Finishing Strong and the power of Willpower

Kyle Healy - Senegal


March 3, 2017

I am so sorry that these are just huge blocks of text. I write all of my blogs on NotePad, so formatting is a little wonky.

Finding the strength to finish out my last few months has been extremely challenging. Whether the task is something as trivial as getting out of bed and actually starting my day, or something challenging yet engaging like planning a project in my community, a lack of willpower has been battling me with reckless abandon. Some days, everything I do feels to be met with a resistance, a haze of uncertainty and disinterest. I was not sure how to fight this as the feelings were similar to those that I had my senior year of High School almost exactly one year ago. However, being here, being on my own and having to count on myself to get my work done has shown me that I have indeed learned a lot over this past year. I’ve learned that, in order to actually accomplish what I want, I need to continue to put one foot in front of the other, no matter what’s going on around me.

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing seems to be going in your favor? You wake up, maybe go to cut some bread to make some toast, and you slice the bread in such a way that it doesn’t fit in the toaster. Maybe you end up slicing your finger. I don’t know, it’s your bread. Anyways, the mild inconvenience is nothing to serious; you just cut off the excess, Band-Aid your finger and move on. Then you go to pour yourself a cup of coffee. Something miscellaneous happens with that too… maybe the coffee is too hot and your cup cracks. Now you have coffee all over your work clothes, a cut finger and some surface-level burns on your hands. It sucks, but is that going to stop you from going to the job that you need to perform to support yourself?

I did not really realize that my actions here would have consequences or would reflect entirely on myself until, after suffering some incidents not too unrelated to the ones I described above, I noticed that nobody really cared about those problems except for me. No one notices, which is fine! Theyhave their own surface level burns to deal with. It did not really strike me until now, and it’s an interesting thought. Growing up,there were definitely parts of my life where the things that needed to be done were magically done – whether, for example,that be my parents washing my clothes, preparing my food and driving me to school, or teachers helping me with my issues to a point where they were solved for me. Either way, there were times when I was not depending on myself to solve my own problems. I can feel the change in that here. I wash my own clothing by hand. If I don’t go to work, my host family isn’t pounding on my door for me to wake up on time. Nobody is driving me across town to mark my tasks off my checklist. I’mrelying on myself, which feels really good. It feels great to sit down after a busy day, look at what I have accomplished and ask myself “Who made this happen?” When I can say the answer is “myself” for any of these questions, I have begun to realize that my day has been a success!

Kyle Healy