As a twenty-something, this phrase runs through your mind at least ten times a day. I’ve recently just celebrated my 25th birthday, and lost my job within weeks of each other and that phrase plays in my head every day like a skipping record.
A year ago, I started on an incredible journey with the nonprofit sector, working with teens and horses. Having a degree in Equine Business Management, obviously this was my dream job. It was my dream job.
I got to know four phenomenal young men over the course of one year, and it was the most rewarding year of my life. We laughed, we cried, we were all vulnerable and all held accountable. As our relationships grew stronger, and they began to flourish, they became a part of my family - a piece of my heart.
Even though there was so much growth and positive things going on with the boys, the behind the scenes of working for this nonprofit were tearing me a part, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
I came into this job completely blind. I had zero experience in the nonprofit world, yet I was able to create a year-round, four-phase program as a certified Cowboy Ethics instructor, and help teens through the power of horses. However, the struggle was, that I was doing it alone (volunteers were not involved with the administrative side of the organization, but am truly grateful for all of their participation. They soared when working with our students).
The saying is true: “People quit bosses, not jobs.” Its so difficult, when someone who you once looked up to becomes someone you don’t recognize, and they’re the one signing your paychecks. Having your boss constantly tear you down, instead of building you up, and working against you, instead of with you as a cohesive unit to accomplish a great mission made it very difficult for me to get through the day-to-day, not as Stephannie, the Development Director, but as Stephannie, the human being.
The organization has since dissolved, I am unemployed, and all that I can hear in my head is that I failed. How do I go from having the dream job I had, to having just a job to pay the bills? I can’t go backwards. I refuse to go backwards.
This is where I’m at, and I know I’m not alone. I know I’m not the only one who has been here, but this is a low point for me. Life is made up of peaks and valleys, and I am in a valley. I know what I want to do and I know who I want to be. I don't know which move to make, but I feel like I just need to make one. Leap of faith, right?
I want to make an income while making an impact. I want to do something that helps make the world a little better than it was yesterday. I hope to one day, be able to use my photos to do so.
Thank you for following me on this new journey, and I hope that we can all inspire each other to do something great.