There have been so many lessons from my time as an Augustinian Volunteer, but one thing that stands brighter than others is the interconnectedness of our world and how we all fit together. Being an Augustinian Volunteer has taught me a great deal, especially how all of us are on the same team, moving towards a brighter tomorrow.
The people that have acted as the foundation for this lesson has been my community of four unique individuals. I have learned so much about myself and the importance of showing up for each other from living in community. In times that one of us has had a tough day at work or has not been feeling our best, the others are able and willing to fill in and show support. Even the simplest of actions have shaped our little family such as doing the dishes and driving each other to work. I have felt so much love and support from my community members, particularly when Kelsey helped me up after I fell ice skating, both of us laughing, and Jocelyn made paper snowflakes for my room, knowing how much I have missed the snow. They have been the best teammates I could have ever imagined, growing together while learning from our differences.
This year I have also belonged to a welcoming and expansive team of Augustinians. The brothers and priests have offered us laughs, prayers, and themselves on a consistent basis ever since we arrived. One of the Augustinians, fondly known as Deac, picked us up from the airport back in August and played the song “California Girls” by The Beach Boys while pointing out landmarks, and this song quickly became our anthem. The brothers, as well as AV alumni in the area, have acted as much-needed mentors, coaches, and friends.
Being on these various teams sometimes means that I am being pulled in different directions, but it has primarily allowed for personal growth and recognition of how to best support and fit into each group. Whether it be grabbing supplies during an emergency at work or sitting with a roommate after a long day, I have found different ways to give of myself. Each of us has an impact on the other through our actions, words, and presence, from sustainability to positivity. Each of these teams, that have quickly become families, have shown me the importance and simplicity in intentionally giving and being there for each other. I am sure that these teams, as well as their impact, will continue to be there long after this year is over.
San Diego, Ca 2018-2019