Well, I am here. Two weeks of training and two weeks of camp down, only 5 left! I can't believe it's already been a month. Time flies when you're working at a camp for people with disabilities and making major life decisions at the same time. Wow oh wow.
So, the camp. It's pretty hectic, exhausting, surprising...every emotion you can think of. The first week we had adults with cognitive impairments, the second week teens with mental disabilities, and this next week is kids with mental. We were told in the beginning we wouldn't be allowed to do "personal care" (diaper changing, etc) but it turns out that there simply are not enough staff for us not to, so I've done my fair share of all of that. Surprisingly, it doesn't bother me like I anticipated it would. When it comes down to it, I am helping these individuals during a fun-filled week at a summer camp--something they wouldn't be able to do without this special place. While there are a lot of behavior and emotional problems, the campers are so much fun and I feel like I am actually making a difference in their lives. I usually don't get to bed until after 9:30 and am up and ready at 7:15 in the morning. I typically don't get a break during the day and if I do, it's about 15 minutes long. However, the weeks go by SO FAST and my time in AmeriCorps is quickly winding down.
Speaking of that... a major decision was made a couple of weeks ago. I decided to MOVE to SALT LAKE after AmeriCorps! I'll be living with two of my teammates, Maggie and Alicia, and we're just going to spend a year here and see how we like it.
This decision was made as I decided to let go of the past and to move toward a better life for myself. Instead of trying to make something work with an individual I know in my heart is not the right person for me, I am embarking on a life of complete "singledom"---EXCITING! It's about time. I believe that the last 2 and a half years spent on/off with him were important, but it is definitely time for me to move on. I am far more excited about starting a new life of my own than faking a relationship merely for convenience. I am not that kind of person and I finally realized it a couple of weeks ago. It feels so good to be moving on in the direction of life that I've wanted for so long.
Salt Lake seems like it has a lot to offer. I know there are many misconceptions about the area being full of Mormans and that's all it has going here. However, I've found that there is a large population of people who are not necessarily Morman and simply love the outdoors, which is what attracted me to the area in the first place. It is absolutely gorgeous here, with mountains surrounding the city. I know that regardless of what I end up doing here (hopefully working for the state) I will be happy to just take a walk outside and breath the fresh air.
So, that's the big news and I am pretty happy and excited about it. Work is hard but rewarding (exactly what I thought it would be but with way more surprises!) and I am ready to begin a new life when AmeriCorps is over.
Unfortunately, there have been no time for pictures........but I swear I will put some up by the end of this! I hope that everyone out there is living peacefully and you are all following your dreams. :)