The last two years I have had the absolute privilege of serving as Senior Girl Youth Worker at Whangaparaoa College. Today I farewelled my team as I move on to a new season in life, having learnt many lessons along the way. I would like to share a little of my journey with you, as this has been a definite time of learning, sacrifice and opening myself to future opportunities.
As I was growing up, I never took my responsibilities lightly. Wanting to follow through everything I took on to the best of my ability even surpassing what might have been expected. I said yes to many things. Letting others down caused feelings that were hardly bareable and completing anything with less than my best effort would leave me feeling disappointed and low. I can safely admit I put high expectations on myself.
While I do not think that having a strong sense of responsibility is a bad thing, I did learn it can be dangerous if it is not managed. We are only human, and pleasing everyone (including my own high expectations) is not always possible.
As an ex student at Whanga College and having served as head girl in 2010. I felt an incredible sense of pride and loyalty to the school. Having already begun unfolding my passion for supporting and uplifting young people, I took on the role of youth worker with great anticipation (and expectation).
As life continued, I tried to maintain the commitments I took on with great integrity. Alongside youth work at Whanga College, I was working through my conjoint degree at AUT University in Sport and Recreation and Business, working as a swimming instructor at Northern Arena, growing my passion of writing for this blog as well as for Relationships&Love (www.innarelationship.com) and more recently starting my own family as I married my best friend in August 2014.
This post is not at all intended to show the public all the things I might be responsible for, but how I have learnt to make difficult sacrifices to enhance my own well being as someone who has a natural tendency for responsibility (I thrive off having responsibilities just as others may thrive from having strong relational connections, for example).
At the end of last year I begun to realise that I was no longer able to offer my best in all these capacities. I had to reevaluate priorities entering into a new season of marriage where I needed to make another person my first priority in life! I realised in this time of putting someone else first, that over the years I had become great at taking on responsibilities but not so good at managing my own well being (thanks to some amazing people who spoke truth into my life with much love and respect). If I wasn’t to make change, taking on responsibilities just became something I would continue to do at the cost of allowing space for myself to grow and learn in new capacities. Not to mention risking complete burnout!
How would I allow myself to continue chasing dreams, opening myself to new opportunities if I never let go of any of the things I was already responsible for?
In realising these things, I felt challenged to let go of one of the things I felt MOST loyal to, my role as a youth worker.
I strongly believe that we can grow into ourselves and become the best we can be, if we allow ourselves to do so. Learning to let go was a sacrifice I needed to make in order for this to be true in my life.
So with this all being said, I move on from this role with little idea of what the next opportunity may be, but knowing my heart is to uplift and enhance the lives of others through my passions in health and wellbeing (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual). I trust that moving forward from this season will allow me to learn how to do that more effectively, so I can be ready for when the next opportunity may present itself.
I hold so much value in my time as a your worker. It has grown me in ways I cannot begin to explain. I look forward to continuing the journey, knowing a journey involves growth and change, AND sacrifice. But it WILL BE worth it.
Thank you for taking the time to share my story (if you’ve made it this far). I would be happy to answer any queries you may have regarding my journey, responsibilities, growth of any other burning questions that may arise!
– Anna Megan, x