About a week before I left my job at the hospital, my boss suggested that I start applying and interviewing for new jobs. Her advice was not because she wanted me to leave, but because I was discussing a feeling that I wasn’t sure what I wanted as a next step in my career. Her logic was that either I interview and find something new that I’m interested in, or it crystalizes my feelings about the job that I had. I didn’t expect to make this move; I didn’t expect it to move so quickly; I hadn’t considered the idea that a mere week later I would be taking a new job.
While I didn’t expect this to be the path that I took, I’m finding myself grateful that the position I have landed in allows me to try new things in new ways in my work. I’m working with adults for the first time since I was a student, over a decade ago. I’m working with groups of children. I’m working with children with physical disabilities, which reminds me of all of the things that I loved at my first job on a children’s physical rehabilitation unit. And I’m reminded of the things I feel good about; the things that I loved at my last job.
Yesterday, I went into the hospital for the first time in the Cayman Islands. While I was working with a man with dementia, and that is not the population I was working with before I left, I found myself glad to be in the environment. This was something I know. I went from that session to a private session with a young girl who has a history of medical issues. I felt at ease with her. As I got to know her, I felt her comfort with me growing. Our session evolved into fits of giggles as we explored and played in music. I remembered the things that I love about my job. Connecting. Finding the strongest parts of people. Seeing how I can use music to move a child from a quiet, shy state, to a joyous, playful state.
Before I left New York City, my choir conductor introduced me to the idea of a “radical sabbatical.” I fell in love with that idea. While I never would have suspected it, this radical sabbatical, this crazy journey that has taken me miles away from what I knew, may just be leading me home.