An Intersection and a Choice

My work life has changed drastically. I’m somewhat unemployed at the moment and it’s both liberating and terrifying. I find myself in the unique position of determining how I want to start anew.

When I first decided to enter mental health as a profession, the wounds from my childhood were still bearing stitches. The memories of those years still haunted me, the lingering smell of depression heavy in the air. When I discovered that I could help people who suffered like I had suffered (a suffering that had gone on without intervention or support), it seemed like my calling was clear. And, it was. For some time, I felt utterly fulfilled by my work, knowing that in some small way, I was able to help those who thought they were beyond help. The wounds on my soul slowly scabbed over, and then the scabs fell away to reveal new flesh.

I was no longer haunted by ghosts.

Instead, I found myself in a job I still enjoyed, but distinctly more restless. My gaze was wavering for the first time in a long time. I didn’t feel that same fire that had burned through me seven years ago when I set myself on this path. It was confusing and bewildering and terrifying.

I came to the realization that I had chosen a future based on my past self. But, I was no longer that person. I had emerged from the shadows of that time to finally walk in the light. Able to see clearly, I did not know whether I wanted to continue on a journey that no longer felt like it was mine.

So, right now, I’m trying to refocus, to reassess what I’m looking for and discover the wind that has guided my feet thus far. I’m relearning the things I’ve loved and finding new passions that burn even brighter.

I may be at a crossroads, but that doesn’t mean I’m not moving forward.


Published by Ren Martinez

Ren is a thirty-something Lost Boy whose personal aesthetic is “suspected of witchcraft by local villagers.” She subscribes to cheerful nihilism, the destruction of the patriarchy, and the belief that glitter makes everything better. She is a Richmond-based writer and performer who has fiction and non-fiction work found in a variety of publications, such as The Mary Sue, RVA Magazine, The Quotable, and Nostrovia Press. She is currently the fiction editor and a regular contributor at Quail Bell Magazine. She is also the co-host of the podcast, This F***ing Guy! Find out more at or read her dumbass tweets on Twitter @itsrenmartinez

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: