Today I went to the Mercy Volunteer Sendoff...the really crazy thing? Exactly a year ago today, that was me. Sitting in a chair next to my three community members starting out into an audience of Sister's of Mercy who had made sacrifices to support us throughout our year of service. A year ago I sat there with tears in my eyes and an anxious heart. I was nowhere near ready to let go, say goodbye, and had no idea what my life would look like in the next few months.
I cannot believe it's been a year since that was me, saying goodbye and thank you. You know, MVC has this amazing transition retreat that all the volunteers attend at the end of the year, but nothing really prepares you for the transition until you feel it yourself.
I think my transition was pretty unique. I was "moving back home", which meant just 30 minutes up the road from my house as a volunteer. Since I didn't have a job, I could have easily fully emerged into the experience again and been that alum that's always just around. I didn't do that. For a few reasons...1 was so I could learn to detach, because I was afraid of just getting caught in that bubble forever. 2 is because this year was not about me, it was about the three lovely ladies that were doing their year. So I took a step back. In some ways I think I went too far back, I could have helped out more or been around. Maybe I missed out...but at the same time I'm super happy where I am right now.
Life just moves fast. Too fast. So, to the Mercy Volunteers who are packing up and getting ready to move on, I encourage you to stay connected. Don't lose what you had this year. Don't lose the gift you've been given. No matter where life takes you, find something that will bring you back to that place you were in the MVC house.
To the five new Detroit MVC's who are nervous and getting ready to move in, Welcome. Detroit is a beautiful place, and it needs people like you. Keep an open heart, open mind, and open arms because you will get more hugs this year than ever before. Be patient, be kind, be passionate.