My name is Shawna and I am nearing the end of my service year at…
There have already been so many ups and downs, realizations, and lessons and I have only been here for 7 months! Wild! Adjusting to different community dynamics as well as starting a new job 3 months into my year of service are not things people tell you may happen, but I am #growing (as is my waist – people love to feed us carbs). Because life has been wild & crazy, here are the 5 things I hadn’t anticipated learning during my volunteer year:
- Advocacy is SO important. Advocate for the people you serve, the wellbeing of your community, and yourself! I have become a stronger volunteer, a more present community member, and a more confident woman because of how much I have advocated for myself and others this year.
- Simple living has to be done intentionally. Sure, living on a stipend is a financial reminder, but I have taken up veganism to enhance the minimalist life I want to live and continue living upon completing the year.
- Being present is easier said than done. Being mindful of where my thoughts are and bringing myself back to the present allows me to be more sincere and empathetic with the guests of Friendship Park.
- Sacramento is in fact not always warm and sunny. Oh, people told me this would be the case, and I did convince myself of this.
- A year of service is hard, so hard! But it is also rewarding and humbling and challenges you to try things you would not have tried before your year of service!
I am excited for what the next 5 months will bring, definitely more sunshine and undoubtedly more lessons; but for now, I’ll keep my mind in the present!
Georgie Rooney: Sacramento, California