I recently came to an important conclusion. After years of working in marketing, communications, event planning, and fundraising, I realized that the thing I love best in the world is feeling that I’ve made a difference.
My career has largely consisted of serendipitous moments where I was in a position to seize upon an interesting opportunity that often led to another opportunity, and so on. I’ve been privileged to be able to take large amounts of time off from work to travel, volunteer, live abroad, and start my own business. Not necessarily in that order.
In 2015, I found myself at a crossroads. I had returned to San Diego, CA after deciding to end my marriage. That proved to be an unexpectedly difficult and demanding experience (but more on that later). I had to make a number of serious decisions in a short period of time while I was also grieving many personal losses.
As I considered my “what next?” I realized that problem solving, research, advocating for change, and helping others were not only skills, but things that fulfilled me.
Like many people, I always believed that social workers were the frazzled people who were mandated to put children into the foster system, or the therapist who once told me to put a rubber band on my wrist and snap it – hard – every time I had a negative thought.
I went to an informational session at Cal State San Marcos to find out more about their MSW program. As I listened to prospective students, and faculty describing their own paths, I felt like I was home. These were my people.