Report date
November 2018
Learning Log

I feel like in the greater scope of things, having transitioned into this professional field only six years ago from a decade and a half in the manual labor workforce, my career experience has burned fast and bright, and so my leadership growth has had to adapt to that and keep in step. It is by the grace of this fellowship and the support of my community that in the past year, I have truly evolved into my next form. I have experienced much in the last year, and I’ve found that experience both sharpens you, but ages you as well. With that, I see myself stepping into new networks and relationships with a confidence that I could never have imagined attaining, while having the processes in place to sustain myself through this expedited experience/aging process. That’s self care in it’s many forms.
I remember when our fellowship started, I think many of us had funny feelings about the topic of self care. We were selected for this wonderful opportunity through our actions, and therefore our fellowship should burst at the seems with action from day one till the final day of our fellowship. What we come to discover though, is that the foundation is keenly aware that with the intensity of the experiences we have and the new roles we are stepping into, we must take time to regenerate through whatever processes we need to, so that we may reflect, recenter, and not burn out. We learn as much about our leadership through self care as we do through our action (although they are not entirely exclusive of each other either).
Part of the process of a fellowship for many of us is re-wiring our brain to recognize and explore the idea that you can do even greater things than what you just received 100k for doing so well in the first place.. I think sometimes it’s about getting out of your lane so you can see the implications of your position better, instead of focusing further in. A macro view. We come into the fellowship prepared to use it to excel our work, but the fellowship is about providing the resources to accelerate ourselves so that we may be leaders in whatever our final form is. (By the way, I know I’m referencing an anime cartoon with this “final form” thing. I’ve never actually seen the cartoon, but the phrase works for this, so bear with me..)
That aside, even with taking proper self care measures, this last month has been a special whirlwind of change, and I have used my fellowship to stand at the precipice of it, and look at all the paths that lay before me without fear. The organization that I have been dedicated to for the last six years is going through a period of change and regeneration, and the people that I have worked beside all of these years, and have felt so indebted to for providing me with opportunity above and beyond normal measure are now gone. Gratitude being my greatest driving force, I am now one of the most senior people at the organization, and I find myself needing to evaluate what will fill the void that aspiring to repay a life debt like that creates. I also feel unshackled to some degree as well. I am free to reevaluate where I’m going to have the most impact.
Simultaneously, discussion has been brought to me here at my work about training for the executive director position in a few years. It is an incredible honor, and something I never really seriously considered possible, but now I find myself weighing the idea that I could step into that impossibility against what else I could venture on to achieve. This is the growth that the Bush Fellowship has provided me.