We keep thinking that we are special souls that are living a unique experience. That what we do, what we achieve, what we want out of it is above any previous volunteer’s expectations and reality. The EVS makes your feelings stronger, deeper and, therefore, more harmful sometimes. That’s why an adventure like this is full of ups and downs: your body -also your mind- is touching -connecting with- any stimulus that finds. You really understand what mattering means -and that’s definitely risky: probably, that’s the biggest learning that I had on this volunteering until know.
Slowly, that perception of being the only one, the special one on earth starts fading away and so does with it the trust on one’s self (falling is always painful and quite embarrassing). So the next step is standing up and keep going from a more realistic point of view of the circumstances. You learn not caring that much about every single detail; you learn that perfection is not a synonym of no mistakes; you learn to appreciate more what you do, and even more important, what others do, even if it’s a little thing; you learn that feeling miserable is also allowed sometimes, always if your inner you still knows you are lucky for having an opportunity like this.
Basically, as I heard a colleague said some days ago, as volunteer you end up seeing that is not about you, but the collective; that is not about the result, but about all the effort you put in the process to make it and the acknowledge that it offers you. It’s important to have all your senses in the delivery of an activity, but it’s even more important to pay attention to the -again- process and the feedback. There’s where the real learning is.
The activities this past few weeks from the planification to the delivery have been so easy going, so relaxed, so enriching. I was able to look at the faces of the youth and of my collegues and get something out of them. I was no longer paying attention just to what I was doing, but to how were we all feeling. Of course, this doesn’t mean there’s nothing else to improve: it means now I can see which are those points a bit better.