Wednesday, August 11, 2010

End of Summer

The summer is coming to an end. This week marks my last week teaching swim lessons for the summer, perhaps ever. In two weeks school will start and my schedule has been dictated by whoever comes up with the class schedules at the College of Social Work. I am not happy with whoever that is. This is because they scheduled a class while I'm supposed to be at Kid's Book Club (I've talked about it in previous posts. Find them yourself.) Today, it hit me that next Monday will be my last Monday. I have been volunteering there since my senior year of high school in 2007, and the last two years I have been acting as the Program Director and planning/executing the weekly activities. I didn't know that I would be this affected by the ending of my term there. It makes me regret those days I did not put my whole heart into interacting and working with the kids. I regret the days when I felt annoyed or even angry at a kid for his/her behavior. I regret kicking that one kid out that one night. I regret half-assing some night's activities. I regret not appreciating the fullness of this experience.

I have been taught a great deal by and owe so much to the hundreds of kids who have gone through those doors - scared at first, hard-asses next, then ecstatic to finally leave the shelter. Kid’s Book Club was my first volunteer experience, and it set me on the path to pursue social work and care about the welfare of every human being. I have been taught that when the objectives of your efforts lie outside yourself you can never be drained. It's like taking a bucket of water and trying to pour every last drop out, only to find the bucket miraculously filled again, fuller this time. This phenomenon is a selfish one where the giver is actually the saved, and the receiver the savior.

My belief system has been transformed and created through my experience working with the kids at The Road Home. I believe in the resilience of the human spirit because I witnessed it firsthand. I believe in the individual worth of all humans because I've seen that which unites us exceeding greatly that which divides. I believe in the care-free adaptation to whatever situation life puts you through because that is exactly what these kids have done and continue to do. I believe in living in the present, not just the present day, but the present moment, because the future is unpredictable and the past is un-reliveable. All that exists is that which you are holding, doing, saying, feeling. And because of this each action, statement, conversation, relationship needs to be executed with the greatest passion, commitment and unwavering dedication.

No post of any length could ever convey the depth and importance this experience holds for me. I am saddened that it is over, but excited by what is happening now, and what surprises the future holds for me.