…about my new job.

Nearly six years ago, I wrote this to Lionel, our oldest son, on the eve of what I’ve commonly referred to as my Big Girl Job:

I know that even as I begin this new adventure tomorrow that I’ll be a little bit heartsick for my days with my Sweet Boy. And I think that’s okay – to feel heartsick, vulnerable, emotional, even as I gear up for what I hope will be a fulfilling career.

As I sit here today, on my very last day at my first Big Girl Job, I’m reflecting on that statement that I made in Lionel’s toddlerhood. And while I’m eager for the adventures ahead in my new position, I can’t help but resonate with this feeling: “And I think that’s okay – to feel heartsick, vulnerable, emotional, even as I gear up for what I hope will be a fulfilling career.”

Once I was led – by mentors, by God, by my heart – to education as THE job for me to live out my passions, I grounded myself in pursuing a career in education that existed chiefly inside the classroom walls. Teaching allowed me to share my gifts with eager and talented students, and it excited me to plan engaging lessons, to offer feedback on writing submissions, and to work hard to help students see the greater purpose of the instruction I was offering. As one of my colleagues remarks often, I thought I’d “be a lifer” when it comes to teaching writing and communication.

God surprised me, though, by leading me to move beyond my feelings of settledness, of comfort, to pursue something else, something new, something more. While it was easy for me to remark that this career change is a move towards achieving that murky and undefined “work-life balance,” or that I was ready to “make a greater impact in the world of education,” the simple truth is this: God helped me to grant myself permission to dream about a career that filled my passion bucket, and He equipped me with the tenacity and the tools to go out and get it.

Yet in the months since I began searching for a new job, one that had the capability to challenge and to fulfill me in new and needed ways, I again returned to this refrain that I spoke to my one-year-old son as he nursed on that July night in 2013:

And I think that’s okay – to feel heartsick, vulnerable, emotional, even as I gear up for what I hope will be a fulfilling career.

These past few months, I’ve certainly battled feelings of heartsickness at the prospect of leaving my coworkers, who have become friends as well as some of the best advice-givers in my life.

I processed through feelings of vulnerability, trying to shed the doubts that I wasn’t talented or tireless enough to try something new, that I was too timid to seek a position that would allow me to straddle two worlds that had long filled my bucket: education and advocacy.

I’ve also endured a collection of emotions, often balancing excitement and gratitude for the adventures to come with confusion and seemingly relentless blockades in my path to an uneventful departure from the world of classroom teaching.

But here I stand, eager and grateful, in the in-between: it’s my last day at the job that allowed for and provided so much for me and for my family, from a wonderful daycare and preschool for my children to a rewarding and challenging {nearly} six years of professional growth.

And while my time in higher education certainly wasn’t without its bruises, nor will my new job function as a seemingly perfect utopia that endlessly provides exactly the bucket-filling work that I seek, I aim to recall memories of my work, both past and future, from a posture of gratitude, always.

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I’m Magen


Fueled by equal parts caffeine and passion, I spend my days capturing the kinds of images that make you stop, smile and ask time to please slow down. Your story, your love, is beautiful and I can’t wait to capture it in images you will treasure for years to come. 

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