Oh man, struggle. Today was ten times worse than my first day at the Home. Incredibly outside my comfort zone, and more than ever I felt like I didn’t belong. I kept asking myself what the heck I was doing there, because I honestly have no idea what I’m doing, this is my first job outside college and it has absolutely nothing to do with my skill set or experience or degree or anything at all pertaining to myself. Everyone is very nice there but…. that can only help so much. Everyone here seems to believe that I’ll be great, that I just have the jitters and that I’ll get over it. Honestly, that is my hope too. I keep envisioning myself a few months from just loving the job, totally having a new heart for troubled children and counseling, looking back on how I hated things in the beginning, and laughing at how irrelevant those feelings were.

I spent time with a group of children who are especially dangerous to others and themselves today. I had no idea how to approach them, how to talk to them, how to adhere to whatever specialized treatment they’re getting, etc. I found myself over-analyzing my first words to them, going crazy because I was worried I wouldn’t say the right thing, or that I’d say something completely stupid and send them flying off the wall. I was in this constant state of anxiety all day because I just don’t know what to do. I am scared out of my mind about visiting the teenage girls in the afternoon tomorrow. Three whole hours, and the next day too. There’s nothing more intimidating that a bunch of teenage girls, let alone girls that have just gotten out of a detention center or hospital or the likes.

How could they possibly think a random volunteer with a biology degree could flourish in this position?

Anyway, I came home pretty wound up and just discouraged about my day, and everyone had started dinner without me which made things worse, and I ended up just excusing myself because I was so overwhelmed with disappointment from the day. I went to my room and let all these things eat away at me, which is the most terrible habit of mine, and then Sister Clara knocked on my door. She immediately noticed I wasn’t “on top of the world like I usually am” as she puts it, and scooted me upstairs for tea and a chat. She listened to me complain and process my day, quietly, didn’t dismiss my struggles and just offered a hug and advised me to get more sleep. To have someone acknowledge me in that way, give me undivided attention, is an experience and feeling that is incredibly wonderful and I will cherish the Sisters for that, always.

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