Around three months ago, I set out with one major desire. As a One-Week Job (OWJ) participant, I sought to be an ordinary woman who achieved something extraordinary. I believe I did that. People ask me if it was everything I dreamed of, and I tell them yes. Yes, it was.
I mean, yeah, there were times that sucked.
My twitter account tells me that most of those times happened to be while on the Greyhound. Irritable tweets, oopsies. But I wouldn't trade all my experiences with public transportation for anything. After all, I chose to bus across the country for a reason, and many of the people I met every weekend on my journey had no other options. I am a fortunate human being.
I was tired all the time. I never seemed to get enough sleep. My eating schedule was a mess. And sometimes I felt lonely because I was constantly “the new person.” The combination of these three things gave my mind and body some serious pressure. But I got to meet loads of unique and passionate people, whose kindness humbled me daily. This is all I needed to deem OWJ my personal eight-week holiday. I got free meals, free beds, and free wisdom. I am a fortunate human being.
Organizing EVERYTHING was a ton to handle. Adaptability was crucial to continuing on with the journey, and it was so hard to stay focused and upbeat during some moments. But at least I got the chance to have these wonderful trips to organize. Not many could say the same.
I...am a fortunate human being.
I could keep trying to find all the worst parts about my time with the One-Week Job Program, but aside from the growth I got from them, I don't care to speak of them much.
Because I did it. I finished the Program and I did so with all the strength I had in me. And that's all that matters.
“People are just people. They shouldn't make you nervous.”
- REGINA SPEKTOR.
The best part of it all is that I didn't do it alone. You (the reader, the employer, the voter, the host, the supporter, the OWJ Program itself ) were with me the entire time. You gave me an opportunity to feel loved, encouraged, capable, “powerful beyond measure”...all that good stuff.
I am overwhelmed by the thought that I may never be able to repay You fully. But if there's one big lesson I learned through One-Week Job, it is that it can be a beautiful thing to receive as it is to give, because sometimes, by receiving, you are giving.
You are giving the gift of trust.
It was something completely new for me, but I trusted You entirely, and it was the best thing I could've done. You gave me more hope and more gumption, and a stronger ability to love and cherish the world - everything it has to offer us. Now, I truly feel as if I can do anything. I did what I had said I was gonna do. I've practiced what I have preached and I will continue to do so. That is riveting to me...for me. And for You.
And this new growth You've given to me is so timely, seeing as I need it for my current...what do they call it...oh yes - “job search.”
You were probably wondering that too – what I'm doing now, “what's next.” Well, I don't know what will come for me. I don't know. But I've been without all the answers many a time before, and things have worked out so...okay, I'll tell you what is next:
That's what I tell people nowadays, and they laugh. No really what's next, they ask. Really – great things, I respond. And now, when I meet new people and they ask me to tell them what I'm really all about, I say:
“My name is Michelle, and I’m a 22-year-old college graduate who majored in Psychology. I like dancing, music, green tea, showers, deep discussions, and people. I’m also an avid learner, which is why I have a serious habit of googling everything .
I like dogs. I used to avoid them, but I see now that they really can be a personal therapist. I still don't know how to swim after all these years, but I desperately want to. I will learn! I don't fear water anymore, so that's good. I'm not the best cook, but I love experimenting and most of the time, my creations are edible. I'm trying to get better.
I like coffee, and I like it black. I'm less self-conscious about my body than I used to be. I've decided that this is the only body I've got and I'm doing my best with it...you don't have to look if you don't want to. I want to, so there. I like being outside in the fresh air. I feel closer to my spirit when I'm not indoors. Natural light makes me feel productive. I think bike riding is mandatory in paradise.
Driving calms me down.
I love music and reading. I love interacting with people, and discovering who they are, what makes them happy. I believe I can help more people be themselves just by asking them the right questions, listening to them at the right moments. Being there for them.
I want as many people to be happy as possible, because I think it'll bring us real close to world peace.
I desire truthfulness in everything, and I'll pursue it for as long as I live.
I dream a lot, and then I work hard to make my dreams a reality. No matter what.
...One summer, I traveled the country for eight weeks, doing a different job each week. It was the most wonderful time.
Haha, oh GEEZ...you wanna know what the experience meant to me? Well, I'd say that:
...I know I am brave enough to follow through."
I like my new self-description. Has a lot more "meat" than the old one, don't you think? If You haven't gotten the message yet, I have One-Week Job to thank for the upgrade in me. The "upgrade in me" - mmm! Tastes good.
Well, i thank You all for everything. I can't say "thank you" enough, so I won't try to. But one last time: Thank You. I'll miss all of this very, very much.
This is not a Goodbye! Just a See You Soon...
Wanna get in touch? Talk to me!
email: michelle dot attah at gmail dot com
twitter: twitter dot com slash itsninson