On Working

I don’t talk about work much on the blog. I allude to it here or there, but for the most part, I’ve stopped actually talking about it and airing my grievances here on the blog. But today I wanted to, I just wanted to put this down.

I worked at my part time job today, in a public library. This is vastly different from my full time job, in a corporate library. I’ve known for a while where my heart truly lies, but for some reason, today, it really struck home with me.

I’ve had an exceptionally busy week, I was sick, I’ve had a lot going on, and then I had to work today. I’ve been avoiding working at my part time job, mostly because I’ve been working multiple jobs for seven years and I’m so very tired of it. I want ONE job, just 40 hours and that’s it. That’s the dream. But that is still a long way off. At any rate, because of that and because of the busyness of life in general, I’ve not worked a ton lately. I still work, sure, but not as often. I was scheduled to work on Saturday morning. This was after spending my Thursday night with Arionna, then a sleepover, having her all day on Friday, then hanging with Kelly for her birthday on Friday night, THEN work. Then going out on Saturday night. It’s a lot.

I think it is fair to say that I was dreading this weekend. Not the events. Most all of it was fun. I sure wished I didn’t have to work, sandwiched between all the fun. Then, my night with Kelly went later than expected. I didn’t get home until 3am. That’s pretty late, to have to get up in the morning and work at 10am. Plus having to drive an hour to get to work….yep, I was dreading this day.

Then I arrived. It was chaos. CHAOS. And I was so tired, but there is no option. This is the job, this is MY job, and I need to dive in. So I did. Before I blinked, an hour flew by. I was working in the children’s room, which is so much fun, and I answered questions from little kids. I helped parents track down books. I watched a little boy jump straight up, just once, in excitement, when I found the next installment of a series he was enjoying. I felt my heart lurch when I turned a corner and almost tripped over a little boy, about four, who sat on the floor, up against a bookshelf, next to a stack of books nearly as tall as his seated body. He couldn’t even read but he just sat there, flipping through his books. He looked like a poster for how awesome libraries are. I told his mother that when she came over to check on him. He was “reading” about snakes and asked me a question and I told him that I used to live with a snake (*not* a metaphor!). I grinned out loud at the not-quite two-year-old boy who couldn’t even reach the counter who asked me about pirates.

That was just a few of the interactions, a smattering of the things I did today. Then there was the actual “work”, where I pulled holds and weeded the EJs and reshelved books and straightened messy shelves after hordes of children stormed through. In the late afternoon, a young man and a young girl came in, without children, looking much too old to be using this room. (In the library I was at, there is a separate room for children’s, so people don’t randomly pass through, you have to pointedly walk into the children’s area). I was instantly curious about them. I approached, to ask if I could help them find something. Turns out, they were library school students in a children’s lit class, doing the universal “find books of different ages/genre/media” assignment. I did it. We’ve all done it. You leave the library with like 50 different books. I thought it was fun. The boy seemed to be loving it, but the girl was not. I offered my assistance. I told them that I wouldn’t find them anything (which is actually my job) but I would show them how to find it themselves, if they got stuck. They have to learn and I was so happy, so eager, to help them. They had lots of questions, not surprisingly, it’s not an easy assignment. I realized that I was having a blast.

A blast. I was having flat-out fun at work.

It has been so long since I’ve felt that I’ve honestly forgotten what it’s like. I no longer cared that I was tired or that I was busy or that it is inconvenient to work a second job or have to drive halfway across the state to do so, I was happy and having fun and, dare I say, GLAD to be at work.

What’s my point?

No point. This isn’t some deep-seated psychological realization or some soul searching quest for truth. I know where I want to work and what I want to be doing. I just can’t get there, right now. I wanted, today, to commit these thoughts to “paper” so that I’d remember. I want to be able to look back on this period and remember that it wasn’t all bad. I want to remind myself to focus on the positive and minimize the negative. I want to be able to smile, in the future, thinking of the boy with the stack of books taller than himself. I need to confirm that I’ve been right all along. This job, this purpose, being a librarian, it is in my soul. It truly does make me happy. I’m just not there yet. I just have to keep trying, keep waiting, keep searching, but someday, I will end up where I’m supposed to be. I’ll be a public librarian again one day. I’m meant to.