Life Lessons from Rugby

Due to some recent developments, I have come to realize some things about the way that I live my life.  A lot of these lessons I learned from playing rugby.  When I first started playing, I had no idea what I was doing but I was really excited about doing it.  Most girls come in never having played a contact sport before.  They are afraid to get hurt.  The ironic thing is that when you go in half-hearted and fearing pain, you get hurt even worse.  It's when you run into contact at pace and diving in with all your might that you end up with a lot fewer bruises and way more tries.  You have to adapt to things as they change.  The game plan you had before the whistle blew might not work for you but you have to stick with the play once it's been called and give it a chance to work.  All of this goes to the fact that I'm really happy where I am and how things have worked out.  I think that being open to the universe guiding you along puts you where you need to be with the people you should have around you doing the things that you are meant to do.

So far, nothing has gone the way that I planned.  In high school, I thought I might go to U of M or some other prestigious school and then on to law school.  Then, I set foot on Grand Valley's campus and knew that it was the right choice for me.  I spent all of those years learning Spanish only to find that Chinese language and culture presented a far more intriguing challenge.  I was absolutely certain that I was going to do NCCC and then go on to Peace Corps.  As it turned out, I was going to be stuck idling at my parents' house for way too long for NCCC to work out so instead I did State/National Americorps.  Because I wanted to do Peace Corps, I took a leap of faith to Seattle.  Those plans that I had before didn't work out but they are what got me to the next step.  I now have a job that is so immensely satisfying and that I am well on my way to becoming great at.

All of my life, people have told me that I would do great things and succeed at whatever I tried my hand at.  Deep down, I never really believed it because I knew it's not just about how well you do something but also who you know and the social aspects of things.  Now, I'm realizing that most people are fine with mediocrity. They can accept doing the bare minimum.  I am so glad that my parents raised me to never accept good enough if I can do better.  That work ethic, along with intelligence, is what is getting me noticed.  I am starting to build really great connections with people because of my reputation for excellence.  I know it sounds cocky but there is a reason why I'm the only Americorps member who was able to get a full-time position at ACRS immediately following my term.  Part of it is timing but I am going to take at least a bit of credit for my own success.

Part of that success is from diving in.  I've always been scared but the universe had proved to me without doubt that if I go into something with all my heart, it works out well.  It makes me sad that others can't live that way because there are so many things in my life that I would be missing if I had faltered or taken the safer option and kept a way out.  Go into contact and keep your support with you.  Trust your teammates.  Dive for the try line when you are close.  Even if you don't make it, you don't have to wonder after the whistle blows what would have happened.


Wisdom for the Wise

Update from the ACRS Picnic: Ken, Stephanie and I all ended up on the Employment and Citizenship Team.  In addition, I was the team captain.  We won the event that I was in but the Admin team took the sparkle ball of victory.

However, the more important thing in my life is the wisdom tooth related pain that has been prominent for the past few weeks.  It's been coming up for a few months but recently, it has really been cramping my style.  Since I have dental coverage now, I thought I would get it taken care of.  No use living in pain if you don't have to, right?  Well, I made an appointment for Friday afternoon so I could take the weekend to recover.  It turns out that the dentist did not have the supplies she needed to do the procedure.  She wrote me a scrip for pain killers and set up an appointment for this morning.  The procedure isn't even what I thought it would be.  Instead of taking the tooth out which isn't really necessary in my case due to my large mouth (yes, it is fitting), she wanted to remove the gum tissue that is still on top of the tooth that causes the pain every time I bit down.  I figured this would be done old school by cutting away the tissue.  I was wrong!

She initially tried poking at stuff with just a numbing cream on which was not flying for me at all.  I need Novocaine if you are removing live tissue from my mouth.  She used laser cauterization to remove the tissue.  Among other things, this meant that I could smell my own flesh burning while the procedure was done.  I also have a significant portion of my gums burned black.  It's really uncomfortable for the time being.  I have some more pain killers but I don't know if it will get me through the healing process.  I will be using Benadryl to be able to sleep tonight even with the Vicodin.

A Particularly Apt Cartoon



Tomorrow is the ACRS Picnic and Summer Games.  Even though supported employment is half behavioral health and half employment, somehow we get stuck on the E&C team for the games.  Mostly because the people in that department don't really go for things.  Everyone wants to be seen in a certain light and is afraid to be silly.

On the bright side, Ken and my new Michigan buddy, Stephanie, live in a constant state of silliness.  It is fantastic to have a group of people that I can laugh with.  However, being so tight knit as our own separate department has meant that I no longer exist to the other factions in the department.  It's bullshit and I don't need them to like me because supported employment doesn't report to employment but I am likable and care about serving my clients to the best of my ability.  One would think that in a non-profit, that would gain one respect from one's colleagues, which on the whole is true but for some reason that department is really petty.