I am blown away by the response I got from my last blog… I was unsure if I was going to even share it with anyone, but I am glad I did. I got a lot of encouragement from people… people I wasn’t expecting to even read it.
When I worked at St. Joseph’s, I worked with a lot of different children. Different ages, different backgrounds, different problems. It was a very, very difficult job. It was also very rewarding. I got to talk with some incredible children and I hoped that I would make a difference in their lives. I like to think I did, but you can never really know. Every once in a while, a child who had been discharged would call us up on the unit and let us know how they are doing… but they didn’t happen all the time. Now, with social media, I am able to connect with people who I worked with. Sometimes they aren’t doing the greatest, sometimes they are doing ok, and sometimes they are doing amazing.
After I posted my blog to facebook, I got a lot of likes and comments and they were all very positive and encouraging. However, I did get a message from a girl I worked with as a young teen. She was on the living unit I worked on when I first started working at St. Joseph’s 6 years ago. It made me cry. It was so real. So heartfelt. It made me realize that I had made a difference in at least one person’s life. This is what it said:
Stephanie, I know we haven’t spoken in many years and I know I was just a small blip of time in your life – but I just read the blog post you just shared. To be honest, It brought me to tears. As I was reading I recognized so much of myself in you – the fear of being out of your comfort zone and not believing you are good enough to reach your dreams. I’ve changed so much since my time at St. Joe’s and I’m so grateful for the roll you played in my life. I never believed I was smart enough to go to college or even graduate high school. But, I graduated as the Valedictorian with a year of undergrad classes under my belt, I got accepted into one of the best Anthropology programs in the country, and I’m doing far better than I ever thought I would. You inspire me to work harder and this might not mean much coming from the 14 year old kid you knew 6 years ago, but I’m so proud that you’ve achieved so much. I never told you but, when you and Anne came to visit me in Casper you were the only people to voluntarily visit me in over a year – and for that I will be forever grateful. Words cannot express how much that few hour visit has meant to me over the years. I wish for you the best life and to have all of the amazing adventures as you possibly can.
That simple message alone touched me in a way I can’t even begin to express. That one message means that my career at St. Joe’s was a success. I hope that I can continue to make a difference in people’s lives. I know that I am who I am today because of the people in my life.