It has now been three months since I became a Bush Fellow, and it is like a hard shell has been cracked from my heart and brain. I entered this journey not knowing how I would accomplish all my goals by the end of my 24-month fellowship. I started this journey feeling rushed, overwhelmed, and scared of disappointing my community and the foundation. But then, I started meeting with former Bush Fellows, my Executive Coach, and my Master in Public Affairs leadership professors, and I understood how to handle this opportunity with grace and calm.
First, I had to realize that I am very new at this, and it is going to take me a while to figure out how to proceed; and I need to learn to be patient and more reflective on issues I want to address. Sometimes, it is not about finding the solution; it is about understanding the community I serve and working within their parameters and conditions. I am not anyone’s hero; I am here to collaborate with the community, not save them.
Second, I am not going to be a Bush Fellow for only 24 months. My commitment as a Fellow and as a public servant will not expire in August of 2023. I am a lifelong Fellow and public servant. My work will be part of my life until I can no longer do it, and the networks I am building as a Bush Fellow are here for me for as long as I prove myself worthy of their support.
Finally, my learning journey has been packed with hard work, studying for my masters, reading leadership books, meeting with my executive coach, and constantly thinking about making positive change within the community I serve. Although the journey is not easy, it is worth it. I see the walls of my insecurities and my assumptions go down every day; they are replaced with a sense of curiosity and discovery. I am grateful for my experiences in these three months, and I look forward to the many I have ahead.
To a new Fellow, I would say, CONGRATULATIONS! Enjoy the ride, be joyful, be thankful, and open up your heart and your mind to new ideas, adventures, and a new Bush Fellowship family. You will find your cohort filled with amazing people who want nothing but the best for you, and they will have your back and hold you up as you are trying to change the world in your way.