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Blooming Where You’re Planted

March 25, 2014
Brie Daniels proudly serving on the Patrick F. Taylor team at Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School.

Brie Daniels proudly serving on the Patrick F. Taylor team at Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School.

The service year is winding down and as I think back over the last 8 months I can’t help but to realize how much my attitude about life has completely transformed. I came into City Year with no major aspirations, it wasn’t that I was lazy but I wanted to let my year define itself and in my mind I had no understanding about why I’d been called here. I got my degree in journalism; I liked reading and traveling. How did that tie in to CY? I had no idea but I was open to finding out.  

The first few months were an uphill battle. Without having a clearly defined role I felt more like a piece of furniture than a corps member.  I won’t lie – it was discouraging. I had already wondered why I was needed in NOLA and I hadn’t seen anything that told me. Something had to change and I couldn’t just wait for that change to find me. At around this point in the year I started helping out with cheerleading, not knowing at the time that eventually assisting would turn into full-time coaching. I had already been writing for the blog but I decided to really pursue it as an outlet to share what I was thinking. I wanted to be able to look back over my posts and remember what I was thinking, what I was feeling. I worked my butt off during the Crazy Idea Challenge fully committed to getting a magazine for Clark and while we didn’t win I was still proud of all the work that we as a team had put in. My school schedule had grown extremely hectic and I found myself worn out from having back-to-back pullouts with kids so I asked my PM for a schedule change and she provided it!

I’d become drained and felt like now that I had things I was invested in I wanted time to fully pursue them. I was able to schedule things for my cheerleaders, I had more time to be able to commit myself to a City Year magazine that I didn’t know was on the horizon and I was able to make a greater impact on the school by helping to catalog books in our schools’ library. While that last thing may have you rolling your eyes it was a big deal to me because the lack of a clear cataloguing system at school has prevented our students from being able to check books out. It’s also kept the school from being able to keep track of what books we actually have.

All in all when I look over this past year I can recognize that the time came when I set out to spend less time on the “What ifs” and “It wasn’t supposed to be like this” and more time simply blooming where I’m planted. And here’s the kicker – surprisingly enough I’ve been able to use so many of the things I spent four years fine-tuning through the pursuit of my Bachelor’s degree in Journalism.

I’ve gotten to write for the blog faithfully. The City Year Showcase team allows me to write and design the corps run magazine every two weeks, I’ve been able to represent CY as a speaker for different occasions and ultimately I just get to be me! I don’t think any of this would have been possible if I’d just stopped trying after my first few months that seemed confusing. I noticed that as I tried harder to make CY work for me and not focus so much on me working for CY a weight was lifted and I found myself determined to end this year happily.

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