Dearest internet, I'm sorry it's been so long. You see, tomorrow is my final day as an AmeriCorps*VISTA. Today I packed up my office, organized my desk and my files, and took my most important origami dinosaur with me. I ate my final PB&J at work (let's be honest, there are still many PB&J left in my life), wrote my final, but brief, VISTA report, and wrote a "Welcome to your desk!" letter to my replacement, because I'm a dork.
It's weird to think that just a year ago, I moved down here to start this year, all bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to combat poverty and take on the world. I've become a little more of a realist, acknowledging that poverty is not solved in a year and there are a multitude of contributing factors to its existence. When I begin to worry that I haven't accomplished all that much, I take a look at my resume, which assures me that I won over $120,000 in funding for nonprofits this year. It assures me that I created a sustainable system for tracking funding prospects this past year, that I began implementing two planned giving campaigns, that I worked with a particularly complicated board of directors, and that I learned much more in one short year than many people do in entry-level development jobs that last three to five years.
My routine will change. Oh goodness, and we all know how I love routines. I get to start looking for glamorous part-time work soon (get pumped, local grocery stores, coffee shops and bookstores! Maybe I should work for a wine distributor) to have some semblance of income while I continue the job hunt. It's one of those things... while I'm sad to be leaving and nostalgia is hitting me like a brick wall, it's time to move on. One year at the poverty level is more than enough. I did what I could at the office, but I had done all I could. As I was packing up the office in my various reusable grocery bags (it's all I had in my car. Stop judging!), it finally sunk in that I was finished at my first job. My first job out of college - I finished it, and I rocked it. It started me on a career path that I am not only hopeful for, I'm excited about. I do love writing proposals, and development work is something I hope to perfect. Perhaps not every aspect, but ... private and corporate funding? We'll see. I still have one more day (of direct service. Yayyyyy painting!).
I have received a few inquiries as to what will happen to the blog post-VISTA, and for now all I can tell you is that I'll at least be writing until I find something full-time. I'll take it from there. Don't you worry, many tales of the job hunt are still to come. Do you know what's exciting, though? That education award I get from VISTA soon! Take that, student loan people!
postscript: I had an interview on Monday. I was equally as sweaty. I'll blame DC's awful humidity. Details to come only if I land that job.
(Image cred, again, to the fabulous Natalie Dee)