I remember last year when I attended The Mine Open House in June. I came at the invitation from a long-time friend whom I had not seen in awhile as she had been living in NYC. At the time, my intention was simply to catch up – at the time I had no idea I would be introduced to a truly life-changing opportunity.
I was skeptical yet incredibly intrigued by others speaking of their Mine experience and amazed that projects and people like this existed in Tulsa. So, I followed the advice of “do it” (thank you, Rebecca Butcher) as an exercise of putting myself in an uncomfortable position. I pushed myself outside of the realm of speech pathology or any formal education I had received to explore the possibility of something different. I hoped I’d get the opportunity to be one in a community of change-makers in the city my family and I’ve lived in and loved for generations.
Looking back over the last 9 months, I can remember the timid, uncertain girl who was expectant and hopeful. Now, I am in awe of the person I have become. I view my profession differently. I view my roles as sister, daughter, and friend differently. I’ve been led to a greater understanding of my passions, skills, and abilities to care for and foster community. I have developed a greater trust and confidence in my self and future.
The personal and professional growth in each of the fellows is remarkable. Each of us have been impacted in ways that we could not have imagined on our own, coming out on the other side as new and improved versions of ourselves. There is no doubt in my mind that we will all continue to do big, impactful things.
We have been equipped with the tools necessary to tackle big problems, accept failures gracefully and as opportunities, and to use our personal skills and talents to pursue our dreams of making this city, and world, a little bit brighter than we found it.
So, in continuing the advice: Do It. Trust your gut and put aside your fears of failure, inadequacy, or dare I say, time constraints. The Mine is an experience you will never forget and will be forever grateful for. It will challenge you, break you, and build you into a stronger, purpose-filled individual. What do you have to lose?