The first quarter moon signified turning your hopes and dreams into action. Applying what you have learned. Being present with what is ahead of you. I found comfort in being told ‘no’, humbly accepting it as my fate. Although my heart and mind were bursting at their nerves with ideas, they had no place in reality. There had to be more to my story than this repetitive cycle of living for monetary value. There had to be something more loving than in the empty shells of people that called themselves my company.
Stepping back to observe my environment I noticed a few things. The first being that I had never worked for a man. All of my employers were women, more than capable in skill, and reading a summary of their capabilities wouldn’t be enough to justify their talents. The next thing that set my mind a drift was that I never could pinpoint my interests. I never asked myself, what I liked? What am I interested in? What was I passionate about? It was the small things that I didn’t know like art genres, jokes categories, politics and causes, I had no clue what my eye twinkle.
A friend that I reconnected with from high school opened a door for me…
She was starting her own online business as an independent business owner with guided mentor-ship into success. I was elated to be someone that she wanted to extend a hand to. During my time under this business mentor-ship I learned a valuable mindset.
Always ask yourself why?
Our successes are never our own, there is always someone supporting you in some way.
We all know something that someone else might not, never assume that there is nothing important to say.
Being at your lowest, gives you optimal room to grow.
Your way of thinking is your strongest power.
Although business wasn’t my forte, these seeds of knowledge became my power.
Since I joined the workforce and even in high school, the common theme of my skills were service. I can learn, help, and work efficiently. I’d been a waitress for 5 years at this point. I know how to talk to people, I know what they liked even if I was confused about self-interests. When I was in college I wanted to apart of as many social and volunteering events as my schedule could handle.
Service. I am a person of the people.
The Peace Corps!
Although I was well aware of how my application would turn out ( I found out my first year at SIUC that the only way to join would be to obtain a bachelor’s degree or own a business) I applied anyway. I received an email from a Peace Corps representative politely denying my application for obvious reasons but referred me to other organizations that were accepting volunteers.
A peculiar name stood out, “Omprakash”, meaning light of God. This organization was not a religious one but had a strong sense of community and what it meant to be a global citizen. I put my heart and soul into the application process where they offered grants and other assistance to waiver course fees and such. I prayed that my good intentioned heart would grant me access into this beautiful community.
This organization is lead by an amazing group of people from different places in the world that provided a platform for like-minded individuals to participate in global change. Omprakash partners with 200+ organizations around the world and bridges volunteers from various backgrounds with these non-governmental organizations to assist in operations. Through a 12 week course I learned how to best prepare myself for a field position outside of the United States.
“To hell with good intentions.” Ivan Illich
A proverb our community lived by when thinking about our ‘why’ and ‘purpose’ for wanting to volunteer. Thinking about our positions and how it harmed or helped in territory that we were not accustomed disassembling a voluntourist state of mind.
My mentor always challenged me through the coursework. She was the one who suggested I apply to the NGO that would later accept me.
My passion to be a part of this community awarded me a grant that would cover my travel expenses. Grateful was an understatement.
The third thing I had learned was that as much self love that I thought I accumulated was not stale enough to stand alone. I was in an unhappy relationship for four months trying to prove myself to no one and smothering the ditch I dug for myself further with a puppy. I got my loving pug, Eugene, on my birthday to cure my feelings of loneliness. He was ran over by a car a week and a half later on thanksgiving, right before dinner. I had nothing to be thankful for by midnight.
To be entirely alone would be the only opportunity to find complete bliss in my individuality, more conversations to be had with self.
Working as a waitress at a vegetarian bakery and cafe, I learned from a woman that I could hardly describe with words but gracefully inspiring to say the least . She taught me to lead with love. My work ethic shouldn’t be based on the money but genuine connection.
Another important seed was to fall without fearing. If I trusted myself, I’d be there to catch myself, the world would embrace me.
“People can feel your intentions,” she said to me with her blue eyes piercing my soul.
The last thing I took from my time with her was to live for myself. She encouraged me to leave the country, to fly, to soar, experience the fruits of life, and be involved in something for the love of doing it.
I was afraid to become the woman I had never been.