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So many layers

Recently, I was given an opportunity to be a camp's President and Program Director.  It was sprung on me, and having never been offered such an opportunity, I graciously said yes. I was honored.   I was elated that someone saw the potential in me to hand me such a gift.  This gift, though, is like an onion.  There are many layers to it.  I didn’t think about all the layers.  I only thought about how honored I felt and that I was finally seen as capable.

Photo: my graduation from college, my proudest accomplishment to date.  I am holding my cap which says, all that I am and hope to be. I owe to those how believe in me.
my proudest accomplishment to date

As I began to tell people about this new opportunity, I began to feel that maybe I had bitten off too much.  Maybe, like the fragile outer skin of the onion, I shattered into a million pieces that stick to everything, and you find even though you have thrown the peel away.  That’s how I feel.  I can do great things, but this one seems bigger than me.  I have never had a job! Now, I am being given the responsibility of a camp for kids whose parents have cancer.  Wow!  I am up for the challenge but somewhat frustrated in the pursuit.

Photo: I have to remind myself that I am capable of great things.  This is from high school when a banner with my photo and a quote: Strength doesn't come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't.

I approached this new opportunity as I did my studies by research!  The problem is the more I researched, the more I wanted to cry.  This reminded me of that inner layer of the onion that makes you cry when cut.  Not because you are sad or anxious but because the task is daunting.  I found regulation after regulation.  I didn’t even know where to start.  Nowhere was there a list of all the policies that needed to be created to protect everyone.  I feel like a fish out of water because I am trying my best but seem to be flapping in the wind.

Photo: me hold a stuffed Dory fish.  Reminding myself that I have to keep on swimming!
Keep on swimming!

Lucky for me, I know people.  I am beginning to figure it out, but I wish I had more direction and guidance.  It reminds me of my online studies, teaching myself as I go along.  I was speaking to a friend who runs a camp for disabled young adults.  She started rattling off the policies I needed, the permits I would need, and the first thing I would need was a location.  I had some answers, but not nearly what I felt I should know.  Oh dear, here come the tears again!  Thankfully, my friend agreed to go on a Zoom call with the powers that offered me this opportunity and talk to them about the task so we could all be on the same overwhelming page.  

Photo: a scary blow up halloween pumkin head with scary waving arms is hovering over me as I scream in horror.
I'm Not scared?

I was convinced that the meeting would be a disaster and that the title that had been given to me would be stripped away, and I would forever be the person who couldn’t do it.  During the meeting, though, the exchange of ideas occurred. At first, I thought the powers that be would be angry with me for bringing someone on that dropped so many bombs.  But they weren’t; they even told me I had great leadership qualities because I could see the problem and find someone to solve it.  Who knew that was all it takes?  I got this. I can do this.  I was finally not feeling alone, and a collaboration was established.  I felt better knowing that I would have more guidance and this would be smooth sailing. I am done chopping the onion. 

Photo: me leading my fellow classmates out of our last day of elementary school.  Leadership in the making!
Leading the fifth grade out of elementary school on the last day.

I was excited again.  Now, I don’t have to worry so much about mundane policies, which allows me to focus on creativity.  We needed a name for the camp.  Many ideas were tossed around until it was decided. Now, we must research the name and ensure it is not offensive or belongs to someone else—another layer of this huge onion.  I am very proud of what we came up with, but I need to confirm before I throw it out there.   I never knew all the layers that were involved in setting up something that seemed so simple: a respite for children whose parents have cancer. 

Photo: my graduation cap from highschool which says time to fly.  Reminding myself that I have worked hard for this opportunity
You got this

I came up with a design for the logo.  I researched different things and found the perfect symbols: a lotus flower, butterfly, and rainbow. You may think that is a strange combination, but really it isn’t.  It is said that the lotus flower grows in murky, muddy water, similar to how children grow when their parents have cancer and all that entails.  The butterfly represents endurance, change, and hope; to me, this is what these children’s lives represent. Plus, it is my favorite symbol; I love butterflies; they are so accessible, and who doesn’t like chasing butterflies?  The rainbow symbolizes what comes after the storm, offering wonder, excitement, and hope for what is to come.  

Photo: me at 6nyearrs old carefully drawing a picture .  The lines make now sense and need to be described by I remind myself I have a creative side.
Artist in the making

I think I figured out that I can’t do this alone, and there is no shame in asking people for help.  I think that's what they call a team.  I don’t have one yet, but many people offer help, suggestions, and encouragement to help me succeed.  I will tackle the policies and permit stuff, but not right now.  I need to focus on what I can understand and get done.  It's hard to work.  I never really thought about it.  I always thought it was a natural progression.  You work, you learn, you make money.  Hmm, now that is an onion.

Photo: me surrounded by those that support me the most and are always by myside. Reminding me that I can always ask for help.
I got people!

I never really looked at the layers of not only myself but also of getting a job done.  It is interesting to me.  I recently read about being an onion or a potato when working.  It would be best if you always were the potato that learns, absorbs, and doesn’t rock the boat or spoil the soup.  I think I prefer to be the onion that enhances the flavor and adds something to the soup that was missing.  Sometimes, by being the onion, you will cry, but the versatility of the onion is endless.  It can be chopped, diced, julienned, fried, baked, and boiled. No matter how you slice the onion, it will always have layers and make you cry.

Photo: my graduation cap from my associates degree: it says I will persisit until I succeed.  Reminding myself that I might not get it right the first time but I got to keep trying.

Thank you for reading until the end!

This is the view from my wheelchair, where miracles can make a difference.  Always Strive for the Impossible.  Come back next week to see what is on my mind and hear more about my experiences and The View From My Wheelchair.

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Exactly! Thank you! It will be my most challenging to date. First is to secure the location, I hope to make everyone proud.


Wow, that’s a huge responsibility! Congratulations! I look forward to reading more about the evolution of the camp.

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Thank you, I will definitely be writing more on this topic, when I can. Love you!

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