Today is my one year anniversary working at Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma.
Doesn’t it seem like 7 years minimum? And five minutes ago as well?
Time. Time is a crazy little snot-licker right now and continues to mess with my head.
That first day was a blur. Then 4 days later the tornados came. I look back on that time now and think…holy crap. That was one helluva on-boarding.
I haven’t worked this hard for something that I believed in this strongly, since I was auditioning and touring as an actor. (The benefits are better, in that there ARE some.) This job though is just more than that. I feel like we are truly delivering opportunities for our girls to create and dream and believe in themselves.
Sure we have those negative spaces where many people tend to live, sure we have stumbling blocks and big gaping failures. This year has been full of those for me. Even when I feel like I’m succeeding and managing expectations it turns out that I’m not really. So the learning curve? Still steep. But I’m navigating it better, and that seems like progress to me.
There are successes that balance out the failures. The reason we need to continue this work, to continue to deliver this program to our girls is glaringly clear. Just spend five minutes at a school around them.
“What are the boys doing? why aren’t we with them?”–4th grade girl.
“No one will talk to me in my group. It’s ok, no one talked to me at my old school either. I’m used to it.” –5th grade girl
“I hate her. She hates me. I am SO SICK of being here.” gulped through tears by a 5th grade girl. One has to wonder if by HERE she meant at the program, at school or on Earth.
Girls need to hear how amazing they are. Likely for some of them, the only place that they will hear it is from their Girl Scout Leader.
It’s as simple as that.
The processes and procedures required of a volunteer? Yeah. They exist and are sometimes enough to make one pull out their hair. But look at the end game. What’s the price you would put on giving a girl the confidence to make it through another day without anyone talking to her?
My job…the long hours and modest paycheck, the punching bag for volunteers that I seem to be some weeks, nasty emails and demanding texts that come at 10pm…they are the dark side.
The bright side?
Just look at these girls smile when you tell them they can change the world.
It’s been one hell of a year.