To be enthusiastic…

In Life on May 29, 2014 by thebetweenthoughts

What does it feel like to rediscover optimism?  What does it feel like to find hope again?  What does it feel like to lose just a little bit of your cynicism towards the world?

This past weekend, I spent my time with nearly 160 high school sophomores from around Northern California.  For most people in my demographic this probably doesn’t sound like the most enjoyable way to spend one’s time, but it truly was an inspiring and OUTSTANDING weekend.  I volunteered as a Team Leader (i.e., a camp counselor) for a group of 10 students and led them through a variety of team-building and skills-training activities over the course of three days.  For those that have read my blog in the past, you know my skeptical feelings towards the world of non-profits.  Due to past professional experience, I know how poorly run they are…how most volunteers are a drain on resources versus actually being useful…how in the end the impact these non-profits claim to make is minimal at best.

This is not one of those non-profits (at least not entirely).

Over the course of all of the volunteering that I’ve done in my life, this leadership seminar is consistently the most enriching and fulfilling experience that I’ve had.  It re-energizes me to be around such insightful and genuine people.  It gives you hope for the world.  This seminar was special though – I don’t think I’ve ever had a group of students bond in this way.  And I don’t think I’ve ever had a group of students have the opportunity to show how caring and how loyal they were to each other in such a short period of time.  I can’t stop discussing the experience with the people around me.  All I want to do is brag about how amazing this group of students was and how humbled I was to be part of the experience with them.

Now the question is, what do I do with this new found energy?

My creative efforts have reached a standstill (although when have they ever really been in full force?) – the writing is non-existent, the comedy has stopped, even my daily journal has turned into more of a monthly musing.  A part of me wants to analyze all of the factors in my life that are preventing this and to then make a plan to rid myself of these creative roadblocks.  That’s the issue with me though – analysis paralysis.  I’m too focused on analyzing a problem rather than just fixing it.  As focused as I am in my professional life…and as much as the motto “git’er done” dominates my day…when it comes to my creativity, I always find a way to avoid it.  Maybe I fear failure…maybe I hate the prospect of creating something unworthy of my time…or maybe I’m just lazy.  (See…it’s this type of introspective thought that spiral into…and lose all creative hope.)  Who knows?

I do know one thing though – I can’t waste this opportunity.  Something opened up again over the course of the seminar.  I connected to some part of myself that yearns to create again.  More so than a wasted opportunity, I can’t let down my students.  To not create something amazing would dishonor all of the enthusiasm and energy they displayed this weekend.  I’m not just writing for my own selfish creative endeavors…I’m writing for my students (and hopefully that’s the accountability I need to finally write again).

It’s a beautiful thing to be inspired…but it’s an OUTSTANDING thing to actually do something with that inspiration.



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