“Seems to me that there is a fine line between insanity and dedication…I call that line commitment” ― Jeremy Aldana
Many of you may not realize that we partner with colleges and supervise student interns working towards their degree in social work or human resources. This year we welcomed a unique young lady named Melissa. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in early childhood development, Melissa taught for a while and then decided to pursue her master’s degree in social work. Based upon her date of birth she would be labeled a “millennial,” but she absolutely does not fit the stereotype. Melissa has a full-time “real” job, spends her weekends bartending in an establishment two hours from Rhinelander, works a couple nights with us for her internship, and has copious amounts of homework. When her assiduous life allows, she catches a few hours of sleep in what she affectionately calls her “storage locker,” because she has been in Rhinelander for a year and has yet to unpack. Melissa’s schedule is why the word insane caught my eye when I came across the opening quote, because most people would go insane within a week if they had a schedule like hers. However, the words, dedication, and commitment are what truly describe this ambitious young woman.
According to the life success coach, John Locke, there are three critical elements for achieving success in in anything we do. The first two things one must have are a goal that creates, and an “I can do it” mindset. Our excitement and belief in ourselves then gives us the motivation to achieve that goal. Mr. Locke feels the third and most important factor for success is commitment. It is commitment that we need when facing obstacles if we are to remain on the path to achieve our goal. Without commitment it is easy for us to quit believing in ourselves and lose the motivation to reach our final destination. Every day Melissa demonstrates all three components needed to succeed. I’ve watched her hit obstacles yet keep trudging along. I’ve seen her so exhausted she is in tears, but continues to put our resident’s needs before her own. Whether at her “real” job or “fun” job, Melissa’s self-sacrificing devotion and loyalty is apparent. In all honesty, I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Just last week, the already sleep deprived young lady got up two hours early to try to help one of our young residents stay on task to complete his goals, because he hasn’t been staying as focused as he needs to be. I wasn’t here to see it, but word around the house is that she made the Hulk look like a fluffy kitten. When she returned to her non-Hulk state she went to work for eight-plus hours. I truly believe Melissa can overcome any obstacle she faces. Well, all but one; the circle of death that is downtown Rhinelander.
I must confess I was dreading having an intern because I am used to working my shift alone; jumping back and forth and back between projects in a vicious cycle. I have also developed quite the rapport with myself and wasn’t sure I could quit asking and answering questions out loud. Talking to myself at Walmart was one thing, but talking to myself in front of someone while in a supervisory role could be a tad embarrassing. I could not have been more wrong.
My first day with Melissa “the intern” started out with me calling her Megan. Embarrassed myself right off the bat. Fortunately things only went up from there. Our first night working together was full of the words “me, too” as we got to know each other. Never in a million years would I have thought I would have so much in common with someone 25 years younger than I. I attribute that to Melissa being quite mature for her age and me being a perpetual thirtysomething.
Today we have inside jokes nobody else would “get” and matching lanyards that say: I can’t adult today. We can carry on a conversation using only our eyes, and she knows when I am talking to myself and doesn’t answer me. Nine days out of ten our moods match, and ten days out of ten we should be in separate rooms because we are talking too much and not getting our work done. This young lady has truly captured our hearts. Perhaps mine a tad more, for my heart thinks of Melissa as the little sister I never had with one exception….. She is better at “adulting” than I am.