Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Signing up for Spectra365 wasn't an easy decision for me. (and i don't think i made it easier for Lala... Sorry girl. :-S)

Knowing myself, getting involved in community projects are probably one of the last things that i would -willingly- do. The simple reason, as well as irony, is that i fear people. I fear meeting people, i love AND hate small talk, i feel that i'm not a confident person who's settled comfortably into her own skin. And mind you, all these churning in me alongside the desire to be able to help people.

During the decision making process, i had to give up something that although affirmed me in my gifts, it played up my ego (the bad side to serving on stage). It was either that, or joining the project. But something in me would not allow myself to have any peace if i didn't commit a handful of saturdays to the project. With much struggling and deliberation, i said "yes". In that same instant, i felt very strongly that i did the right thing BUT, i also felt jittery. I could feel the skeletons in my closet clattering away in anxiety.

The first day of Spectra365 came and left, seeing around 80-90 young volunteers going through a ropes course to build up our confidence, to enable us to see the parallel between that and what was to come.

Sometimes you just need to take the first step to overcome your fear. It doesn't mean your fear disappears, it just means that you managed to pluck up the courage to face the challenge. Also, we learnt that we need to face our challenges alone at times, and that we may not always have the benefit of having people around us to cheer us on. Yet, that doesn't mean that we stop in our endeavours. So, the upcoming challenge for all of us will be meeting, bonding and working together with youths at risk in the saturdays ahead.

Previously, at the point of saying yes to the project, i was under the impression that we were going to be dealing with children. But as things moved along, we were recently told that we were going to deal with youths (13 to 20-ish years old).

I baulked at first. Scared out of my wits. With youths, you inevitably get a more complex person to deal with.

But then it dawned on me... How i used to tell myself that given a choice, i'd rather be with secondary school students if i ever got to be a teacher. In other words, i realize that this is the perfect opportunity for me to reach out to the very group of people i want to, without having to be a teacher, and they're not just any "regular" youths in that general sense, but youths who will require something extra.

I know it'll be naive of me to think that i can 100% change or be a 100% ultra-positive-impact on someone's life in only a few days, but that isn't going to stop me from trying my best to do what i can.

And so it is with cheerful anxiety and joyous fear (plus cranking and storing up on the PR juices) that i'll wait till the day that i can meet the youth that i'll be attached to. Girl or guy, it doesn't matter... Lets see what magic we'll create together when we go on our photo taking trip at the end of Feb!

(Note: we're to take about one or a few days to break the ice with the youths at the beneficiaries' place, then there'll be a designated route for a photo taking trip where we'll work together with the youths to take photos together)

I'm probably going to need to study some national geographic magazines while i'm preparing for it though. My knowledge of photography is sooo limited. Teehee.


lakeside girl said...

Awesome job! May God take away all those fears and insecurities you have that hinders you from serving the community now. :)

Enjoy yourself Jo, in the discovery of alternative teenagehood, and i pray that you'll be able to find in them guidance for navigating a world that no longer protects us from anything, least of all ourselves. And that you'll be able to transplant and grow the experiences in your future, so that they would not have been earned in vain.

joline said...

Amen! I hope that'll indeed be the case... That more of such exposure, stepping out and away from my fears will build me in my character and therefore mould me into the person He ultimately wants me to become.

And thanks for putting that shrewdly. Sometimes we think that they're the ones who are deficient or lacking in some way, but really, it may very well be the other way around. Well, like puzzles that fit together, hopefully the partnership will have a positive impact on both sides.