Free Form – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Free Form

I would’ve written this last week, but due to an unfortunate series of events I ended up taking the whole week off. I thought I had a concussion and proceeded as if I did, doing nothing but resting. The spectacular news is that I’m fine; I truly can’t put into words how amazing and wonderful that is. I’ve had quite a few so I likely would’ve had to take the next semester off to have adequate recovery time.  Taking the time last week to slow down and relax was pleasant but also made me anxious and I spent a lot of time thinking about things in the future like what I wanted to do with it. I was looking too far forward and trying to come up with a plan or path for how to get there and do all of the things I want to do at present.

One of the best things I’ve learned from the seminars and interacting with people at Green Garage is that the path you’ll take into nonprofit type work is even more nonlinear than you’d think. The sentiment has been echoed by nearly ever person who’s spoken on this topic. I needed to hear it a few times for it to sink in, which is a bit of a surprise realization because I feel like I live in the present pretty well. That being said, I definitely have my head in the clouds planning hypothetical directions to take my life in and what I’d need to do to get there. It seemed like a balance before, but now I’m not sure. This summer has  added to the long list of things I’d like to do within the next 10 years while also making many of those things seem incompatible due to time constraints. I was losing my grounding thinking more about how to juggle all of those aspirations rather than what I want to do now. Specifically, the final seminar pulled me back to reality. I don’t remember the speaker’s name but she spoke about how she got to the position she’s in now, and her path was so convoluted and chaotic while full of fulfilling experiences and work that supplemented her skills very well. There was no way to have planned that path, one only could’ve just built their own foundations and been on the lookout for opportunity.

During my freshman year I was totally fine with not knowing what I wanted to do, and eventually found a major that I liked that would give me flexibility as far as what specifically I would do. Since the winter semester ended though, I’ve thought much more about what I’d need to do after graduation, which is three years away at a minimum. I shifted away from focusing on having experiences that would provide their own guidance and open new doors, to trying to picture what I would want in a few years. How am I supposed to know that, when this time last year I had no idea what I would desire and feel currently? I’m not. So, that realization in tandem with Tuesday’s seminar grounded me in the present. The speaker also said one of the most liberating things she experienced was realizing she would never be somebody who knows what they want to do with the rest of their life, and coming to embrace that. I don’t even know what I want to do this weekend. I used to embrace that to a great deal, and need to get back to embracing my spontaneity. I’ve got to more actively live in the present and prepare myself to be able to accept opportunities later on without being fixated on them. Thanks, DCBRP.

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