Monthly Archives: July 2013

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Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.
Wilma Rudolph

The potential for greatness lives within each of us. … that statement bears repeating. 

Today… At work, my co-worker and I took the men out bowling. The act of bowling may seem trivial to some, but for others it is a great achievement. One of the men already has a routine in place for what he is accustomed to doing. Bowling is not a part of the routine. He is a smart man though and can when provided with patience and guidance learn new activities outside of his established routine. Yesterday, I am delighted to say that he learned to bowl. 

As I watched the bowling ball roll off the ramp and down the lane (something which I have seen happen many times before) I was filled with delight. As this man learned to bowl, I was reminded yet again to never underestimate the potential of another person.

So many times, we give up on ourselves and others before it is time. With a little bit of patience and attention, giving up does not need to be an option. Resistant in the beginning, my friend grew to enjoy bowling. 

As I taught him, he taught me. A ball, some patience, pins, and a bowling alley… not your typical classroom setting but the perfect one for us. No one’s potential can be discovered without perseverance. It was so touching to see the smile spread across his face as the pins crashed down. Boom! He did it. He bowled. Bam! My co-worker and I did it, we discovered another activity that he can do and enjoys. What a feeling 🙂

                Last night served as another reminder that we are all in this together.  All different and yet One.

Never underesti…

Mother Nature… what’s up?

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Dear Mother Nature, 

In the past month alone it has been so hot that I feel like I can’t help but sweat even if I don’t do anything but now as I write this I am wrapped up in a sweater. My body had finally adjusted to the high, high temperatures and humidity which made the air thick and heavy when it seems that you were ready to provide some relief from the heat in a drastic way. With temperatures now in the 70’s and low humidity I now feel cold! When I think of July I don’t normally think of wearing a sweater and sleeping under warm winter blankets. Last night, I did just that though. Are you trying to tell us something?

Some say that global warming does not exist, what do you think of this? With all the fumes that we are exhausting into the air on a daily basis, I personally find it hard to believe anything other than the existence of global warming. You have definitely shown us that the climate is changing. Consistency seems to be a thing of the past. Weather extremes feel as though they are becoming the new normal. Could this be true? 

Your message, to me seems to be a clear one, take care of the planet, it is the only one we have to live on. When the temperature shifts so drastically, my body feels it. With a pounding head, I can feel the effects of climate change personally. Tell me Mother Nature, how can we get everyone on board to help make a difference, to help you heal? 

Sincerely, 

A concerned individual

 

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“He who is different from me does not impoverish me – he enriches me. Our unity is constituted in something higher than ourselves – in Man… For no man seeks to hear his own echo, or to find his reflection in the glass.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

My blog post for peace for July is in celebration of our differences! Today… I spent my morning at a Diversity training where myself and the other summer interns were trained on how to respect diversity in the workplace among staff and the individuals that we are serving. Respect for our differences belongs everywhere we go, not just within the workplace. 

My summer internship/job has me working with adults with special needs. The job is an incredibly humbling experience. I have always believed that there is beauty everywhere and in everyone. We may be different, one from another, but I like it like that. It would be dreadfully boring if we were all similar. Our differences strengthen us, teach us, and help us grow. Exposing ourselves to diverse populations and areas is one of the best things we can do for ourselves I think. Open your mind, open your heart and let in all that others have to offer.

Today, at work I took one of the gentlemen out walking. Together as I pushed him in his wheelchair with the sun shining, we took in the sounds and sights of a summer day in our small town. Others out walking, smiled, waved and stopped to say hello. As they did this, I felt my heart fill with joy. I met people different from myself, as I walked with a man much different from myself. Together, we embraced diversity and I invite you to do the same. 

In today’s day and age, many mention that there should be no need for “Diversity Training” but there is. I pray for a day, when respect is ingrained in people. No one is less than or better than another, we all unique, different and beautiful in our very own way.

“He who is diff…

Aside

I started this blog a couple months ago now. I wanted to start blogging before I left because I knew that I might not set the time aside to set up my blog during the transition; but I knew that I could commit to  finding  the time to write about my transition. Little did I realize though just how busy my life was to become before I left, so now I have found myself starting to write numerous blog posts that have yet to be completed. I have not deleted a single draft though because my unfinished posts are my thoughts … to be continued. 

