My internship officially ends tomorrow. We still have a week in Atlanta to look forward to and whatnot, but for the most part, I will be checking my working mind out for the next couple of days. With the exception of one essay to write, and a GRE to study for, I’m done.
I think I’ve learned a lot about myself this summer. I’ve learned about limitations and how I should push them and how far I am willing to go; about what kind of person I want to be. No, I am still not certain about what career I want to pursue, but I know I want to be the kind of person that others enjoy being around simply for my characteristics and not for something I pretend to be. Also, I learned about self-control and sacrifice.
Limitations. We all have them. They are those oh-so-pesky things that keep us from reaching for our dreams. They are what stopped me from trying out for the volleyball team my 7th grade year, even though I really loved volleyball. You see, limitations are not just what you physically and mentally cannot achieve, though that is the definition most will go by. No, limitations are also what you think you cannot achieve. Sometimes we place these blocks in our minds to satisfy our personal moral code. For example, I don’t think I could ever steal, cheat, or harm others intentionally. But other limitations do not have anything to do with morals, honor, or some other set of internal rules. Sometimes they come about due to a feeling of inferiority or lack of some “specialness” that others around you may seem to possess. I know I felt that upon entering this program. With students from top schools all around the country with Bachelor’s degrees in Public Health and other sciences, I wondered how I could possibly measure up to the years of research experience, training, and overall smartness of the others. How could I, a girl of 19 at the time, from tiny Texas A&M—Kingsville with an in-progress English degree, measure up to this? I went in to this terrified of not being able to accomplish a thing. However, I managed to snap myself out if it. I come out of this summer having completed a Speaker’s Bureau manual, a training program for that manual, several documents of merchandise and pricing, three PowerPoints for the bureau, a renewed and better looking health community screenings tool-kit, and a sense of self.
I also figured out how I would not be pushing myself. I will never, ever, force my personality on someone. I saw that many people were pulling a high school and gossiping about others. I will always watch my mouth. I found friends without being obnoxious. And they are some of the best people I have ever met. Some limitations are good.
I said I figured out what kind of person I want to be. I want to be that person that helps others. That doesn’t necessarily have to be on a grand scale. Whether I help one person or one million people will touch me in the same way. I’ve always said I wanted to be remembered for something. My time here has shown me that being remembered doesn’t always mean having your name on a building or having your name on some random street in Idaho. Those things are physical and the story behind them can be lost. I want to be remembered by individuals. I want to have influence over lives that make a positive difference. That way, if anything ever does get named after me, it won’t be because I made a lot of money and gave it away (though that wouldn’t be a bad extra) but because I mattered to someone.
Lastly, I mentioned self-control and sacrifice. I gave up a summer of being with my boyfriend for this. I mean, yes seeing him at all would have been difficult considering our long distance status, but I’m sure that, had I stayed in the Lone Star State, I would have been able to see him at least a few times. I gave up a summer with familiar friends and safe places. I gave up physical contact with my family, and I gave up security. I know that seems silly; after all, the other students gave up just as much as me, and some of them more so. But that’s the thing. I was able to do it. Up until recently, I have been selfish. Not in the “money, everything is mine,” way, but in the, “how will this affect me” way. Personally, I see nothing wrong with wondering and taking into account how things will affect you. And I am all for looking out for yourself when the chips are down, most of the time. However, through several people, most notably, my boyfriend, I have come to discover that looking out for others is a better approach to life. Sure, you may get the short end of the stick more times than is usual, and yes, people might walk all over you on occasion, but that is a sacrifice that someone has to be willing to make. Not every single time. But once in a while, well, that’s alright with me.
Endings are always difficult. Whether it’s the ending of an important event or the ending of a blog post. But I will try to leave you with some wisdom so you don’t feel as though you read this for nothing. I think a quote from Frank Turner will serve my purpose, “Life’s about love, last minutes, and lost evenings. About fire in our bellies and about furtive little feelings. And the aching amplitude that sets our needles all a-flickering; and they help us in remembering that the only thing that’s left to do is live.” I could go on and explain why this fits in to everything I just wrote. But I’ll let you decide.