It was about six years ago when I became obsessed with volunteering, helping out with charities and doing things for good causes. It was at a time when I was getting angry that I couldn’t do anything to help my dad when he was going through cancer treatment, but instead of dwelling on it I decided to channel it into something positive. Not only did it make me feel better about using my energy for good but it kept my brain occupied when things got bad.
I used to occasionally do it when I could alongside my office job, which was both a good and bad thing because yes, I was helping people but it was also making me hate my job. I could see that all this stress and anguish I was feeling was for no other reason than to give the bigheads their statistics and projected earnings. I wouldn’t have minded getting stressed over something that was ultimately going to make a positive impact on someone but for that kind of nonsense? No.
Luckily, my Squishy Lamb could see how miserable I was becoming and told me to quit my job, go to University and study something that matters to me. It took a little while to me to get over the idea of being a ‘kept woman’ because I hate not being able to pay my own way, but at the same time I appreciated the sacrifice he was making for my dream.
So I did it, I quit my job and never looked back. Got accepted into University to do Childhood, Youth & Community Studies (a mouthful, I know) and I finally found what I was meant to be doing.
It was on this course that a guy came into to talk about the local YMCA centre for young people and that they were in desperate need of volunteers.
I signed up.
As soon as I got there I fell in love with it. I loved the people, the atmosphere and the work they were doing with these kids. Hearing their stories could be heart breaking but at the same time, but seeing their smiles and enthusiasm would be incredible.
Now my first year of university has ended and I have 5 months to kill until I go back, so I’ve had to decide what to do.
Option One: Get a job in a shop and learn nothing new but get paid.
Option Two: Volunteer full-time, helping people and absorbing all the free information and life experience I could get my eyes on.
No question really, I went with option two and it was in that decision I realised that if I’m willing to do this volunteer work, full-time, for free, I know I have found my perfect job in life.