Why I Love My Job
June 7th, 2012 at 9:15 pm
On Saturday evening, I arrived in San Francisco with one red suitcase, a backpack, and a purple pen (a gift from a very kind stranger on the train into the city). My roommate–after showing me around the apartment and introducing me to its two resident cats–walked me to Dolores Park where I’d be able to see the San Franciscan skyline in all its glory. At the top of the hill, amidst fog, an orange sky and the chilled, salt-tinged breeze, it really hit me: I wasn’t in Minnesota anymore.
That was nearly a week ago.
Today marked my third day as the Advocacy and Education Intern at FACE AIDS. Over the summer I will be reviewing, editing, and creating education and advocacy-related materials for FACE AIDS chapters around the country and thinking of ways in which FACE AIDS can make student advocacy accessible and sustainable. It has been an immense joy to dive into this work because it has afforded me the opportunity to reflect on the depth this organization and its values has given to my life and the fond memories I have of my own time as a FACE AIDS chapter member. This morning I jumped out of bed ten minutes before the sounding of my 6:00 alarm, which can only be testament to that fact that I love my job. Here’s why.
Before my commencement ceremony this year at St. Olaf College, the director of the college’s food service, Randy Clay, presented the graduating class with a speech on the power of enthusiasm. According to Randy, the most influential people in the world do not necessarily possess exotic knowledge and/or skill sets; rather, they possess the charismatic energy necessary to turn the mundane into the life-changing. Enthusiasm, says Randy, is applicable in all situations and settings, and the best part about it is that it doesn’t require money, experience, or a particular degree. In other words, enthusiasm is a tool all of us possess and can make the choice to use.
I love being a part of the FACE AIDS team because, as a part of that team, I am surrounded by people who choose to live their lives with enthusiasm. Each day, for example, in our cozy office in which I am wonderfully in earshot of the other incredible interns and my four amazing bosses (one of whom I’m still dying to meet!), I have the privilege of overhearing phrases like, “You guys are killing it!” (Austin), “Those sound like really excellent ideas!” (Eve) and “I really appreciate all the work you’re doing on this!” (Julie). *Note exclamation marks.* What’s missing from my writing of these statements is the smile I hear in all of their voices as they say these things. The enthusiasm of the FACE AIDS team revitalizes me and is a constant source of hope.
And none of that even gets at the wonderful work that’s being done! If I love being a part of the FACE AIDS team because its members choose to live with enthusiasm, then I love my job because I work for an organization that cares deeply about and ACTS on the behalf of the holistic well-being of other people. It is difficult to be anything but nourished and tremendously humbled by this work, and I feel so blessed to be able to contribute to the FACE AIDS movement this summer.
Did I mention that today was only my third day?
In enthusiastic solidarity,