A couple of days ago I found a bumper sticker that my mother gave me when I was in college. It has a simple white background and the words are spelled out on the page in a slightly fancy font so as to not look too plain. I don’t know exactly when she gave this bumper sticker to me, but the funny thing is that I never actually put bumper stickers on my car. They might go up on a bulletin board or get stuck in my mirror or placed on a water bottle with a vague level of permanency, but they are never placed on their intended destination. Anyways, I found it tucked among other items that I had in a box that once decorated my room. The sticker simply says “Remember who you wanted to be” and while I am not quite sure of my mother’s original intention, the phrase struck me again when I unearthed it.
As I come to the close of the first year at a new job, I was struck by the simple reminder. I stopped for moment and reflected on where I was year ago and where I am now. I paused and thought about the slow transformation that has taken place. While I am far from content with my performance and overall efforts this past year (annoying perfectionist that I am), I did marvel at the changes that have happened. I am, overall, a happier person. I feel as though I have returned home and I am being challenged in a way that is helping me to grow and be better. I love my work, the people and the place. My well being is a little more balanced.
When I think back farther to college and who I wanted to be then, I don’t think that I am that far off now from what I wanted to be. I may not be in the exact field that I thought I would be, but the end result is very similar. Every day I get up and try to make the world a little better. My methods are just a little different. And while I know that you can’t progress forward if you keep on looking back, I think a little reflection was needed as I close out my first academic year in a new place.
So I rehung that bumper sticker; it has reclaimed a place on my mirror. It is a simple reminder every morning of what the goal should be; of what I want to be: someone who helps to make the world a little better.