2023 Birthday Reflections Pt 1
Personal entry follows.
In December '22, I'd given mini-journals to the rest of the interns as part of their Christmas gifts. These small booklets included over a dozen questions they could use to reflect on the previous year's activities, and then visualize the coming year. I decided I would ask myself the same questions, and then record my thoughts here.
There may be multiple entries in this mini-series, as I don't think I'll be working hard enough to finish all 13 questions or whatever in a single sitting.
1. What achievement in 2022 are you most proud of?
In my opinion, the move out here (literally: from the city to the country) is the event/thing I'm most proud of from this past year. Resigning from my job, training my replacements, plotting the route out here, selling off or otherwise ridding myself of most of my physical possessions, making it out here in one piece, sticking to it as an intern without going bonkers, and now supervising the interns without being a -complete- and total asshole... This radical, dramatic change in lifestyle without going insane is a worthwhile accomplishment that not many people would attempt, let alone succeed in doing.
Furthermore, it's been a very positive thing for me, personally speaking. I was way too stressed-out. After having conversations with a few people this past week on the topic of my move out here and what life consists of now, I feel much better-off having dropped-out of typical society. There are consequences, for certain (um, no real money in this being front-and-center), but in general I think the benefits far outweigh the negatives - at least, in my personal, individual case.
2. What can you do today that you didn’t think was possible a year ago?
I'm doing a few things as part of a daily or weekly routine this year that I had never done before. However, chief among them in terms of what I never thought possible has been a change to my shower routine.
I shower without using soap most of the time. Once at certain times - like, when meeting people for the first time, or when staying in town - will I actually use soap on my "bits and pits," as the saying goes.
I also blast myself with cold water in the last couple minutes of my shower routine. There's a substantial amount of evidence pointing to the practice of cold immersion or just cold showers as being of a positive health benefit. As I have no health insurance right now, I see any low- or no-cost method of maintaining my health as a good thing. Cold showers, and not using soap, are two accessible habits... Cold showers being definitely the tougher of the two...!
3. What was the most challenging part of this past year for you? What made it such a challenge?
Easily, it would be the fact I accepted the supervisory position of the rest of the interns. I'm somewhat more comfortable in the role now, however in the beginning not only was I reluctant but I was also excessively anxious about every single day. What if someone became injured on a task? What if people hated me after assignments were delegated? What if everyone quit, or voted "no confidence" in me and my abilities? What if we utterly failed at our tasks, and this eco-institute crashed and burned?
I still have those kinds of concerns. However, they're not as all-consuming as they once had been. I just don't think I enjoy being a supervisor, a disciplinarian, or even a leader as much as others do. Secondly, what other people think of me is really none of my business and it can't be helped, for the most part, so it's not worth fussing or stressing over.
There's a tremendous amount of responsibility involved, and I take that very personally (and I think it's right that I treat it as such). I also know that it's an essential position I hold right now, and I have very little faith that there are currently others here who would be up to the task, were I to abdicate or bail. So it goes.
Maintaining this position is part of my future goals, so I see it as a necessary step. Just because something is necessary doesn't mean that it would also be easy, or simple. There have been no easy, nor simple, days since I've become the interns supervisor. Five months down, seven more to go. :)
kestrel.diary [at] tutanota.com