Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I have been having some serious doubts lately, mostly centered on my job. Could I really do the job? Was I just fooling myself? Did I make a mistake pursuing this line of work?

Then, I really got scared. I was called upon to do something I had never done before, something that two of my coworkers usually did instead. I had been exposed to this part of the job, but I was never responsible for a case myself. I got the call yesterday and a coworker, who knew I wasn't comfortable with the task and tried to find somebody else to do it, said, "You're it girl." The doubts were enormous, anxiety kicking in.

I panicked and texted yet another coworker and told her what I was about to do. She called within 5 minutes and said she would come and help me. The other coworker told me to call with any questions or concerns during the task. The other people I would be working with would be able to guide me.

I delayed as long as I could, then I made my way to the location of my task. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was incredibly tense. Once there, I realized that I would be doing a lot of standing around. My coworker arrived and I felt a great sense of relief. Soon, we got down to business.

As the day went on, there were numerous questions and phone calls, one coworker coaching from afar. I was constantly worried about what might happen, how I would handle one situation or another. My neck and shoulders were so tense, I couldn't turn my head to look at someone, instead I turned my entire upper body. Eventually, the day ended. I got through the task that had frightened me so much just a few hours earlier. Successfully. All those doubts? I suddenly felt silly for having them.

I know they'll come back, though. They always do.  And, as always, I'll realize that I have a wonderful team surrounding me, supporting me, teaching me. I'll keep going on this roller coaster of emotions until one day (hopefully) I'll understand that I'm in this place for a reason.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Letting Go of a Dream

For many years, I longed to have a career in federal law enforcement, but today, on my 36th birthday, I am letting go of that dream.

I remember the first time I realized I wanted to be in federal law enforcement. I was in grad school, pursuing my Master's degree in Criminal Justice, planning to go to law school once I graduated. Then, in April of 2000, I watched the video of INS agents removing Elian Gonzalez from his relatives' home. That was the first real seed that was planted. That was when I gained some direction. I wanted to be an INS agent.

After graduating with my Master's degree, I applied for many different jobs in different branches of federal law enforcement. Each one was a long process. I tested for at least four different positions. I began to get frustrated with the process. A state law enforcement job presented itself and I applied, thinking that it would be the last law enforcement job I would apply for. If I didn't get the job, I decided I would go to pharmacy school instead.

As luck would have it, the state hired me. I went through the law enforcement academy then, three weeks before graduation, I got a call for an interview for a federal law enforcement position in Dallas, TX. After much consideration, I decided that I wanted to give the job I had a fair shot and I passed on the interview, thinking that I had an opportunity to gain some experience before applying with the feds again later on.

At the time, I was 33 years old. To be eligible for a federal law enforcement position, you have to be hired before your 37th birthday. I figured I had plenty of time.

Time came and went and I was enjoying my job as a state law enforcement agent. I was tempted many times to apply with the feds, but I never did. I can't tell you how much time I spent looking at job descriptions and thinking about attending the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. I looked at the life my best friend had as a federal employee and was once again tempted. I still did not apply.

Last week I attended a training session at which an FBI agent spoke. She showed pictures of the countries she had visited as part of her job and I once again felt that familiar tug. "I still have time," I thought. "I still have a year to go after this." Later, I told my husband about her and he could sense what I was thinking. "Is that what you want to do?" he asked. I thought for a second and responded, "It was once, but it isn't now." I realized in that moment, that if I was going to leave the job that I have now (which, by the way, allows me incredible flexibility and freedom) I was going to do so for a different dream.

I felt a little sad as I realized I was letting a dream die. But it is the right thing to do. I need to focus on other dreams, things I am actually more passionate about. So today is the day that I let go of a dream.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back to BlogPaws!

I can't believe that BlogPaws 2011 is this week! It seemed so far away back in January when I registered and POOF here it is! I got so much out of BlogPaws West last year that motivated me to improve my pet related blog (which is why this blog has been so neglected!).

I came away from the conference feeling like I could change the world. Of course, that feeling comes and goes at times. After being with a shelter cat as he was euthanized due to his multiple health issues, I felt like I was completely helpless. Next thing I know, I'm featuring a different shelter pet every week on the blog and guess what? They're each getting adopted! My motivation was back!

Unfortunately, life gets in the way sometimes. My job can be quite demanding at times and it limits my time to blog and network. Then there are the times when work is a bit more routine and I have more time to think about my passion.

I'm taking time off work to attend the upcoming BlogPaws conference in Washington, D.C. It's the least I can do for myself! Sometimes you have to focus on what you love and that's what I'm doing this week. I know it will be worth the time and money it is taking to attend. Maybe I'll even learn enough to get myself a sponsor to next year's conference!