At the end of last summer, I completed a personal milestone (and no, it wasn’t turning 25…yuck).
I finished my term of AmeriCorps!
Let’s take a peek at the numbers, shall we?
6000. Approximate amount of scholarship.
1700. Hours of community service completed.
42. Number of kids served.
6. Number of families I feel I impacted.
9. Lasting friendships made with other AmeriCorps.
4. People I can count on for a great recommendation.
12. Months of service.
1. Child I continue to mentor.
2. Bitter relationships left over.
1,560. Approximate number of life lessons learned.
Everything else can’t be broken down into numbers. I learned a lot last year–about myself, and about others. Were these the lessons I thought I would learn? Not even close.
At the beginning of the year, we wrote ourselves a letter detailing what we expected from the next twelve months.
It was a depressing letter because everything I wrote about had in fact, not happened. I wasn’t staying another year in AmeriCorps as I had assumed, the Boyfriend and I were not ready to be engaged (and still aren’t) and I’m still uncertain how much of an impact I had on the kids.
However, I did learn how to be professional, even if I’m brawling or bawling inside.
I did learn bucket loads about the systems here in the United States: the immigration system, the health care system, the education system.
I learned how to get over my fear of public speaking.
I learned how to network.
I learned how to quiet down a class of middle-schoolers and gain their (temporary) respect.
I learned how to make my hair look semi-professional on a regular basis.
I learned how to go to a 9-6 job every day, and make it there (mostly) on time.
I learned how to live with a boy.
I learned how to survive a commute and drive in the big city.
Most of all, I learned that life rarely follows a plan, and that it’s really hard to let go of the plan you wanted to have.
Although it’s cliche, John Lennon said it best: “life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”