I’ve been riding the struggle bus lately, and I’ve been riding it far: Despite the simple tasks I’ve been given on the conference steering committee, I can’t seem to get a single thing done. I thought perhaps I just don’t care as much as I want to–and although that’s partly true, the bigger issue is I’m afraid.
I’m afraid to push myself out of my comfort zone. I’m afraid to risk failure, and if I never try, I can never fail. And I’m afraid to honestly ask myself why I do care–because just maybe I really don’t care at all.
But I’m tired of seeing the same tasks on my to-do lists. I’m tired of feeling I’ve failed myself, failed the committee, and failed the people we’re trying to help. I’m tired of being afraid. So I’m pulling the whistle and departing the struggle bus right here, right now.
I’ve been struggling a long time to figure out what I want to do with my life. I used to joke I had my life planned through graduation this past May. It wasn’t until August and September came that I realized how much I had relied upon this plan–and how much I lacked the direction to proceed since then.
I’ve been journeying this winding path for weeks. I’ve taken personal inventories and gone to job interviews and spoken with advisors and friends about what I’m doing–and none alone has given me more help than my closest friend. She told me flatly that I’m fooling myself. That I’ve always known what I want to do. That I’m just thinking too much.
Well, maybe I have thought too much. But now my thinking is over.
I began interning with NCPIRG in November and just days ago I joined the steering committee for the Resolve to Fight Poverty Annual Conference. I joined during our New Voters Project with the hope of helping out where needed, especially with our sustainability projects.
Life surprised us with a reshuffling, and to keep working with our campus coordinator, we pulled together behind the No Hunger, No Homelessness action kit–which was great. We raised a fair amount of money for Feeding America through the National Hunger Clean-Up, and now many of us are coordinating a national conference. That’s not something most people can brag about–not that I’m bragging.
Not only this, my NCPIRG family is just that–family–and I want to keep working with them and helping our group to grow and make a difference, on campus, in our community, and in our entire country. Which is all good and great, mind you, except that since I joined the group, I’ve been struggling to answer a pretty important question:
Before I got caught up on a chocolate high yesterday, I mentioned coffee has somehow become a staple of the ASB trip I’m going on. Now, I know you all know of my persistent, practically lifelong love of tea, but I have a confession: I had coffee the other day, and I liked it.
I know. Really. I couldn’t believe it myself.
So it only seems fitting I celebrate coffee for today.
I wrote a post on Fair Trade last week, but the moment I finished it, I loathed it. It was long and tiresome, uninspired, and failed to touch the topic adequately. It was supposed to start my in-depth look at the issues our trip is facing, but instead it felt like a sour essay.
The point remains, however, that Fair Trade is important. After all, our entire trip is working alongside the Toledo Cacao Growers Association, which is based around Fair Trade farming.
So I’m tossing out everything else and starting anew. It’s not fair that I have to write this twice, but it’s not fair that farmers around the world aren’t receiving the benefits of Fair Trade, either.
Today began my ASB Team’s retreat and we spent the day learning about Fair Trade and then doing some activities to broaden our perspectives and allow us to gain greater insight into our personalities and the makeup of our group. I’ll get to all of those points next week–for now, I need to discuss why Belize is important to me.
Believe it or not, it means more than even I had thought it would.
Today officially began my semester. I woke up before the sun (but not as early as yesterday) and trudged out to my first course. I left earlier than I actually had to and therefore was almost an hour early.
I took my seat casually, somewhat thankful I wasn’t the first one there. I withdrew my iPad to fiddle with for a bit, eager to distract myself, yet still eager for classes to begin.
Had I known what the day would bring, I’d have felt differently.