Prior to writing this learning log, I went back to the learning log #1 submitted 6 months ago to review what I wrote. Wow. The world has changed in the past six months and the merry-go-round has not slowed down a bit. Big changes in every day life has happened to all of us and continues every day. How would I be handling these uncertain times had I not been awarded the fellowship? What will life be like in one year? As I reflect back prior to my fellowship journey, there is one critical moment that stands out that provided me with a purpose and direction for my leadership development. During the fellowship interview process in Minneapolis, one of the interviewers was listening to me carry on about my dreams and aspirations for my community, peers, and family and asked me "What about you? How will you take care of yourself and what will you do for yourself if awarded the fellowship?" I couldn't answer the question right away. I had to sit for a minute in silence and really think about the question. I answered " I honestly don't know. I have always taken care of everyone around me and put everyone else's needs first. It would be hard for me to focus that energy on myself." The interviewer thanked me for being honest and shared with me how this was an opportunity to develop my leadership. It was like a door opened and the light was shining in on me. At that moment I realized this fellowship could be an opportunity for me to become a better leader for the benefit of the community I serve and not for me to work hard to take care of everyone and everything in my reach. Definitely an "Aha" moment and a real eye opener. So began my journey to develop my leadership skills in the healthcare field and find ways to share those skills I am developing and sustain the lessons learned for others to carry forward. The little moments of success when completing an assignment and receiving positive feedback from the instructor, experiencing a moment of enlightenment through participation in the ceremonies, and acknowledgment of the growth in small moments really stands out to me as I reflect on my leadership development.
The biggest surprise for me was how much I enjoy being a student in the Doctoral Program. I didn't think about whether I would like college classes after being out of school for many years. I just knew it was something I needed to do. The learning I am experiencing has been great and I am always excited to share what I am learning with others. I am also surprised at how much I have changed and developed over the past year. The learning and self care over the past year through ceremonies, networking and interacting with leaders that I admire, and reflecting on my leadership progress has built up my confidence and I see the benefits of this development in the community and in the people around me. The growth I have experienced in such a short time has prepared me for some of the most trying times I have ever experienced and helped me to lead my team forward to be recognized as leaders in the healthcare field in the Great Plains Area.