Sometimes you find yourself so far from where you thought you were in life that is scares you to look back and see how far you have come. Sometimes you spend months, even years waiting for the call, or the opportunity to be something or do something only to realise you have actually already gotten to that place.
I went into early 2010 a little scared and lost about what was to come and looking for some definition of my roles both in work and my personal life. I guess up until recently I thought I was still looking for that until I realised that I had reached that point in at least a couple of aspects some time ago.
At Kidz Klub I wanted to become an example of what can be done, what a full time professional (I have accepted that that is what I am now as well!) away from youth work can be and someone who could hold my head high saying that this is important and powerful work just by my actions. I have found this week that it isn’t until something goes wrong that you realise you are there already and actually you are in a lot deeper, in a good way, than you ever realised.
What went wrong doesn’t matter anymore, it turned out simply to be a confused misunderstanding, much to my joy and relief (along with many others both on the bus and at Kidz Klub). But I suppose the point is that I have now realised just how much doing what I do means to me.
We joke around about that being on Bus 4 is like being part of a family with a mum, a dad, a crazy uncle (sorry Chris!) and a couple of aunties. Between us we have around 150 children in our family. This is a fantastic mentality to have for the 5 or 6 or us, if slightly confusing to explain to other people… We try our best to know each kid by name and in a few cases we have known them for almost their entire lives. This means we take have created a personal connection with each and every kid and when things go wrong it hurts. Although it doesn’t always feel like it, this is a very good and important thing for us to have. We try to be an example to the children about how to deal with all kinds of situations through team work while having fun and caring about each other.
As a kids worker you face all sorts of challenges and situations that you just don’t get in any other field and even though I was clearly emotionally affected by what happened last week I was determined to be strong and supportive to those involved. This is the best example I can be and the right example I should set.
Often I feel that I fly by the seat of my pants through a lot of life, making it up as I go along and attempting to seize opportunities if I spot them. However, I often won’t and I have notoriously bad timing. I can’t pretend to you that I can have everything planned out, it is not always my plan I am working to after all. If I come across as cool calm and collected then the illusion is fantastic but it is not always the truth. Saying that, it is important to be ready for whatever comes my way and act intelligently based on what I know through experience and my beliefs when needed. Often that includes being strong enough to ask for help in a time of need. To those I asked for help, and willingly gave it this week I send you my heartfelt thanks and the warmest of Christmas cheer.
Fortunately this whole episode lasted less than a week and outside of a select few people it wasn’t even an issue. However it is an experience that has taught me a lot about myself and where I am at the moment. I might have been running on fumes for the last few weeks and glad for the Christmas break but as long as I am to stay in Leeds; Kidz Klub and the children and the workers there will remain an important part of my life that I will support as best I can.
But for the next few weeks I am going to enjoy a break from Kidz Klub and as of Wednesday lunchtime, a break from work and I will come back in January hopefully refreshed and ready to do it all over again.