So, I was told by the keeper of the blog (aka Lauren) that I was supposed to have a blog post finished by Christmas. Oops, that clearly didn’t happen. However, before you judge too quickly, this post is not extremely tardy because I was too busy or just too lazy. I actually really was at a loss of what to write about.
It is around the holidays so when I offered to write the post this month I thought it would be easy; I will just talk about traditions and Christmas. Boom. Done. Butttttt my Christmas traditions are all with my family at home in New Hampshire. No one wants to hear about how we eat grapefruit before opening presents or that my cat always knocks over my mom’s favorite ornament from the tree resulting in some nonsense screaming.
My next thought was what ringing in the New Year would be like knowing how much this experience has changed me. And while very true, this sounds much too cliché for my taste.
So I settled on talking about time. Please don’t stop reading even though time seems like a very boring theme compared to cats dangling from Christmas trees but just hang in there - it might get exciting soon.
Last February when I first decided that I was going to apply for this program I had so many conversations with myself about how a year is a very long time. All my life I have gone to school where you get these wonderful vacations that break up the year into nice little chunks. Just when you start to get sick of going to class and learning you are rewarded with a few days or weeks of rest. How amazing. As I was thinking about what this year would be like I’ll admit, I was a little scared. For my entire life I have gone to school and this year I suddenly was ready to live in the real world and never have summers off again?
I didn’t think that I was ready for that but just like time (or gas), this feeling has passed as I have continued on throughout this journey in Brockton. At first time went by slow. Every week a new adventure into adult life making memories with new lifelong friends over dinner or discovering I actually remembered something that I learned in freshman business class. But as we are reaching ever closer to the halfway point in the year I feel that time is slipping by much too quickly. As the holidays got closer time just kept speeding up. Yes, I was very excited to spend some time with my family but I felt cheated out of those long nights spent with the community talking about who knows what for hours back in the beginning of the year.
I thought a lot about how I envisioned this next half of the year going in the past few weeks. I want to make the most of my time here. A saying that I have said over and over, but what does that even mean? During the first half of the year it meant not looking ahead to June 30 and figuring out my plans for life after my year of service. I am proud to say that I accomplished this. I curiously thought about what I wanted to do after this year but I have yet to sit down and make any sort of defined plan. This has let me stay present in this experience, and I am happy I made that effort.
But back to the time thing. Now that we are almost halfway done I have to start thinking about my plans for after this year of service. And I don’t want my time to start slipping by faster and faster as we get closer to the end. My worksite, my community mates, and living in the city of Brockton are all things that I will never experience in this context again. How do I make time go by slower so that I can soak up every last drop I can?
I don’t know the answer to this question and I think that searching for the answer is not an effective use of this precious time. As I continue on this journey together with my community we will figure out ways to slow down and chill out. I am looking forward to the rest of this year and equally scared for the end to come too quickly but that is something to figure out when the time comes. Sick of hearing the word time yet? Me too, so I will stop taking your time up now (sorry just one more).