While I drove to my new home for the Summer, I had no expectations. When I arrived at my destination, I felt a little nervous because the neighborhood was really empty, and the building seemed almost abandoned. The more we started to move in our things and interact with each other, the more I become comfortable. As I learned the history about our apartment, I was so humbled to share a space with families in transitional housing. Our space is a privilege to us, while for others it is a blessing.
The more I work at St. Mary’s Center and encounter homeless seniors, I sometimes feel uncomfortable with myself because of how easy and accessible all of these opportunities are for me. When I talked to Shirley about case management info, since that is currently a dream of mine, she mentioned that it is an emotional occupation for both clients and the social worker, which is something I will learn over the next two months.
When I met with Karla to plan my schedule for the month, she explained that she wanted to have weekly check-ins with me for me to utilize however I want, “especially when I want to cry.” I laughed at her in reply, but she said, “No, I really mean it. There are times when you are going to want to cry. And I just want to say that I am here for you.”
I have learned that I will face emotional challenges, and I just need to be patient to experience them naturally. I would describe myself as an emotional person, especially when I have a personal connection with someone. I am expecting to have something or someone trigger me, but I also want it to just hit me rather than me trying to look for that moment. For others in terms of the house, I learned that all of us are privileged in different ways and that our experiences make us who we are today. We all are also at different points in our personal growth, which can be both a benefit and a drawback, but I’m excited to see how we all will work together cohesively and learn from each other. I’m excited to be in a house with other ladies who have similar values and passions about service and social justice.
In the weeks to come, I hope to touch people’s lives that I encounter. I want them to know that they all have someone who cares about them enough to help them in any way that they can whether from listening to being a resource for them to bring greater gifts. I hope to see if this type of work is my passion and something I truly want to pursue in the near future. The more I feel sure about it, I encounter someone who wants me to think twice or encourages me to continue with grad school after graduation. At the end of the program, I hope to invest myself with St. Mary’s Center and be emotionally connected by having this sense of responsibility to this site and the people I form relationships with. I also want this experience to help me form relationships with people outside of St. Mary’s Center. There’s something special about this place that I have noticed these passed 2 days, and by the end of the program I want to know what it is exactly that draws me in.
The value of simplicity made me reevaluate myself. I am aware that I have been raised in a very privileged background, and my family has the mentality that materialism represents richness, and therefore success. Like the reading, I recognized that while growing up, my parents imitated the rich through possessions. Over the years, I have been constantly teaching myself self-control in spending and only buying the basic necessities, because I am independent and trying to support myself. I admit that I need to improve on the consumption culture, but I think I have made great progress from my youth and childhood. Living with others is a challenge in itself, but I realized that an easy way to get through it is to be simple, as it can help everyone financially but it can help my inner-self. The more I hear other people’s stories, the more I can appreciate others’ growth while assessing my personal growth and sharing my love and care with others.