The internet is beyond spotty in the airport so as my google reader continues to top the 300 unread mark, my fury over the lack of wifi continues to boil, I decided to breathe. What a better way to distress (with over five hours to kill before my red-eye flight) than blog.
There is a lot that happened at the company training retreat. A lot of which I probably will never cover. But let’s just say I have drank the ‘kool-aid’ of BUILD. I was surrounded for five days by individuals that are so passionate and dedicated to what they do. This is unlike any non profit out there. They are constantly growing and learning to be better, better serve their population and reach new aspirations other non profits refuse to touch. If anything, this trip made me want to hit the ground running. I want to be able to share stories about the students lives I have changed, the mentors I have recruited and the impact BUILD has had on various kids. Patience Alex. I had to keep reminding myself I am allowed to feel new because heck, I am. I haven’t had the four, five or more years of working with BUILD to really be able to make that lasting impact. That shouldn’t discourage me, which at times during the training, it did. I felt left out or more so lost in the chaos. What I realized was that my type A, super involved personality was forced to take on a new role. For once, I was not that peak performer who people went to for advice and who looked to for example. I was the learner, a position I hadn’t had to play in a quite a while. If anything, it was humbling and made me reflect on my own strengths that one day will shine through. Right now, I need to accept and take that time to just learn, not try to just succeed. You see, that was all outside of all the wonderful information I actually learned about BUILD and its mission. Jam packed. My brain is overflowing with information, but why bore you with that.
I guess a big part of the trip was the external and internal divide I felt. On the outside, I will always put up that smile. I will always be on time, prepared and ready to listen. This time though, I was having an internal battle that really was boiling over from my last two months in DC. With all of that was the good, the bad and the ugly. Shall we?
- Well do I even need to say I was in California for the first time? Yes, the first hotel room was a Good Nite Inn (yes, spelled incorrectly) in Redwood City but the last three days were in Calistoga on a remote cabin retreat place. The scenery was breathtaking. The beds were… well beds but after being on an air mattress let’s just say I slept like a freaking log. The temperature was hot but not humid making the days comfortable and nights so enjoyable to be outside.
- The people were fan freaking tastic. No other way to put this. I was by far the youngest but everyone opened their arms to me (yes, there was a lot of hugging!). Everyone was so close to each other even though many of the people only see each other twice a year on these trainings. They really cared for each other and wanted to actively listen to all suggestions made. There was a spirit of creativity and innovation that is hard to even describe. Oh, and the laughing was non stop. People totally were not afraid to embarrass themselves in all the group building games or name random facts that only a diary should hear. That openness opened me up, it made me want to come out of shell which is tough for me in these situations. I got the cork-screw badge which meant I had ‘untapped’ potential. I mean which company does feel good awards like that?
- There are so many more goods I could go into all having to do with making me more confident in my decision of post grad paths. I know when I tell people I decided to work for a non profit, I actually feel ashamed. What? I hated that feeling but it kept sticking. This retreat made me realize I am more than proud of where I am this year and hopefully longer. I am proud to say I work for BUILD and help promote its unique mission. Overall, I have never attended anything like this and it is something I wish I could put to words. Even this rambling girl can’t describe it.
- The food situation. Let’s be real, it was tough. Being in the middle of no where with no access to go pick up gluten free stuff was rough. I definitely did not eat enough due to this and lived off of things that were not satisfying or nourishing. The chef did not know what gluten free was so finally on day two someone mentioned I was unable to eat ANY OF THE FOOD. His attempt was a pasta dish with vegetables – yep, he did not understand gluten free. I was super cautious just because I didn’t want to risk getting sick meaning I basically was unable to eat any of the meals. I can’t wait to be back to DC just to make a real meal!
- I felt out of place and young. Each night there was a lot of drinking. I just didn’t feel comfortable drinking at all, making me the only one. I kind of hung out with people, sipping my water and as people got more and more intoxicated just went to my room and read. Lame. I know. I don’t know how I should have handled this, I don’t know if I should have just stayed awake and tried to interact more. I just felt out of place. Everyone else had someone either at their own site or from afar they were close to. I didn’t. That was difficult. I was constantly finding someplace to sit with a group that had already sat down together, I struggled to remember the loads of names and I felt out of place speaking up because I felt less knowledgeable. My confidence hit a low these last few days which brought up a lot of tough emotions for me that I know I need to start to process.
- I have about three running lists of to – do’s all to accomplish before the weekend is up. One is labeled blog to do, one is work to do and one is personal to do. Each is longer than the last. I am feeling a little overwhelmed in all aspects of my life right now which I am only hoping will be alleviated once this weekend is up. I can only hope.
- I worry about the behavior backlash. When I have these ‘tough’ days, I tend to come back and really struggle with disordered thoughts and behaviors. See what I said though, ‘I tend to’ meaning I don’t have to let this time be the same. I am prepared with a plan for when I return so that this can be avoided and the ground I need to make up can be done comfortably and slowly. Realistically, I know I have some ground to make up but I am confident one day back at will get me back on my schedule and in the groove. I just have to remind myself to take one step at a time.
- My mother’s worries. She is worried about me, granted she should be. I have tended to rant text her with things she does not want to hear like ‘I am hungry’, ‘I hate this’, ‘I want to cry’, ‘I can’t do this’…. All the phrases that really make her worry. For her to be confident in where I am, that is going to take me being more accountable to where I am. Guys, I never said I was perfect. I am in recovery and I am far in recovery. That being said, my MIND (not physical) has slipped. My brain has started to process some healthy actions as ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ rather than knowing it is what I should do. These are things I need to address and will be addressing. I know I have the power to change those thoughts before they start to come out in action. I have been struggling lately with emotional eating and while they are far smaller than the past, they still are not something that I should be engaging in. I have to be accountable and come back from this trip not allowing myself to let that happen. One step at a time as I said.
Sorry for the word dump. I have some great posts planned this weekend and next week to really get me back into the blogging groove. Honestly, I missed blogging. I missed connecting with this amazing community and getting the outlet to ramble. Two more hours till my red-eye…. Woof. See you all on East Coast time! Better question, did you miss me?
Questions: What is something you have learned from your job? What is something you are working on now to better yourself?