Monday, July 26, 2010

Its So Hard to Say Goodbye



Connie and Stephen left on Saturday and there is this feeling around the house that somebody died. We knew it was coming, we knew they'd be leaving, we knew change was on its way. However, that knowing didn't quite change the impact their absence would have on us. Saturday was a particularly difficult day.

So on Sunday I bought a fish to help fill the void that Connie and Stephen left behind. He is a male Betta and his name is Gilbert.



He keeps me company. I kind of introduced him as a new member of the community. I'm not stupid, a fish will never take the place of Connie or Stephen, but I like that he is a new addition to my life.

Monday was my first day of work. I found out my benefits are super sweet and my first check will come next week. Whoot! My new name tag says "Youth Advocate, Residential Services." I'm so excited to get back to work. I have a feeling that I have a lot of work to catch up on since I've been gone.

The past week has been all about change and transition. Some things work out and some things don't work out and I'm learning that. I've had to make a lot of "adult" decisions as of late some have been easy (waiting to purchase my new laptop instead of buying the first really great deal I see), to some hard decisions. I'm having to get quotes on car insurance, set up health insurance, figure out taxes, and apartment hunt like woah.

Ok real world, lets do this.

Until next time...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The End of an Era

I find it very fitting that I write this post at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of the Holy Redeemer. About 12 months ago, I was writing a post at this very same computer. I wrote of how excited I was to be here with the Sisters and how I hoped they would accept me into the Redeemer Ministry Corps Program. I was blown away by how "at home" I felt here. I had made friends with the Sisters quickly and easily. As you all know, I was accepted into the RMC program and begin my year long commitment on August 16th, 2009.

It has been a ride.

I lived in a community of four Sisters, one lay-person and two volunteers my own age. I can't even begin to attempt to recapture the many memories I have made throughout this year. I'm sad to say that change and transition is on its way. Connie and Stephen will be headed back to their respective homes on Saturday, this Saturday. Two of my current community members will be moving to a different community and will be replaced by two new members. I start my job this Monday, just three days after the RMC program ends. So I have a lot of adjusting to do.

I'm so happy I decided to do a year of service because I know I've picked up so many tools and gifts along the way that I won't even realize I have them until I'm out in the world. The friendships I've made are lasting. I've found my current niche in social work and am beyond excited about continuing my job at Project Rainbow. I'm finally going to be out on my own in the big city. It is hard for me to believe it.

Goodbyes are inevitable and while this transition process will be slow I feel I will adapt quickly like I always do. I'm like a social chameleon, changing my color when my atmosphere changes.

This year I learned how to be more assertive and to embrace conflict rather than flee from it. I learned how to better manage my time and how to practice effective time management skills. I rediscovered my creativity and really my true sense of self. I built my spiritual life up a bit and had time to figure out who I am, what I want and where God fits in to it all. I know I will be a social worker and a writer and damn good at both. I know I'm a wild and crazy paradox of empathy, spotlight seeking behavior and fortitude. I'm affectionate and enthusiastic like a Labrador, running on all fours with excitement and knocking things down in my path. And I'll always have that child like delight about EVERYTHING from good food to anything related to water.

I'm ready to take on the "real world" so all I can say is, Bring It On!

Until next time....

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Ew.



That my friends, is me at the beginning of June in a bathing suit in Sea Isle City. Why am I posting a horrendous picture of me in a bathing suit? Well, I'm challenging myself. A few months back, when I started the volunteer program, my doctor told me I had to lose weight. I dieted and exercised and lost about 20lbs. It was great and I was in the best shape I've been since high school. Well...there is a diet wagon and I fell off of it. Not only did I fall off the wagon, but it ran over me, broke because of my speed bumps and collapsed. So, I need to rebuild that wagon and get back on it.

It all started about two months ago when I thought "I'm dieting, I can reward myself with a brownie." Every time I "rewarded" myself was a fail. I have an affinity for all things sweet, salty and alcholic. Therefore, I've managed to gain back a very large portion of the weight I lost. My photo was taken during our opening ceremony for the RMC program. My face is huge and chunky. Now I've lost the weight in my face but I think I gained it in other places. The other day I noticed this horrible hunk of flesh dangling from my lower arm. I seriously thought about jumping off a building, holding my arms out like wings because the flesh would help me glide to the ground.

So I'm challenging myself. I'm giving myself 2 months to lose weight. No pound goal, just to look better in that very same bathing suit above. In two months and one day (two months from today will be 9/11 and I really don't want to be taking bathing suit pictures on that day) I will take a picture of myself in this bathing suit an dammit I will look better! I'll post updates along the way. I really need to get back to the gym since I haven't been inside of it for about two months. Blah.

This challenge is not self deprecating. I'm not losing weight to attract guys. This time around it is for me. I'll be living on my own in two months and I need to be in shape. So Sept 12th, look forward to a new bathing suit picture. Hopefully you are not scarred from this one. Ew.

In other news, I've had epic weekend after epic weekend. Last weekend I had a date on Saturday and then on Sunday, the other two stooges and I went to the city to celebrate the 4th. I enjoyed playing in fountains, fire hydrants, meeting random people and drinking random rum and coke, as well as listen to the Roots and Goo Goo Dolls in concert for free. I also salsa danced on the street with a hot guy from Minn. All in all it was a great time! This weekend was the Mercy's farewell party so we spent quality time with them. :)

The volunteer year ends in two weeks. Holy crap. I'm going to Niagara Falls this weekend so that will be a blast. Then we have a week of debriefing and poof! Connie and Stephen are gone and I'm the last one standing. I'm totally psyched about my job, apartment hunting and all of that stuff. However, I am really going to miss this year and all the fun times I've had. I'm sad to see the year come to a close but I know the future is going to be just as epic.

Until next time....