I might as well get in as many blogs as I can while I'm still in America, right? Tonight I was really moved by the fireside chat about decision making that was presented by an alum who was unfortunately sent home from his global citizen year (along with some other fellows). I was so moved by the fact that he was brave enough to return to an organization that he was kicked out of because to me that was extremely courageous. Something he made clear to us that really resonated with me was his reflection on his removal from the program. He said that he was able to separate the staff's decision to discharge him and set that apart from his emotional reaction to the situation. To put that into more clear terms, he knew that the staff didn't hate him for breaking the rules. Of course he was upset (and this speech was very emotional as well) and of course he was humiliated to go home, but he did a very mature thing, which was come back and share his experience with us because he believes in the program and doesn't want one of us to make the same mistake. I really appreciated his candidness and vulnerability, and I loved that he holds himself accountable in these ways. I hope none of the fellows this year have to leave early for any reason. I can feel that we are becoming a family, and just like the moon, we are waxing, getting bigger and stronger every day. It's comforting.
The more I write and reflect, the more I begin to feel at home, and the more vulnerable I can be with my new friends. My vulnerability and willingness to share my deeper thoughts and feelings are directly proportionate to my ability to navigate and supervise my emotions.