Every single day, I pass this quote. There are inspirational quotes painted on many of the walls at the Center but where my office is located, this is the only one I see every morning and evening when I come and go.
I’m not sure why or how but I never actually noticed it until Monday of this week. I’ve been reading it at least twice a day since this realization but couldn’t fully comprehend what Mr. Thoreau meant and how I could relate this to my life. So I did what seems like every person does when they have a question (or at least myself). I googled it.
“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” -Henry David Thoreau
This fellowship is an island of opportunities. Each day in this ten weeks is a wave and as much as I am launching myself to work harder, be more efficient and think more creatively and strategically, I am finding that those around me are doing a generous amount of the launching for me. While yes, I am given so much freedom that pushing myself is necessary, circumstances continue to come up where I am inspired, motivated and given a peek at the inside world of working at a mental health facility.
It can be easy to forget that I work at a place where individuals with mental illnesses come. I am rather tucked away from clients and my engagement with them and their loved ones have only ever been a smile or a hello as I walk by. While I am making cheery and hope-filled materials, people just one room over from me are suffering to an extent that I cannot comprehend.
I hear heart-breaking stories (always following HIPAA regulations) and hate feeling like there is nothing I can do about it. There are many times where I assume that my qualifications or inexperience in this field are hindering me. The statistics continue to come to life and I wish I could take more steps to slow their progression and reverse them.
As cheesy as it sounds (because I am fully aware that it does), I will now continue to remind myself that this is my island. The Center staff is well-equipped to take their action and I will take mine. Both are necessary. My individual opportunities cannot be ignored because eternity lies within each moment!