Grace’s Blog on Comfort zone
As a risk taker and an adventurer, I have always welcomed agitation of thoughts and ideas. As much as I like to be assertive, I’m a firm believer that one cannot know what they can handle until they have bare themselves to the opposite side. During my time at WAIP, I have embraced this philosophy. Living with young individuals with different mindsets than mine can be at times challenging. Through our discussion of opposing topics, and engaging in the uncertainty of outcomes to our decisions, we have allowed ourselves to become more aware of our thoughts, opinions, and ideas.
For the past seven weeks, I have stepped away from the comfortable life of being a spouse and my motherly duties to join and live with fellow Buckeye students in order to become a Washingtonian. I assume that I am the first WAIP student to participate in this program that has a husband and two kids who are eagerly waiting for my return. In contrast, none of my housemates have any obligations to marriage and raising children. Therefore, for most of them, this is their opportunity to see if they can survive the hustle and bustle of our State Capitol area, to build networking relationships with both governmental and non-governmental agencies, in order to find their professional career path after college. Many are motivated, some are determined and others are hopeful. As for me, I’m simply trying to identify my strengths and weaknesses, like and dislike in the field of Public Servant.
Furthermore, I thought by having a background in the medical and financial field, it would help me prepare for the uneasiness of politics, policies, and public servant. In retrospect, it did not. I had always thought that my past experiences, passion for policy and public management, along with my academic will be enough to lessen the tension of disagreeing my beliefs in policies and governance. I was told otherwise. My involvements in accounting led me to the mindset that money drives decision making in all aspects of societies want and needs. I came to realize that this is not necessarily true. During one of our past weekly group discussion, I was challenged by my housemates on this specific idea own idea and belief. However, I realized after the 3rd weekly discussion, they weren’t testing or agitating my standpoint or my ability to handle their point of view. They were just debating a different part of the policy argument as a whole. For example, I worry about the cost constraint of the policy to the taxpayers; while they are worried about what ought to be in the policy.
Moreover, I knew my choice to apply into WAIP was going to expose me to great opportunities. I never imagined that one opportunity would challenge my fear, my willpower, and my reasons. The 2-hour drive to see 43 giant presidential heads was a last minute trip decision with my roommates. Although it stated, “online” that the property where the busts were located is permanently closed, yet there was a lot of recent Instagram posts of them. Therefore, we took the risk and hoped to see the busts anyway. Arriving in the long private driveway, my roommates discussed who should get out and ask for permission to see the busts. Of course, I ended up doing the deed and was unfortunately unsuccessful at getting the approval from the owner. However, before I returned back into my car, I asked the owner if there was any other way to view the busts. She pointed out that the only way was to go through a swampy forest and a land mine-like-dirt path. In addition, she warned me that there were cameras everywhere. Disappointed and irritated, my roommates discussed the next course of action while I pumped gas into my car. As I waited for the gas pump to stop, I looked at Google’s satellite image and saw the possible route the owner told me. Promptly, I shared my finding and my roommates decided to check it out the unmarked path. Parked on the side of the road, 2 members got out to search for a path in the forest like area. They suggested that I should check it out since I seem to know my direction better and I can run faster than them. Indecisive, fearful of snakes, and uncomfortable of the uncertainty, I and one of my roommate push forward and rushed into the wood. Fearful to encounter snakes, rubbing against an endless field of poison oats, sweaty and avoiding sinking into muds, my determination and motivated was at the forefront. After 20 minutes and a break from the wooded area, I saw my favorite president’s head from the distance, President Abraham Lincoln, a welcoming excitement!
Swiftly, we took pictures while keeping our voices down and eyes open, then we ran back toward the car.
Lastly, through WAIP, I have learned that living with young individuals with different priorities than mine makes little difference in creating or achieving a professional goal. That we are all willing to give up and work hard for a better future. In addition, discussing opposing topics with my housemate helps create a better communication and comprehension of our diverse understanding. Engaging in uncertainty is what drives this country and for its people to have a better tomorrow than yesterday. I have learned that being comfortable is not always the safe bet nor the best philosophy. Frederick Douglas’s advised a young man who waited for him outside his home for an advice and all Mr. Douglas said was the word “agitate”. I believe such advice should be applied to every endeavor in life, in order to make or accept change. Therefore, I want to end this blog with an encouragement to agitate your comfort, for you will learn more about yourself and others.