I am standing on the threshold of something very exciting for me. The venture I am shortly going to begin is one which - if I am honest - has the perfect job description for me. In fact, I have actually been doing it for approximately 6 months already (just without an official Job Title).
If you had told me, even a few weeks ago, that I would have the opportunity to combine two of my biggest passions on an official Voluntary basis - including Job Title - and possibly (or should that read "hopefully") eventually end up getting paid for it I would probably have advised you to make an urgent appointment with a Mental Health Professional.
I say "Official Voluntary basis" because I have actually been combining them both for quite a while - and you have been reading the results on here (and on the original "inkyworld" blog).
Little did I realise when I got involved with DNO (Or "Down Not Out" a news and support agency for homeless - and vulnerable - people in Leicester) but I have been given the opportunity to use my passion for writing to raise awareness about issues regarding vulnerable people - primarily homelessness but also the Unemployed and the Disabled - and I have loved every minute of it. I have also been educated on issues which I would never have come across until I met that lovely group of people.
So - where does the "Love Versus Money" part of the title to this blogpost come in???
Well, I can now honestly say that I know the difference between having a job which - on paper at least - is ideal for you (you have been trained in it, etc) but you can honestly say you hate every minute of it and just work from paycheque to paycheque (if you actually get paid that is) and a job which you love so much you see any paycheques you may get as a bonus.
I must admit it was a complete leap into the unknown when I started blogging for DNO. It is difficult to know who was more scared - me or Mags Scragg (the lady who rather nervously allowed me to blog about something we had discussed in one of the meetings). After all, it is all very well me enjoying writing and blogging as much as I do but I had never offered my blogging services to anyone else (unless you classify you reading my blog as having been offered my blogging services???). It could all have ended very badly but, luckily for the pair of us, she and Simon Parker (the other person who sometimes fed me information and ideas) seemed to think my writing was OK and I have continued off and on ever since. (If I have found something interesting about one of the topics discussed in our meetings I have always asked for permission from either Mags or Simon before I blogged about it - and they have been known to feed me information for blogposts on subjects they wanted highlighting.)
I also welcome the opportunity to offer ideas to the group. In fact, DNO is the one place where I can honestly say I feel comfortable enough to offer even the strangest ideas I can come up with - knowing they won't immediately be rejected without at least being thought about for a few seconds. Trust me - coming from a situation where I was left wondering whether or not to try using my initiative for fear of further bullying by my rather temperamental former boss, followed by a period of unemployment where I felt like I always had to play exactly by the rules, this came as a very welcome breath of fresh air.
Sorry to go on about this but - feeling like I am valued because of what me and my sight can bring to discussions instead of in spite of it is a very strange feeling and is still taking a bit of getting used to. I am so used to either having my views completely ignored or people just paying lipservice to them and then going their own sweet way anyway - leaving me wondering why I opened my mouth in the first place.
That is why I can honestly say I am looking forward to my next venture.
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