Well. It’s been awhile, once again, since I’ve posted. In fact, it’s been awhile since I’ve baked.
Let’s catch you up really quickly on the present, and then take a moment to reflect on the past.
A month ago, I resigned from my job. Lot’s of people think I am crazy for having done this, and perhaps part of me is, but another part of me is hoping that you guys will respect a person who is willing to take risks in her life in order to move forward.
I saved money from every pay check I received while employed, and currently I am taking the summer off for the first time in 13 years, while also applying for jobs in hopes of finding my next career home.
If you don’t know, I’ve worked in radio since college. The people I worked with quickly became family, and for four awesome years I did some of the most amazing things any young person out of college could have dreamed of doing.
I coordinated concerts, recorded interviews with amazing artists, planned some incredible prizes that I believe the winners will remember for the rest of their lives. I worked 18 hour days, 80 hour weeks, went back stage and on-stage for some of my favorite bands, collected VIP lanyards for every show I could have ever dreamed of seeing, let alone be in VIP for, and 16 year old Sasha can’t believe that was ever something she got to participate in during her life time, period.
Walking away from that job was (and still is currently) one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. And while some days I wonder if it was the right one, I keep moving forward in hopes that I will land somewhere that I can be just as proud of as I was when I was at the peak of my radio career.
Now that you are all caught up on the present, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on a time not too long ago where I was going through a ton of changes, like I am right now, where I couldn’t always see a bright future ahead of me but I charged along until I found my way. From that experience came one of the greatest accomplishments of my life: I created an after school art program for a low income school. One that would make such an impact, that art would later be reinstated to the regular curriculum because the principal realized how important it was for her students.
I found the first blog that I wrote about the experience, one of many blogs that unfortunately are lost in the abyss that is the internet, but I wanted to share the one I found.
This is copied straight from my myspace page! ha!
The program started small, but eventually 20 kids joined, and it was amazing.
So here it is:
“One week ago today marked the beginning of the after school art program that I started at a local elementary school here in Orlando. This whole idea came about after meeting my little sister through Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Central Florida. The first day we met, we spent the last 1/2 hour of our time together drawing pictures. I was amazed when I saw how talented she was, and was disappointed to hear that the funding for art at her school had been cut because of insufficient funds. I knew that money for the arts was low in a lot of schools, but had no idea the magnitude of this until I started speaking with people for donations.
I met my little sister in Septemeber of 2006. For those of you who know me well, and for those of you who are interested, 2006 was a very tough year for me. I’m not going to go into the depressing details of it all, but I’m happy to leave it in 2006. I signed up for Big Brothers/Big Sisters months prior to actually getting a match. There is a whole process that you have to go through to get cleared, background checks, interviews, reference checks, etc. I signed up when my life was feeling pretty stable, and by the time we were actually matched with a student, things had fallen pretty low. I was incredibly aprehensive about the situation, as my confidence had been shattered for the moment, and I wondered if I really had anything to give to this kid, and my fight or flight mode kicked in.
When anxiety and insecurity mix together, in most cases in my past I chose flight. I know a lot of you can empathize with this, anxiety is not an easy emotion to overcome, and most of us just run and hide until enough time has passed to come back out and look around. I went back and forth between choosing to quit Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and just sucking it up and taking a chance.
I am more than happy that I chose to stick it out, because I have now accomplished a goal that has brought a huge light back into my life. So back to the art club….
As soon as I found out that art funding had been cut, a million ideas started running through my mind. I wrote to some friends and family to see if I could raise some money, and one friend told me he would donate a big chunk of cash. That was all I needed to get the confidence that this was something that I was capable of doing. That day I wrote a proposal of supplies that could be purchased, how many kids could be involved, and set an appointment to speak with the people I needed to connect with.
Over the course of the next 4 months I spent time getting things prepared, and I am proud to say that as of last week, the first goal for this project was achieved. The first art class went off without a hitch, and it was more fun than I ever expected it to be. Now keep in mind that my experience with groups of kids at that point was non-existant, no teaching, no camp counseling under my belt. I threw myself into this situation, and did my best to mimick what great teachers I have had in my past did with their students. I also have an art teacher for a mother, so that was helpful as well.
I started the class by presenting the kids with their personal art kits. Each student gets one and that is the one they will have to take good care of because its the only one they get! =)
The coolest part of that was when they clapped for one another as I called their names to come to the front and get their kit. It made me laugh and laugh, it was just too cool.
After we made name tags, (which I forgot to get pictures of, sorry) I taught them all about the color wheel. I had them use their water colors to fill in their color wheels, and showed them how to mix primary colors to make secondary, as well as tertiary colors. It was a blast to see how excited they got when they mixed the colors to make new ones!
We ended the day by making a mural based on things we thought of when we thought of Florida. My favorite answer was “Great Restaurants and awesome shopping!” I have to agree on that one. And my favorite drawing was when one of the kids drew an orange with wings…..its poetic.
When they finished the mural, I presented them each with a sketch book that was kindly donated by a manager of a great art store in Boca Raton. They were thrilled to have a book of their own, and I cant wait to see what they draw when they are at home.
Today is week two..and we will be making thank you cards for all of the people who donated so far. I have plenty of blank cards, so if you still want to donate you can. *wink*
I will be sure to take more pictures today…stay tuned if you are ineterested.
Lots of love,
I look back on that and remind myself that for every big change comes something incredible that you will take with you forever.
I have no idea what my future holds, but I know there is a future waiting for me and I look forward to meeting it.
Lots of love to everyone who made it to the end of this post.