Change is a funny concept isn’t it? I mean think about it, change can be great, or it can be terrible. If someone tells you that you’ve changed, odds are you’ll either be offended or complimented. Even thinking of it from a more macro level, change can be good or bad. I think it’s also relative. With the mid-term elections still fresh there is a lot of change that has happened and some are elated while others are deflated. On a personal level, I moved from a suburb of Cleveland, to Los Angeles California, went from seeing my family and friends daily, to not seeing them for months at a time. And it wasn’t just me that experienced this change. My family had to get use to me not being there every day, my friends had to get use to not being able to hit me up whenever they want. This is why when posed with the question, “In what ways have I changed?” I had a hard time deciding at first. So I did what I always do and started to think of some lighter ways to start out.
For starters, I’m pretty sure that I’m officially use to the warm temperatures of California, in fact I often take a sweater to work because I get chilly as the sun sets. As you can imagine I’m just so looking forward to going home for the bitter, bone chilling Cleveland winter (this is sarcasm by the way). Now if you tell anyone from home this I will deny it until the end of time. Anyways let’s get to some of the other changes now shall we? I drank La Croix and liked it, started using seasonings on my food, swam in the ocean, and brushed up on my spanish skills, but let’s get to the heavy hitters. Communication, whew boy good ole communication. From the very first day, communication was stressed in Jubilee, and I was skeptical at first because I had done a pretty stand up job at internalizing everything I felt and never letting anyone know. Then this wild thing started to happen, people were open and honest and encouraging me to do the same and slowly but surely I started to as well. At first it was wildly uncomfortable because I felt much to vulnerable for my liking, but then I started noticing a change within myself because it was coming easier for me. I started having really meaningful and rewarding conversations with people and it has allowed me to get to know people on a deeper level, and to allow them to get to know me on a deeper level as well. I also made it a goal of mine to allow myself to be vulnerable, which doesn’t come easy to me. For reasons unknown I use to think that allowing myself to be vulnerable was a way of showing weakness, and that the more a person knew about me the more power they had over me. In these two months I’ve opened up to more people then I probably have in the last 5 years, and as much as I like to be snarky and make jokes, that is 100% serious. It’s simultaneously refreshing and terrifying knowing that I’m allowing these people into my life but I’m determined to keep working on being comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Voices of Service
These are reflections from corps members and alumni of Jubilee Year and the Episcopal Urban Intern Program. They cover topics ranging from the sun, fun and friends in in Los Angeles to the uncensored experiences of serving vulnerable populations in our beautiful city. These are Voices of Service. For more, go through our archives below