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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Summer Job, 2nd edition, vol. XV (Finally)

Last year, I wrote this about my summer experience. Summer Job 2009 was an incredibly intense and, in retrospect, difficult summer.

At the end of orientation week, there is always a staff talent show. During that day, this year, several people came up to me to ask what I’d be presenting. They seemed to fondly remember that I had done a reading last year, and when I told them I’d be reading something again, I got excited and pleased responses across the board.

I couldn’t believe it.

This genuine outpouring of interest and admiration seemed to set the foundation for the summer, and I don’t quite know where to start expressing how personally significant it was for me.

My new roommate, Naheil, who I also worked with this summer, told me about how she and her co-RA shared a bottle of champagne on the final night and toasted to every realization they had made in seven short weeks.

So, in honor of her and all of my incredible colleagues without whom I could not have survived the summer, here are some of mine.

I realized that being a mentor to young adults satisfies me and seems to align with ALL of my skills.

I realized that I didn’t miss teaching.

I realized that there ARE kind and beautiful young men in the world. (Sometimes they're just TOO young.)

I realized that receiving the love and admiration of my peers is just as important as giving it.

I realized that I will miss hammock time most of all.

I realized that being more comfortable with the schedule of the program meant I spent a lot more money at Starbucks instead of eating in the dining hall.

I realized that leading fifty students to Washington, DC and back is probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

I realized that exhaustion at the program is unlike any other kind of exhaustion I’ve ever felt because you have no choice but to work through it, and everyone around you is just as exhausted.

I realized that having a director that is younger than me doesn’t matter, especially when she’s probably the hardest working person I’ve ever met. And that building a friendship with her was one of the most gratifying parts of the summer.

I realized that working in an office with such a strong and variously skilled team is probably unlike any experience I’ll ever have again, unless I go back next year, and even then, there are no guarantees.

I realized that the Kelly Clarkson channel on Pandora is the best work music ever.

I realized that there is no way to explain how amazing it was to have a flexible schedule that allowed me to sleep in at least once a week.

I realized that one should never bring scissors in your backpack to the Capitol.

I realized that there are few things more satisfying and silly than watching The Bachelorette with girlfriends. On a projector. Or deciding to skip dinner to have spicy Thai food and drinks with a partner in crime. Or singing really loudly and obnoxiously with your office mate with your directors screaming at you from across the hall.

I realized that I’m terrible at water balloon volleyball, but I’m a kick-ass cheerleader.

I realized that snacking on Starbursts CAN get you through a long night on-duty.

I realized, again, that young people need to be spoken to like human beings for them to hear you.

I realized that sleeping on a Twin XL bed is just as uncomfortable as it was last year.

I realized that that rain jacket was the best investment I’ve made in a long time.

I realized that everyone thought I was 24, at the MOST. And that I went through the summer feeling like a grown-ass woman.

I realized that I didn’t expect to LEARN so much. But I did. And, yet, there is still so much more for me to learn.

I realized that doing good work can be its own reward, but getting praised and being told the program wants me back is invaluable.

I realized that going to a job interview straight from this experience proves how confident and experienced I have become.

I realized that Boston is home.

***

Honestly, I could write all night, but I won’t.

Mostly, I hope I can hold onto all this goodness, all this confidence and contentment I feel.

I’m so grateful for it.

6 comments:

gilsonwalker said...

You're amazing! And I'm honored that you're my cousin.

Annie said...

You're amazing! Thank you for your support and love!

Brittany said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Annie said...
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Brittany said...

This post, like it's last-summer sibling, made me cry little joy tears. AND I WASN'T EVEN THERE! I'm glad summer job 2010 treated you so well.

Annie said...

Thanks, lady!! I missed you this summer, but, yes, it was amazing.