“If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey
(Drawing on the wisdom of Oprah for a second time in the series.)
This was a different kind of September. No back-to-school excitement for the first time since I arrived in Jamaica, no mad dash to feel ready to teach kids again. This time around, I was preparing with the PCJ staff for Early Service Conference; this time, I would be facilitating sessions for adults. It was a month of more learning and self-imposed stress. I adapted a Monitoring, Reporting and Evaluation (MRE) workbook for the PCVs and helped to bring an Intercultural Competence, Diversity and Inclusion (ICD&I) workshop to the conference. There were lots of work-related successes in September. For opportunities to grow and step out of my comfort zone, I am grateful.
Logan and I went hiking with a PCV couple who live nearby Kingston. The hike heads from their site up to the Holywell National Park in the Blue Mountains Range in St. Andrew. It felt so refreshing to be in nature and so near to my home. For fun with friends and being among trees in the cool mountain air, I am grateful.
By September, I had really begun to appreciate my new home. I was getting out to explore more. I started training for the Reggae Marathon again. I watched the clouds change color from my back doorstep almost every evening after work. It’s a good feeling to walk into your house, around your neighborhood, into your office, and feel like you’re home, like you’re not just passing through. In September, I felt that.
As I sought to get more in touch with myself in all of my alone time, I embarked on a new task. I set out to participate in the #100Days challenge by creating a piece of artful lettering each day for 100 days and posting a photo of it on social media. My #100DaysofWords project started out alright, until I missed a day. Then the guilt set in. The feelings of embarrassment and shame crept in as I struggled to keep up with my goal. And you know what? I stopped. I quit.
Looking back on it now, I’m glad that I did. It’s far too easy to get caught up in trying to do it all, and far too easy to question whether I’m enough. Am I being creative enough? Am I working hard enough? Am I qualified enough to be here? I began to more actively reject these doubts in September. I affirm that, yes, I am enough. This was a fun little project while it lasted, and maybe I’ll pick my pen back up from time to time. But I’m grateful that I can let myself off the hook with a simple enough.