Fighting Poverty with Passion
Its about that time of the year when big changes happen and this is also true of my VISTA year. Its about that time where everyone is starting to think about their lives after this year. Last May/June, I felt that same excitement and anxiety as I was nearing graduation and started to feel the pressure of figuring out the rest of my life.
The feeling is the same, but there are many ways in which this time around is different.
For one, I know I’m staying. A friend of mine introduced me to this quote by Grace Lee Boggs that goes something like, “The most radical thing I ever did was to stay put.” Last year I was looking for jobs anywhere and everywhere but in California. I was determined to find a new place to stay a while, but this time around I actively looked for ways to stay in New Orleans at my current site. For this next year I’m doing the radical thing and staying in one place.
In line with staying, I’ve been house hunting the last few weeks. I am reminded of the first time I searched for a home during my sophomore year of college, again around this timeof year. I remember the moment when I knew I had found the space I would soon call my own; I also clearly remember that gut feeling telling me this was the one. I spent the next three years in that home, so I’m hoping to find that gut feeling again.
Another difference is that, really, not much will change. The move from San Diego to New Orleans was a big drive into unknown waters. It was one of those moments where I jumped head first into a decision I only hoped would work out well. This time, while I will no
longer be part of VISTA, I will still be in the city and at the site that I have grown to love. I will also still have access to the support system that I have built here. I have an idea of what my life will be like in this space; but I am also glad for the opportunity to expand my skill sets and my network.
What has been the same is the goodbyes. Many of the friends I have made through the housing provided for by Tulane Medical have graduated and many have moved on to the rest of their lives. It is most certainly a time of change for them, but I hope that we will stay in touch, just as I have stayed in touch with many of the friends I had made throughout college.
This time next year, many of our residents at Eden House will also be graduating from our 2-year program. Personally, this is the moment I am most looking forward to seeing and one of the reason why I am glad I am staying put.