Why I Do What I Do
The past couple of weeks have gone by in a blur. Things have not always gone as planned (like a laptop that wouldn't turn out and a lock that dropped a pin making it impossible to leave my apartment). I've done some really exciting things (went on some interviews) but then have also felt burned out from other responsibilities that eat up my time. I'm tired but it seems that my life is moving ahead 110% and I'm just trying to keep up.
I think sometimes it is easy to get lost in the things and people that frustrate you. To get lost in top down decisions, poor communication, systems that are hard to navigate, and those people who just get your goat. For me, I get lost in to-do lists, with so many things demanding my attention that I get overwhelmed and just need a second to catch my breath and come up with a game plan. I've been feeling more overwhelmed that I have in past and while some of that is the unknown-ness of my near future, I think I need a space to work though why I feel overwhelmed by things that have traditionally in the past, made me very happy.
I'm the person who doesn't like to say no, and that can be one of my weaknesses. However, the reason I say yes to so many things is that I see potential and opportunity in those things. I see every thing I say yes to as a chance to grow, learn, and strengthen relationships with my peers, friends, and casual acquaintances. I wouldn't say yes to something if I didn't see something special in that opportunity.
When I think back on the last few weeks, the times when I felt the least overwhelmed was when I wasn't chugging through to-do lists, but when I was surrounded by people and we were just talking. It's those moments that remind me why I push myself so hard, strive for so many things. It's for those moments where everything else goes away and it's just the people. So the moments where I sit in a residence hall library talking to my clerks and students, learning about what it means to be a student at the University of Illinois. Or where I am sitting in GSLIS late at night, with a couple of peers, drafting up a report for faculty on core classes, from our student perspective. Or when I'm with my friends, practicing a presentation for a job interview, having coffee to just talk about our lives, or eating brunch and catching up. It's when I'm sitting with small children, eating salad and convincing them that yes, salad is tasty. It's when I'm eating dinner with my boyfriend talking about a digital literacy program we are coming up with together. It's talking to a faculty member and brainstorming an idea or working through some theory. And so many more.
Those conversations and those people enhance my life and make everything I do more possible. And when things go wrong (as they inevitably do), it's those moments I have to go back to. The moments that will keep driving me forward, keep me striving to do all the things I envision doing and things I won't be able to anticipate doing.
At the end of the day, I do what I do because I get to work with incredible people (and small children). The people push me to be do more than I think I can do. And it's the people that drew me to the world of library science and it will be these people that keep me there.
So here I go, back into the fray, into the to-do lists and course readings. But perhaps with a renewed sense of self, of confidence, or just with fresh eyes, not willing to back down quite yet.