Celebrations and Mourning

A week ago, during our parting Zoom call as a DC YAV community, we shared reflections on what we are celebrating and mourning as this period of our lives comes to a close. I wanted to close my blog by sharing those celebrations and mournings, and what is coming next for me.

I’m celebrating everything that this year has given me, and the personal growth that was a result of the program. I am celebrating the connection I feel to my spirituality, and that I am so much more comfortable expressing my commitment to faith and justice. When I reflect on the person I am now versus who I was when I joined the program, I see so much more confidence in my strengths, my sense of purpose, and my ability to communicate my beliefs to others. 

Most of all, I am celebrating the people I spent my year with. Having a strong sense of community and making commitments to building it with other people has become such an important part of my life, and I am very grateful to have been able to experience intentional community with Sara, Keyah, Langley, Sam, and Jack. I also celebrate the way that we adapted to the pandemic as a community, trying our best to meet everyone’s needs in a difficult time while retaining our bonds and commitments to one another. 

I’m mourning the lack of closure I get with DC, the program, and my community. I also mourn all of the wonderful experiences that we would have had in the months taken away by the pandemic, the relationship growth, and the richness we would have found in these last few weeks as we got ready to say goodbye to each other and to DC. I’m mourning the end of a wonderful, challenging year of growth, which came with even more stress and uncertainty than I had imagined and prepared for. 

Due to the pandemic, the DC YAV program is taking a year off and I will be continuing to work with both of my placements (Northminster Presbyterian Church and Service Never Sleeps) in a non-YAV capacity for the fall. I’ll also be interning part-time with the Office of Public Witness in DC. Thank you all for following along this year and supporting me in so many ways!

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