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The fine lines between each day have started blurring for me, and I’m not sure what to think of this. On the one hand, it means I’m enjoying myself – enjoying the people around me, enjoying my work and my time with the kids, enjoying explorations in a new city. I know that even though my days are long, everything that I’m doing is worth the time and effort that I’m putting in to them. I’m gaining new perspectives and skills, and Seattle is turning out to be way more than I’d ever imagined it to be. I’m learning more about myself – what makes me happy, what makes me sad, what interests me, and what I still need to work on. I’ve come to realize that there are some times when I just need to remove myself from everything and give myself time to think alone. But I’m also acknowledging that there are other times when I need to have people around me – whether they are kids who are depending on me or friends who I depend on.
The blurring also reminds me, though, that my time here is limited. Time is flying by in Seattle, and as exhausting as it may be, I’m pushing myself to make the most out of my experiences. I never want to feel like I’ve “wasted” any time, and I’m certainly trying to not get that feeling, but it seems like my days are just packed with things to do, and I’m rarely leaving time for myself to relax and recuperate. Although the bus rides to and from work are sometimes helpful for that purpose, most days I’m just stressed about whether I will make my transfer or just too tired to do much more than just sit there and listen to music. Definitely something I am trying to work on.
At the Museum of Flight, working with the campers has reminded me that everyone deserves the opportunity to live through their youth as they please. Every day, I see children at different developmental stages; at camp, they’re conveniently grouped by color – red, light blue, green, purple, orange, maroon, dark blue. It is fascinating to see the differences between each group in their reactions to situations and circumstances, but even within the groups, there is variation among the individuals. This past week, I worked with the youngest kids, who are often rowdy and loud, but rightfully so. After all, they’re only 5; how could I have expected anything else from them? Through their interactions and experiences, they learn how to behave and what to believe. My role is not to crush their creativity and imagination in the games and drawings they come up with, but rather to encourage these expressions, giving them the chance to grow, while ensuring their health and safety. My role is to provide these children with a safe environment to mature and grow, and sometimes, when the kids are just too much to handle, I need to remind myself of the importance and intention of my role. I had the same guidance in my youth, and I look forward to giving back to the kids in what limited ways I can.