It was the eve of my last day at the coalition where we worked. We were musing on what my next gig might be after my move. “Something in business? No, something more creative…”
I felt the pulse of possibilities, the expanse of all things new. I was ready, hungry, on fire to find the next thing.
She got quiet.
And then she said, “you’ll always be an advocate, you know.”
I didn’t know it then—this truth—or maybe I did, some part of me. Something permanent happened to me when I took that first job. There was a seismic shift in my spirit after the days of sitting with advocates, visits to shelters, road trips across the countryside for trainings and court dates. Something changed in me. I will never be the same girl that I was before I answered that very first classified ad.
Hers was a statement. Not a question, not an option.
I laughed. Mused some more. “You think?” I asked lightly.
Ten years and seven months have passed since this conversation. I’ve worked for a museum and a University. I’ve preached prevention across the country. I started my own company. I’ve become a mother twice over, an aunt, a coach.
I am still, and will always be, that advocate.