I lost my title of “Documentation Subject Matter Expert” at my place of employment a couple of weeks ago. The title and duties were a holdover from the previous position that I held in the company, but I still did them. But because I have been at my current position outside that department for several years now, it was time to let those duties go. However, when I did, I was surprised to find a sense of loss.
It was cool to be a Subject Matter Expert, but there was a lot that went with the job. On a monthly basis I had to teach classes on documentation. I also was ‘on call’ when I was ever at work to deal with questions and issues. This meant that the role regularly bit into my time to do my current job duties. And unfortunately, it just got to be too much.
The whole thing reminded me of a hard lesson that I feel like I’m still learning. This particular lesson started for me once I got back into the pagan community on a more active basis. I have a lot I can offer people, so I wanted to jump right back into a role of teacher or priestess pretty quickly. But it never really developed for me to do so, and I found that very frustrating.
I came to realize that while I had a lot of experience, knew how to steer and work with a group (and had done so many years previously), doing those things weren’t a good ‘fit’ for me anymore. I had committed to too many things that I needed to take on for myself. So adding teaching a study group or even having an individual student was something that I just didn’t have time for anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I still feel I am an elder, and I absolutely help people on their paths by my intuitive readings, but I’m not the one who leads the entire group. At least not right now.
The realization of this is something that was akin to my losing my work title, but it hurt a lot more. I am very proud that my previous forays into pagan communities had consisted of my being the one writing the rituals and the lessons for the coven to follow. I led the cones of power, the chanting and spell casting. But those things weren’t my calling anymore.
Looking back, so many of my previous posts on this blog have dealt with roles and titles, how they fit and don’t fit, what they actually represent, and the work that you take on should you accept one. Perhaps were so many posts on this because I was still trying to find where I fit in. But in order to figure out where I fit in, I needed to understand what those roles and titles meant as well as let go of my assumption of jumping right back into a place where I was previously.
In other words, it was finally time to shed my old titles and roles so that I could grow into new ones. Just like the Pagan community as a whole has evolved and become so much bigger than what it was.
I don’t think I’m alone in assumptions about roles and titles. I think that there are frequent assumptions made by newer pagans as well as us ‘old-timers’ at roles that we think or expect we need to be in that actually aren’t true. I’ve met many people who automatically assume that they are meant for a specific role in the pagan community only to find that they were mistaken. And now, years later, they have found something that better suits who they are as a person. I guess it was time for me to do the same.
I am not really sure if there is a name or label for what it is I do; there are so many facets to it now that I think only the label “elder” would encompass them, but that title in itself is very generic. Perhaps that is a good thing. And perhaps I need to consider not even looking for a specific role or title anymore. Maybe I just need to be me, focus on that which I need to focus on for myself, and let things move forward as they may.
And speaking of shedding, I have updated my ‘about me’ page to better reflect who I am and what I feel I do. I think it fits very nicely now.