**Warning- This Blog Post may contain excessive cliches****

What do you think will be the most important thing(s) you will take away from your year of service?

When thinking about the most important lessons I have learned this year all I kept thinking of were cliches… which I guess is why they became cliches. Now that you are forewarned….

I think the most important thing I will take away from my year of service is the understanding that when things do not go the way they were intended it is not your fault. This is a fact which I have always known, but have not experienced to the extent that I have this year( Cliche # 1: There’s one in there somewhere). 

When working in a non-profit we are filled with great ideas and concepts…however, these are not always achieved.  Sometimes things fall through, people have their own agendas, and  ideas may prove to be better in concept than reality and THIS IS OK! At the beginning of my service, when something fell through I would get frustrated and  take it personally. I found myself having to start at square one over and over again with no results(Cliche # 2:if at first you don’t succeed try,try again). I have always been a proponent for ‘everything happens for a reason'(Cliche # 3), however, I was having difficultly living the statement I preached. Creating sustainable programs is difficult… roadblocks are bound to come up. It took me a long time to accept this… but once I did I began to see the opportunities which arose due to failed ideas(Cliche # 4: Where one door closes another one opens).  Some of the greatest accomplishments I have had a VISTA only came about because of ideas and concepts which never played out.

This is life philosophy I plan to take with me onto my future endeavors (hopefully as a MSW/MPH student….fingers crossed)  DO NOT get caught up in your failures, learn from them(Cliche # 5:).  Failures are not reflections of your capabilities as a VISTA, but opportunities to achieve bigger and better things (Cliche #6)  

We only have 6 months left… use them wisely, but better yet enjoy them. (Cliche #7 sit back and enjoy the ride)

Sara

P.S. Cliche #8: Do not sweat the small stuff (I felt it needed to be in there somewhere)

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