Pushing Through the Doubt

I went to the LIBRIS conference last week and met with fellow members of the SCLA GLBT Round Table. It was the first time meeting them in person. Through virtual meetings I would type in the chat, listen to the conversation, and do due diligence to participate. However, it still felt like a stalling moment, where you want to gain ground and move forward, but you don’t.

And I was okay with that.

I’m someone prone to commit to everything and then doubt that I can come through, flake out, or get through with a destroyed inner confidence.

Going to the conference got me out of the comfortable, no-grow zone. It’s not that I’m not skilled at connecting, socializing, or talking. It’s just I tend to be very afraid of initiating the interaction. Thankfully my group members are accepting, patient, and inclusive. Everyone is focused on a central goal which drives us to be better people to our patrons, communities, and each other.

Before the conference, I didn’t know where I was going as a librarian. I knew that I wanted to increase the quality of services to LGBTQ library patrons, teach all staff best terminology and customer service practices, and evaluate existing policies and procedures in order to improve services from the root up. I knew this, but wasn’t sure how to start.

After the conference? I am partnering with fellow RT members to present at a state library diversity exchange. I will be a part of our SCLA conference presentation and panel discussion. I’ve had a conversation with employees about what I am doing, where I am going, and have received buy in from them. Our library is starting a Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee that I have asked to be a part of.

So what changed? It can be difficult to take on change alone. The common thread between blogs, articles, podcasts, books, and webinars about change is to find support. Find people who can help you, have common ideals, or can keep you accountable.

I grew up thinking that I had to get something perfect the first time for it to matter. This mentality kept me from trying new things and meeting new people. What I’ve learned is that you have to fail to learn. I guess you could reword that to say what I failed to learn is that you have to fail to learn. Are your eyes crossed yet?

Moving forward, I’m going to keep trying with at least one clear goal, intention, or direction in mind. I won’t aim for perfect. I’ll be more honest with people about my doubts, concerns, and hesitations. Together we can build ourselves up, protect the weak spots, and move, move, move forward.


Graduation Day Fall 2018

I’ve done it! I have my Masters in Library and Information Sciences from the University of South Carolina! The big question now is “so what do I do with it?”

Me at hooding ceremony

I am receiving the hood from above. I had to hunker down though so as not to lose my hat.

Should this have been a question I was asking of myself before walking the small stage to be hooded? Probably. And I have thought about it. But when one of my professors asked me “so where are you going from here?”, I replied “well, first to the Mediterranean Tea Room”. What a predictable joke. Really, it was nothing more than an automatic panic response – oh yeah! I am supposed to be a professional now.

In fact, after the hooding ceremony reception, we went to the Mediterranean Tea Room only to find it was packed with people. We ended up at Lizard’s Thicket, which was my first choice anyway. A safe, cozy, samey place that is the same at any location with the same menu and daily specials. And it hit me now, as I was typing the first paragraph, that my lunch options after my big day might be indicative of my future.

The good – I knew it would be a less busy place with ample parking and food that I like, including collards which they had as the greens of the day. Also, the chocolate cake is lovely.

The bad – I wasn’t willing to wait for something healthier for me or work to get over obstacles…like parallel parking (it just sucks to do, ok? yes, I know I should practice it). Also, I saw a challenge and left it behind for the easier path.

Am I overthinking this situation? Probably, but it’s how I think. It’s why movies rarely surprise me. I see the set ups and start listing out all the payoffs in my head. Internally, I try to use this strategy with my life.

Why am I not writing then? Using those skills to communicate those small, complex, yet simplistic oddities in life? Because it’s like parallel parking: an obstacle I could conquer if I just practiced. But why when I can coast to Lizard’s Thicket?

So at the end of the day, I am still unsure where I will land, what path I’ll walk, what fruit I’ll pluck from the trees of knowledge along the way, and what options for lunch I will choose. But for now…it doesn’t matter. A weekend of friends and family, board games, cheese & meat trays, pepper jelly and cream cheese smeared on crackers, cupcakes and cheesecake, Sunday fresh laundry, and even a mid-Sunday nap.

Monday will come though, but I’ll be well dressed, well fed, and ready to start the journey.


Super Quick Shot: Personal Finance in Your 20s & 30s

Anyone else feel that when they revisit an old site, it seems you were active around the same time last year? Does it seem like your mood has its own seasons and schedules? I feel like this is true for myself. Look at the activity feed for my site, the last time this page had a heartbeat it was a weak one.

Remember “a new year, a new you”? The phrase that swept the headlines and campaign titles in every inch of banner space or seasonal signage at stores? Anyone feeling the newness yet? It seems that long term changes don’t just happen – they build up. Step by step.

So here is a quick heart beat review

Personal Finance in Your 20s & 30s by Eric Tyson, MBA – 2018

Part of the For Dummies series, I have found this book to be a no nonsense explanation of how to get a temperature read on your current financial situation. Having not had my finger on my wallet’s pulse the last few hectic years of a master’s program and job changes, being told I could get a credit history and score free was refreshing.

The book covers a range of topics including budgeting, taxes, retirement, investing, money & relationships, and insurance. Tyson provides free solutions when available and advice on when and how to find professional help.

This is a great book for anyone headed off to college and swimming in a sea of credit card advertisements. It is helpful for me, someone who is still paying down my undergrad debt and managing to get a masters with a part time job.

I acquired my copy from the library, but this book comes in at around $19.99. Take a gander at the table of contents to see if you need the whole thing or only pieces. Eric Tyson has other publications on personal finances and investing as well.

Phew! A quick one, but there it is.

Weekend Reflections 10/3/2015

What I have enjoyed this week in story time is taking the time to slow down and let the children speak. Story time is not time for prim and proper behavior.

One child during a story time raised her hand. I told her she didn’t need to do that, that she could just tell me what she wanted. She told me how someone she knew, who looked like me, told her that when she felt happy she needed to write in her happy journal and when she was sad she needed to write in her sad journal. I could have told her I wanted to start story time and couldn’t take questions. I could have lost that connection.

Flipside, you get moments when a child says “My daddy said what the heck!”

Both are valued in different ways by myself, but both children got an equal message:

I want to hear your voice.

Image from Goodwill Librarian on Facebook.