In my last post, I mentioned a conversation with a long-time friend who asked me if my experience was “worth it.” I reflected on my experience in Dallas, and ultimately decided that yes, Dallas was worth it. As I mentioned in the previous post, my immediate reaction to my friend’s question was of course this experience was “worth it” because it HAD to be. Obviously, after I began thinking about my experience in Dallas, I began to think about whether or not the whole program was “worth it.”
I joined the Mission Intern program ultimately because I felt lost. At Interview and Discernment Days, I glimpsed an opportunity find something, a career, an idea, etc., and I saw the opportunity to undertake this process with other young adults also hoping to find something.
So I went, and then I came back briefly, and I went again, and now I’m back. Over the past week or so, I struggled to feel as though I accomplished anything. (I blame my brief re-entry to the corporate world as temp for this feeling) Because according to how society generally measures success, I did not accomplish anything. I currently earn less than money than before the program, I haven’t bought a house, received another degree, or have a savings account. So maybe, it wasn’t worth it.
Then, I begin to think about why I joined the program three years ago. I did not join the program to fulfill the accepted social standards of accomplishment, I joined to find something. And I did find something. Lots of things. I found friends, family, and community. I found my goals and dreams. I found new places and new favorite foods.
Then, I think about where I would be if I choose not to accept my spot in the program, and I guess that my life would be fine. I would probably have a job that paid my bills, and I would probably live with some really great friends. I might even be happy most days. But I probably would not be pursuing my passions, and I certainly would not be a member of the awesome communities that I found while in the program. So would I give that up? Would I give up my relationships with my fellow YAMS??? Or those in Dallas or Hong Kong? Absolutely not. So really, the community that I found made it “worth it.”