This morning I came to a huge realization about myself. It seems to me that in this life, we often find ourselves in roles. Some people are natural-born leaders. Others are great followers but what happens to those who fall in between the cracks.
I think that I am the filler. I have always fallen into this role. It’s a role that I do pretty well. I know in high school, I always wanted to sing first soprano but my choir teacher noticed how blendable my voice was. I had tried out for the special choir and got placed in it but my role there was not to be first soprano but to be second soprano, or first alto whenever there was a need for the voice. When I expressed my disappointment about not being first soprano, my teacher explained to me that there are a lot of people who have voices that stick out but it is very rare to have a voice that blends so well.
My very first job that I went for in the states was at a resort. I applied to become a waitress but I was selected to do housekeeping. I hate housekeeping but I actually began to excel at that job. By the time I had finished, I was able to clean and restock 4 condos for the resort and filled in one day at the hotel where I was working. It was really interesting to see the inner workings of a resort.
When I moved to Florida with my ex, I ended up becoming a checkout chick at a grocery store. I then worked my way helping the front end with supervising the other cashiers when the front end manager went to lunch which granted me another opportunity to fill in as an office clerk which was something I thought would really like to do. It was a challenging role. I loved being able to interact with the customers at the service desk, as well as check out and in tills for the cashiers. I normally did the closing shift but I also knew how to open the store as well. It was bittersweet when I left the job. I had been toying with the idea of applying for front end manager but we moved back to Louisiana so I could be closer to my mom.
The next job I had been as a teacher’s aide/driver for my brother-in-law at the time who needed a substitute since his teacher’s aide was ill. I hoped I would get the job if she retired. He didn’t promise me the role but I prayed about it a lot. I ended up learning how to read Grade 2 braille but I have lost the skill because I haven’t been using it. The old adage if you don’t use it you lose it strikes a chord with me. I am pretty sure though, if I wanted or practiced with it, I could do it relearn it over again. When his teacher’s aide retired, I took the teacher’s aide test, passed, and was asked if I would like the position which I jumped at. I loved working with the students, driving, and it was never a boring day.
When I moved to Australia, I ended up volunteering at RBS now known as Vision Australia with Adam who was working in the Art Union Office. I worked in different areas so when I was offered a pay position at the Equipment Resource Centre, I couldn’t believe my luck. I had been applying for different paid positions at times but never got selected. I was pretty happy with that role too. It was only casual but it was fun. I learned how to use another finance program, had lots of variety, and helped with inventory. The other person who was working there retired. There was a restructure, change in the person managing the area, and I applied for the job when it was made available hoping I would get it. Everybody that I knew thought I was a shoe in. I went in to the interview, was nervous but I thought for sure that I would still get the job because I already knew the way the Centre worked but I didn’t get the job. The manager said I couldn’t demonstrate equipment correctly. For some reason, I was not selected and I suppose I should have fought the decision. There was a part of me that was crushed. We were going overseas to visit my family. I didn’t apply for work again for 10 years.
Now with Adam’s perseverance and prodding I am out back in the workforce. I am now doing temp work which I like a lot. I am meeting new people. I am learning new things and honing skills that I have. I find that I am enjoying being out and about. I can’t believe I sold myself short for so bloody long. I have lots to offer. I like being able to fill roles for my employers. I would love to find a permanent job but these temp jobs that I am doing are helping me regain confidence that I had forgotten I should have. Maybe one day, I will find a role and when I fill it, they won’t want me to go.
I enjoy being the filler. I like the challenges that I come across. I am finding another voice that I haven’t used in a time. I sort of feel like I have been in a cocoon of sorts. I am emerging feeling brand new. So what I am not the outer part of the sandwich. I am in an important role. I am the filler. I hope you are filled with love, peace, and hope.