I honestly never thought I’d be here. I’m an artist. A singer. A fiction writer. A stay-at-home mom. Once upon a time I was a teacher. But a “social worker”? I never would have guessed it. I say that in quotes because I still don’t really see what I do as social work. Or work, really. And that has taught me the most about the roles we play in life and those feelings of being unqualified or less-than.
You see, I never used to think I had anything to offer at Redwood. Partly because I used to compare myself to my friend. She’s full of energy, always on the go. She always has the right thing to say to inspire or motivate people. She draws a crowd. She’s a doer. I, on the other hand, am a quiet type. I like solitude. I shine one-on-one rather than in a group. I don’t think very fast on my feet. I need lots of rest to function. I’m a listener. I’m a be-er. But it turns out that we needed that at Redwood, too. As soon as I realized that and started working out of my strengths instead of bemoaning my weaknesses, I started making a difference, both in other people’s lives, and in my own. And it made for a pretty tattoo.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is this: You might think you don’t have anything to offer the world, or even your community. You might look at others around you and say “I could never be her”. So don’t. Be you. Shine in the unique way only you can. Take that thing that you do well, and do it for someone else. That will make all the difference.