Meeting my fellow Summer Fellows on Monday was an intimidating experience for me. I felt as if everyone lived lives as if they are the most interesting persons in the world and that icebreaker activities turned into a space for listing out interests, accomplishments, and hobbies that expressed how well-rounded of people they are. I felt very shy in the midst of all this. I felt old, recurring feelings of self doubt throughout the orientation, and I kept asking myself, “Am I enough?”
My feelings of unease and worry disappeared when I met the entire staff at Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services (ETSS). Everyone there has shown me so much kindness and help as I have navigated understanding office life, the organization itself, and what I will be doing with ETSS this summer. I will be helping ETSS with their implementation of their Summer Enrichment Camps at eight sites in central Ohio, and I will be helping organize and coordinate their annual Youth Summit on August 3. The work I will be doing puts me in a position to work through challenges in creative ways, and I feel confident in doing this kind of work. I already feel as if I have been a help to several people, and I am happy that I feel comfortable with the organization and the work I will be doing.
Reflecting on this past week, the orientation, and work with ETSS, I feel as if I have learned that I am someone that prefers to showcase my talents, skills, and experiences through my actions and not necessarily through my words. I also see the need to put my experiences into words — how can someone trust me to do good work if I do not feel comfortable articulating to others what I have done in the past? I have always hoped that the passing of time would give me more confidence and insight to know what to say and the appropriate time to say it, but I think I need to put in the practice, as well.