it back to him. My wish for our relationship is that each of us is always thinking that we are the one with the better end of the deal.
- I want to be a better daughter. I am blessed with two of the best human beings on the planet as parents. Seriously. Not only are they amazing humans, but they are amazing parents. They are there for me and they lift me up but they force me to be independent and to take responsibility for my actions. I just hope that I can find a way to actively participate in our family dynamic despite the 5 hour physical distance. I hope that I can support them in a way that they have supported me. My family is nearing some hard times and while I may not be able to help bear the burden because of my proximity, I hope that I can be the emotional support they deserve.
-I love my friends. I am so lucky to have a best friend who I actually put in the "family" category. I also have some long distance friends who don't get the interaction that they deserve. I hope to foster growth in those relationships in the future. My 'invisible' friends with whom I interact through the web-- you don't realize how much you of an impact you have on my 'real' life! I also hope to devote more time to the ladies who live right around the corner. They are a golden resource that shouldn't be taken for granted. I also hope to reach out to new friends who share my interests and values and be a more inclusive person to those I meet.
-I want to pay so many things forward. I NEED to volunteer. To have fellowship with my community. To serve on a board and become active in a community group. Although I may not love the geographic location that my life has brought me to, it seems that its quickly becoming home and now I need to embrace the community. Not only should my profession be about making places better, but my life should be as well.

So there you have it (for those who made it to the end of this emotional roller coaster).... To quote the all knowing Taylor Swift (good thing TK doesn't keep up with my blog-- bc he may dislocate an eye from rolling it so hard) "its the end of a decade, but the start of an age." My life is NOW and I don't want to regret it. Heres to living and loving and seeing life from between two oversized grey ears!!!


<3 Rach


  1. What an amazing, inspiring, uplifting post! You are an incredible girl, and deserve all the good that is coming your way! I am so very happy for you and really looking forward to reading about the next chapter. Congratulations all around!

  2. Thanks Marissa! So sweet of you to say. I may not have the time to post as often, but you know I will keep everyone up to date on the journey.

  3. That is wonderful, Rachel! Congrat-u-freakin-lations! I think you deserve all of this and more, it is apparant on your blog that you work very hard to acheive your goals and you inspire me to do the same in my life!!

  4. Congratulations. You've really reached a professional milestone. I'm at the opposite end of where you're headed - I retired from local government after 30 years (my last job being Director of Community, Culture and Economic Development for a municipality of 350,000) a couple of years ago and now do consulting work for municipalities here in Nova Scotia. I encounter so few young people who are interested in local government that I had to take a minute to write you a note. Your community is lucky to have such a motivated and committed recent grad working for them. You're right - take the time to live in the now and enjoy it!

  5. JJ-- You are too sweet! Thank you for saying that I inspire you :)

    Carol-- I appreciate your note more than you know. Sometimes the outgoing generation fails to notice that us newbies certainly aren't in it for the money but that we really do want to be the best public SERVANTS that we can be :)

  6. Congratulations! You definitely deserve this (you've been working so hard!) and I think you're going to do a fantastic job. I'm sure it feels good to be at a place in your life where you can stop and enjoy all you have been blessed with.

  7. Congrats! It is awesome to see you getting the things you have worked so hard for. It sounds like you are 100% devoted to this career and you're going to be great in your new job.

  8. It's awesome news about your job, good luck!

    Good luck for the future :)

  9. Good luck from here on out! On to bigger, better things. Congrats.

  10. Congratulations on your new job. All the best with your new beginnings!

  11. Hooorah!!! This is all very exciting news and you will do great! All around. It seems so many great things are happening for you. The important things in life, are there...enjoy and everything else falls into place! I hope your first week is great- pour yourself a glass of vino w/ TK at the end and enjoy the opps that came your way. Maybe even have a victory gallop!! xo

  12. Well you brought a tear or two to my eye with that blog! So funny that I go to read my Daughters blog to get an update on her life! You never dissapoint, you always make me Proud!! You have made it!!You have become the awesome independent woman I always knew you would be and then some! Your adoring Mom :)