Sometimes, the most difficult thing is just to begin. To throw yourself off the edge and into the unknown can be terrifying. There can be fear and anxiety of what will happen, stress about whether you can handle the challenges, the desire to succeed (and fear of failure), and mourning what you are leaving behind. The apprehension can cause inertia, leaving you feeling like you are stuck in the limbo land between staying and going, thinking and doing. To begin can be overwhelming. But it can also be exhilarating. There is freedom in beginnings. There is excitement in the possibility of creating something new, of challenging yourself, of learning, and of broadening your own horizons.
I have been thinking about beginnings a lot recently. Why? Because this past Monday I moved half way around the world. I have left my family, my partner, my secure job with colleagues that I love, and my confidence and comfort in my surroundings to pursue my passion for social justice, interest in cross-cultural experience, and goal of working in international development. For the next 6 months, I will be living in Jinja, Uganda, working as a staff and volunteer coordinator/manager at Arise and Shine, Uganda (see the Arise and Shine page above for more information). I am here as an IYIP intern through VIDEA (check out their website here), a human-rights focused international development organization based in Victoria, BC.
I am also beginning my time in the blog-o-sphere. The written word for a wide audience doesn’t feel very natural to me – I am apprehensive of my ability to accurately and effectively portray what I am experiencing. And so, to combat these fears, I am setting myself some expectations for this blog:
- What I write in this blog is about my experiences and mine alone. I can only speak to what I have experienced, and any generalizations I make are most likely inaccurate or wrong. I am writing within a context where I am outsider who is fumbling my way through cultural differences and interpreting my experiences through my own prejudices, expectations and perspectives. At best, I will have a superficial take on what it’s ‘like in Uganda’.
- This blog is a space for me to reflect on my experiences, but also to try to connect what I am experiencing to broader socio-economic-and political structures that exist and that shape the everyday lived experiences of people. It’s about sharing information, dispelling myths, and about examining the ways that people around the world are interconnected.
With these few words, I am jumping in with both feet. Eek! The hardest part may be getting started, but you won’t grow if you don’t start…hopefully you will continue to check in to see what I’m up to!