Orientation, or disorientation as the YAV staff liked to call it, is over. Now I am sitting here reflecting on and trying to understand all of the information and advice that I have been entrusted with these last few days. Honestly, it was all a little overwhelming.
On Saturday night, all the YAVs, YAVAs (YAV Alums), and staff came together for a talent show. It was really the first time that everyone was able to let their hair down so to speak. There was laughing, there were tears, and there was applause for the various acts that came on stage. It was a fun and great night of bonding.
I did not participate on stage, but instead I sat in the audience in awe of the amazing people that I watched perform. Then it hit me, yes, the people on stage did have amazing talents, and yes, they were courageous in sharing those talents with us all, but they weren’t the only ones in the room who were amazing. I looked around the room, and once again, I was in awe of the amazing people that surrounded me.
We all had talents, some we wished to share publicly, others we treasured and only shared with a few, but they were still all there. Some talents were obvious, like the singers, dancers, and comedians of the group, but other talents were harder to see. I think about the talent of listening, of praying, of observing, and reflecting, with great admiration. I think about the leaders as well as the followers. I think about all the kindness, joy, and empathy that was shared this week. I can’t help but think of the skills that come along with these things that we don’t necessarily take the time to realize and respect.
I met so many talented people this week. I was given a new lens to view the world through, and I hope to be able to take that lens and use it to see the beauty and the talents in the new environment that I am entering into. I was given a new appreciation for the place that I have come from, and the privilege that I have. I was given a new appreciation for some of my own talents, and I was given a new love of the world that I have now left behind for this next year, but that will always be a part of me.
These people, who I did not know a week ago, have become my friends. We all now share this bond. Some bonds will grow stronger as this year progresses, and even as our lives progress, but there will always be a connection between us. I know our YAV year will change our lives, but I think it is cool that it all started with a common week of disorientation and talented people.