I think I’ve mentioned that I’m a grantwriter here before. It’s a field that I stumbled into as a means of avoid food service (I once spilled a milkshake on an elderly customer in my short career as a waitress…I knew I shouldn’t return to that field), retail (I would likely spend more than I made…), and trying to stay in education. My former supervisor took a big chance hiring me (with no actual grant writing experience per se, just a lot of relevant experience), and I took to it immediately. I’m normally passionate about what I do because I am one of those people who have a job that can really make a difference.
But, like any job, sometimes the daily grind gets to you. I commute 50 minutes to work where I work. (Granted that it’s not driving 15 miles and 50 minutes of sitting in traffic, I actually drive 39 miles one-way to work.) As a new mom, sometimes having to be away from your family all day, five days a week gets to you. Sometimes egos and personalities get in the way. Sometimes the other work stuff just gets to you. And, so, recently I’ve been feeling a little like, what am I doing every day?
Because we have to keep our passion in front of us. If we lose sight of our passion, if the fire of why we do whatever it is that we do goes out, we perish. I spend time at the end of my day asking, Am I okay that I missed time with my family, am I glad I dealt with [this or that], am I satisfied that I commuted nearly two hours each day for this? Because my life is short and there are things that really matter to me that I want to do and accomplish. And if something is consistently not meeting that standard, I need to question what I’m doing and if I’m supposed to be doing it.
Aside from adoption and orphan care, I am passionate about education. I believe that education makes a difference – for some people a huge difference. We live in an incredible country that does provide access to education, unlike many places in the world where education is unaffordable for most of the population. For some people in our country, though, this access is limited by personal history (sometimes dumb choices), culture, social characteristics, and a lot of times, money. So when I have the opportunity to open the door to education a bit more, I feel like I’m making a difference.
As I was working on another grant, I had the opportunity to read some thank you notes that students wrote to the administrator of a grant. It’s actually a stack ½-inch thick of notes. This program provides access to education to a population that a lot of society writes off. This is a program that I’m especially passionate about, because it’s never too late for someone to start over.
Each note made my heart feel a little warmer. Each note reminded me why I do what I do. Each note reignited my passion.
“…without [the scholarship], I don’ t know what I would have done. Times are tough now days [sic]. Plus I recently lost my job. So this scholarship helped me out.” (Student)
This is why I do what I do.