A week ago today as I realized that I had only a month left in the United States for quite some time. And with that, I found that I had stepped on a roller coaster – a roller coaster of emotions and to do lists. I know I have already written about the excitement and nervous feelings that I have been and am experiencing. Along with all this though comes the emotions of my friends and family, both here and abroad. I tend to like to invite change because it usually brings with it the start to something new-  an adventure, lifestyle, diet, location, language, people etc. Change though can feel overwhelming sometimes. I have been trying to balance my own emotions, commitments, finances, time, sleep.. you name it and I am trying to keep it all in order.  and then there is the emotions of others that have affected me in ways that I was not expecting; so on top of it all I am trying to balance the emotions of others with my own. It is a lot to say the least. Now, I am not saying that I feel responsible for the happiness of others or for the well being of their emotions. But, you must know the feeling, when someone you love and care for deeply is feeling emotional because of you. My family and friends are understandably feeling an array of emotions. Being the empathetic person that I am, I feel them as well.

So, with only three weeks now until I leave, I have been stepping away from my laptop and iPhone as much as I can. As much as I love the internet and technology, it is just isn’t the same as in person interaction. For the next three weeks I am completing my last two and a half weeks at my summer intern position, working as a Developmental Service Worker for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’s Department of Developmental Services as well as attending meetings and presenting at a conference. I am also visiting family, friends and children who I have cared for for years. To end my time in America for 2013 I am returning to the little piece of heaven on earth that I posted about in June with my best friend.

The job, my family, church family, friends, and friends and family across the world all mean a ton to me. I am blessed to be living my life filled with so many incredible people, connections, experiences, etc. I must admit though that I have found my thoughts and emotions to feel somewhat like a roller coaster. Like when I exit, the “Mind Eraser” at Six Flags, my thoughts have felt to be a bit all over the place at times. I have post it notes all over my room so I remember calls to make, things to pack, meetings to schedule. While it is a lot of fun, it is also a lot to take on. 

I want to thank everyone, reading this or not, for your love and support during this time of change for me as I ventured into a new work environment and now as I begin my venture into a new country to study, live, learn and create memories. I am so grateful as your support makes the roller coaster a bit less bumpy, and manageable. 

My Jumbled Thoughts

look what came in the mail!

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look what came in the mail!

I was super excited to get mail from Globalinks today! I’ve got my passport ready, luggage tags, two suitcases, a carry on and a backpack!

I forgot that a package from Globalinks was coming soon, what a fun surprise 🙂
For anyone interested in study abroad I am traveling with a great program and studying at Freie Universitat Berlin!
To check out the program and other locations, go to their website at:

http://www.globalinksabroad.org/

I can’t wait!

And then there were five …

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I have always been one to countdown…
I countdown the days to my birthday, the days left until the next semester is here or over… I have counted down the days until a concert or vacation I’m looking forward to… I’ve counted down the days until a bill is due or a new season approaches… Anything really… If I’ve been in the mood to… I may have counted the days until its beginning or its end.

For the most part I have found that countdowns increase my anticipation for the upcoming event… If I am really looking forward to what is coming… It can drive me crazy with impatience! The days may seem to drag on even though the passage of time never changed. ….

This time… I have stopped having an official countdown until I leave for Germany. Why did I do this? I stopped counting down each day that passed by because this time it feels as though time is getting away from me. With a one way ticket to Germany and no definite return date yet, I know that I am leaving America for a longer amount of time than ever before. There is so much to get done before I leave. So many people to see. So many calls to make. So many memories to create. This time the end to my countdown feels like it is right around the corner.
With five weeks until I depart, I can count the number of weeks on one hand.. 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5!
I find myself filled with excited anticipation and a dash of nervousness. I know that I am ready for the next adventure. I know that there are many people in America who I will miss seeing on a daily basis, but just like I do now with those in Germany, I will Skype them often! 🙂
And just like that, in 1,2,3,4,5 weeks I’m moving to Germany to write the next chapter of my life’s story!