Blog 7 – Bravery, Kindness, Failures

During my gap year so far, I have been in many different types of situations. However, in this blog, I will focus on the ones where I have been brave, kind, where I have failed and bounced back.
Bravery to me can take different shapes, what requires bravery in one person may not require bravery in another person. I have historically been a quiet person in social situations as I feel very anxious and uncomfortable with new people. This year I have been determined to work on that. Instead of traveling with someone I know I have gone completely solo this year. I knew that would force me to take the lead and make new friends myself instead of tagging along and being in the shadow of a friend or family member. When I arrived at the farm, I am currently on in Florida I was ready to leave the first night. I was overwhelmed. There were 12 people here. However, I mustered up the courage to give it one week, and every day I grew closer to everyone here and now I have made some great friends. There are two other gap year girls here, one from Minnesota and the other Wisconsin, as well as a girl from Brazil, a couple from Puerto Rico, and a few other people from across the US.
The two gap year girls arrived a few weeks after me at a different time and every time there a new WWOOFer has come to this farm I have tried to make them as comfortable as possible. I always appreciate the kindness people show me in a situation I am new to and they are experienced in, so I wanted to extend the same kindness. I would sympathize and say, “it can be overwhelming at first, just give it some time and you will get settled in more.” I feel like that gives people the reassurance they need and gives them the room to breathe a little bit.
I have had a surprising number of failures this year, mostly rejections. My mom has always taught me that you should apply for anything and everything that interests you and while might get a lot of rejections you will also find a lot of opportunities. That philosophy has rung true this year, I have applied to around 30 farms and four have worked out and the two I have been to so far have been amazing experiences. I have tried to connect with many indigenous organizations, however, only one worked out, and then that fell through as well. I started a remote internship with the Pachamama Alliance, I would be their first remote intern ever, so it was a lot of trial and error and after two and a half weeks working with them, it was decided it just wasn’t working out. That just happened last week. While I was extremely disappointed, I now had time to attend some philosophical/discussion classes that the farm holds on certain days of the week. I also had a little more downtime because for those two and a half weeks I was working four hours a day on the farm and then four hours on the computer doing the internship. I used that time to go to some other farms around Florida with the other WWOOFers and learn about community food forests and spend time on nature hikes and go to the beach.
Overall I have seen a lot of personal growth and I am excited to see where I will be in a few months from now after I have had ever more experiences.

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