I want to cry. And it's so stupid because nothing has changed, but I still want to cry.
I love my job, I adore it. It's everything I ever wanted to be. It's the exact specific niche within the law that I wanted to be in... I was 8 when I decided I wanted to be an attorney. And it was because of a Mexican American attorney who worked with abused women. That's what I wanted. As I grew and continued on my path, I realized I'd love to work in Immigration, specifically human right's violation Immigration Law. Today I work in immigration court fighting for abused women. It is the perfect fit. I love it. I don't even care that I make about 1/4 of the money that I could be making as a new attorney. It doesn't matter to me one bit because I LOVE the work I do... and that's not even taking into account the fact that I am bilingual and would be paid even more than that for my work. It didn't even bother me that for half a year I wasn't getting paid anything at all. It didn't even bother me that when I got hired I was hired for a non-attorney position but I still got to do attorney work. I am not a very prideful person. I do not care about a title. I love what I am doing, I love my coworkers, I love my clients, I love everything about my job. And I know for a year now my supervisor has been planning and pushing for a new attorney position to be opened up in our department so that I could move up. I turned down an attorney position working with the unaccompanied minors before the big boom happened, because my heart is in helping victims of domestic violence.
But today we had a meeting.
It was a meeting to address the whole DAPA issue (the stuff president Obama spoke about for Immigration law yesterday)... it means more work for my program. It means a need for more help. It means, or so my supervisor and I thought, a need for a new attorney position... It did not go well. The need was addressed but so quickly shot down. It wasn't just a dismissal of the idea, it was a straight out denial. No. Never. It broke my heart. I am not prideful. I do not need a title. I don't need it. But it hurts. I'm sure the directing attorney didn't immediately realize that the push for more personnel, for a new position, was not an abstract "we need another attorney" proposition, but rather a "lets hire a new assistant and move Evelyn up to attorney title". I'm sure all she thought was "well you already have another attorney there so why do we need to add the position?' type of thing... but it hurt... Maybe I am being a little selfish. I don't need a title. But I wouldn't mind a little recognition for all the schooling I finished.
You know.. Despite everything... despite the last hour or work today... I was actually having a really good day today. I got an approval for my very first client. well technically my first from beginning to end client (meaning from the moment he walked in the door to the moment he got his green card) was a few months ago, but that was such an easy case. Before him there were 2 others. One case I inherited. She got her approval last month. The other one was the first that I did all the filings for, she had been interviewed by someone before me, but I did all the actual work from beginning to end, and it had been a monster of a case too. Today she got an approval. When I called to tell her, she cried on the phone. There was dead air for about 2 minutes while she cried on the other end. It was such a nice touching moment. I get a lot of good moments like this. People hanging up on me out of excitement after I tell them they got a work permit, people coming to visit me and give me a corn husk doll they made, or food to repay what I've done, people congratulating me for their approvals because it was my accomplishment even if it was their benefit. People calling to tell me they got tickets to disneyland and are so excited to get to travel for the first time ever... It is a beautiful thing I get to do, to touch people's lives and help there find hope and encourage them to work towards a better tomorrow... I don't need excitement, adventure, challenges, new laws, new procedures. I like what i do and can't imagine ever getting tired of it even if I hear from others that it's just the same story over and over again... I don't mind, because yeah the story is so similar, there are the same patterns, but they face I see, the lives I touch, the mothers who take back their lives and the children who reap the benefits.. they're always different. Always more. I could never get tired of that.
But maybe it's time to move on...
I love my job. I could see myself spending the rest of my career working here and would have absolutely no problem with it. Unfortunately I do understand that I would probably never grow professionally here, and it would limit my growth as a person. So maybe this is a blessing in disguise. Maybe it's a good thing that this happened. My plan was always at as soon as the DC trip was over I would wait until the new fiscal year started in January, see if there was any staffing changes announced and if there was an attorney job for be I would be happy but if there wasn't I would start looking... I think it's time to start looking. I will move on and hopefully it'll be to a job that I'll at least like. With people who I will enjoy. If not... well that's life right? not everyone gets to love their job, not everyone gets to feel at home in their job or feel like their coworkers are family. Work is supposed to be work right...
But I can't help feeling sad... and I can't help crying my eyes out... and I can't help feeling hurt... but life goes on.