Tag Archives: Michelle

Squirrels, Turkeys & Foundlings

There are a lot of different words, phrases, moments that can be ascribed to the past month and a half of my life, but I really like the ones listed above. Being a part of Children’s Corps has been quite the experience thus far, and I really haven’t even begun the real work! (Although, I’m really, really close). It’s conjured up a myriad of feelings ranging from pure excitement for my work, happiness at having friends and supports, to absolute fear of whether I’m fully capable of doing such a job, and everything in between (as such, this post, much like my head, is a collection of random thoughts). I keep trying to remind myself of the lessons I learned at training, one in particular being, that I am a squirrel and not a turkey! Yes, a squirrel. While I find neither animal to be all that appealing, the analogy used at training was this: “You can teach a turkey to climb a tree…OR….you can hire a squirrel.” So, that’s exactly what Barry & Viv did. They went out and found twenty-some squirrels. In reality, I’d say very few of us, if any, actually resemble squirrels. However, we all possess the ability to climb a tree. Not so much literally, because I lost my tree climbing ability years ago, but more in a social work way, in that we all have/share certain qualities, passions and innate abilities to work and relate to people in a mostly non-judgmental way, which apparently, when paired with the right kind of additional training, should make us good social-workers, and also good for the system overall, so that agencies won’t be hiring turkeys who can’t climb trees. So, ultimately, if a+b=c, that means I should be able to do this job and do it well….right? I think….hopefully….?? I was never good at equations.

And, when that line of thought doesn’t work for me, I am ever so grateful to have 25 other people/friends to lean on and share this experience and journey with. If it wasn’t for our diligent self-care efforts , plus our network of support for each other and the ever important exchange of conversation & laughter while eating food on floors of unfurnished apartments, or while enduring agency training, who knows if I would make it.

And, in a rare, deeper and more personal line of thought: While sitting in my new hire orientation with New York Foundling, learning about the humble beginnings of the organization, it dawned on me that I, myself, am a foundling. Not just a (hopefully) vital member of the NYF organization, but in my own humble beginnings I once was “a deserted or abandoned child of unknown parentage”, left in a hospital in a far-off land, until some modest and wonderful people decided to make me a part of their family. Is it possible that my life is coming full-circle (should I be concerned that it’s happening at a relatively young age in my life)?! Could this be a sign from above that this work really is my vocation? Maybe, I really am meant to be where I am at this moment. With that in mind, and my squirrel knowledge, I am ready to finish agency training/training in general and delve into the real stuff. I think, I hope.

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