When You Think You Have a Plan…

Let me start off by saying always having a plan is always a good plan.

Photo taken by Jeff Loder at the beginning of my fellowship

Soros requires you to map out your project in the later rounds of application so that not only are you thinking strategically about how to reach your goals, you’re making sure you are allowing yourself enough time to realistically and effectively finish your project. However important making a plan in the beginning actually is, what matters in all actuality is what you end up with. The hard truth is, things don’t always go according to plan. Myself and literally every other fellow I know can attest to this.

Activism is hard. Really hard. Especially when you’re working on sensitive subjects like the child welfare system. What made it even more difficult for me was simultaneously trying to go to college and continue to do all my regular activities and obligations. I found myself constantly trying to keep my head justttt above water, praying that once ‘this ended’ or I ‘finished that assignment’ I would be able to get back on my feet and get things done. But really, even when I did get things done, I wasn’t doing them well. And finally, when I started to be really unhappy with my work, that’s when I knew I had a real problem.

Taking a step back for me to gather my thoughts, finish school and rediscover my creativity and inspiration was exactly what I needed. I’m lucky enough to have the greatest, most supportive host organization to support me, as well as some really wise, talented and loving co-fellows who are always on my side. I found strength in leaning on them and listening when they said that it was okay to take a break. I have a lot of pride and I love reaching goals, but I really had to understand that I couldn’t pour from an empty cup. It was going to be impossible for me to achieve my goals and excel if I didn’t even want to get out of bed in the morning.

Now I’m back! I’m excited, motivated and ready for adventure. I have so much planned and I cannot wait to start hearing stories and fellowshipping with other people who’ve gone through the child welfare system. I’m nervous, but I’ve never felt more confident in my project as I do now. I’m ready.

“A happy and productive person is one who understands that his or her job is not the purpose of his or her life. Go on vacation, use up your sick days, ask for a temporary leave-of-absence—anything that allows you to recharge your batteries away from your typical routine. No leave, no life.” 
― Del Suggs, Truly Leading: Lessons in Leadership

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