But it still takes that first step, and that's why I tell young people it doesn't make any difference where they start or what it is they start with, just find something and start.
...find anything your passionate about and just start with baby steps. You might think they're not significant, but they're hugely significant in the ultimate scheme of things.
~ Lisa Endlich, author of Be the Change ~
In mid-July 2012, I began working as a volunteer at Barnabas Health/Kimball Medical Center located in the same town in which I live. I was really interested in finding a way to redeem myself by giving 100% of my attention, energy, and creativity to the tasks that I would be expected to perform as a volunteer. I felt that such an opportunity would fulfill my desire to have something to get up and do several times a week while I continued with the process of looking for permanent employment.
My volunteer schedule involved working on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. On Mondays, I provided nonclinical support to the PCU nursing team located on the 3rd floor of the hospital. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays I visited with patients admitted the previous day, and later in the morning I made follow-up calls to patients who recently visited the emergency room or received outpatient services to determine whether or not the hospital had met with their expectations while providing services to them.
At one point, I chose to volunteer six days in a row following Hurricane Sandy. The hospital was running off of its backup generator then. Only a few volunteers were able to make it in to the hospital due to most people in our area having been adversely affected by the storm. Because my home is only a few minutes away from the hospital, I felt compelled to show up and provide assistance wherever possible.
For the duration of that week I volunteered in the emergency department, food services department, and assisted the nursing teams on each floor of the hospital throughout the day. These efforts did not go unnoticed and I later received positive feedback and recognition from the director of volunteer services and from the VP in charge of hospital operations. Not long thereafter, I learned of an open position for a Patient Services Manager working as a per diem within the Patient Satisfaction Department with which I had already been interacting.
As fate would have it, I ended up being in the right place, with the right attitude, the right recommendations, at the right time. With the intention of building on this success I now find myself completely absorbed in my new assignment which consists of greeting patients, identifying their presenting symptom's, and registering them into the Emergency Department tracking system so that they can be assessed by a triage RN and subsequently seen by either a nurse practitioner or physicians assistant in our FastTrack Area, or by an Emergency Medicine Physician in the Emergency Department or a Psychiatrist in the Crisis Intervention Screening Department.
Admittedly, it did become difficult to envision the future at times, especially while only working on a quite limited basis. However, through this experience I have relearned the importance of continuing to learn everything that you possibly can, to ask lots of questions, and to be 'awake at work' studying current processes with your eyes keenly focused on identifying what, where and how to make process and quality improvements each and every day.
In retrospect, I can see in my own life what I could not see at the time--how the job I lost helped me find work I needed to do, how the "road closed" sign turned me toward terrain I needed to travel, how losses that felt irredeemable forced me to discern meanings I needed to know. On the surface, it seemed that life was lessening, but silently and lavishly the needs of new life were always being sown (Palmer, 2000, p.99).
In the book The Impossible Just Takes a Little Longer, author Art Berg has some good advise about how we should attempt to respond to our misfortune's.
Some misfortunes are just a matter of bad luck, others are caused by bad people, some are caused by our own destructive actions, and some are the consequences of living in a world with natural laws. The fact is that there are going to be times when we all suffer and we do not understand why.
Which leads me to a very important step that I believe you must take to begin your journey back from whatever it is that has afflicted you: Don't ask why.
That's it--simple and potent. It sounds strange, I know, but asking "why" ultimately gets you nowhere because ultimately you're never going to understand why you suffer. And think about this: If you did find the long-sought-after answer, would it solve your problem? Of course not. You can't control the "why" to your suffering. All you can control is what the suffering does to you and what sort of person you become because of it. Will you become depressed, bitter, and angry? Or will you see the pain to become better, stronger, fuller.
The question about your own trials and tribulations, then should not focus on why they have happened. The question should be where your trials and tribulations can take you. The question for you should be what kind of meaning those trials and tribulations can give your life (Berg, P. 31 -32).
I have become all the more convinced, that if you consistently and faithfully do these things well that the cumulative impact over time will result in good outcomes for you. Not only where you may work but in other important areas of your life as well.
You need only claim the events of your life to make yourself yours. When you truly possess all of what you have been and done... you are fierce with reality (Maxwell, 1983; Palmer, 2000 p. 70)."
Do not fear, you can rise above any adversity that life throws at you. So go ahead and take that all important first step towards solving the problems in your past so that you can move closer to living the life that you choose, deserve and intend to make your own.