It is quite obvious that volunteering had a significant impact upon me, since July 2015 I have volunteered at roughly 16 different events including Laya City Spec 2016, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
I had 1 main reason to start volunteering, it wasn’t for altruistic reasons, I was lonely and I wanted to make friends, also to lesser extents, I wanted to get active & out of the house and I thought the volunteering would look good on my CV (Curriculum Vitae – that’s a Resumé to you Americans out there).
Regarding friends I was very successful on 1 point, I gained an amazing friend in Sophie Schiltz. We have spent a lot of time together over the past year, we have gone on plenty of adventures too, some in the volunteering world and many that weren’t. I don’t think I can accurately describe how much her friendship means to me. I spend the vast majority of my life alone (when not volunteering) and the time we spend is like the Sun poking through the dark clouds on a winter’s day. I am certain that if I didn’t have her in my life, I would be a much sadder person than I am today – Merci Beaucoup Sophie 🙂
Sophie isn’t the only friend I have gained over the year, but she is the best one and the only one I wouldn’t consider an acquaintance. I have made other ‘friends’ too like Aoife, Paul, Shane, Christina, Laura, Ellie, Catie, Kat, Tra My, Gustavo and others beside, and I am happy I have gotten to hang out with them and work alongside them.
Now, as I mentioned before, another of the reasons I decided to start volunteering in 2015 was to look good on my CV and to show that I wasn’t lazy and just sitting around watching TV while collecting the Dole. You see I was made unemployed in June 2015, and unfortunately I haven’t had a proper job since then. In my mother’s words it has been a fairly “Soul destroying” year, but I haven’t let it get me down, sure there have been a few days when I haven’t been able to come up with a good reason why I should get out of bed, but those days are few and far between, thank God.
In the past year, to keep myself busy, I have of course volunteered at a lot of festivals. One of the proudest moments I had was volunteering at the 1916 Rising commemorative event called ‘Reflecting the Rising’. Apart from the volunteering, I took part in an 8 week course (1 day a week) in networking with Job Care, I finished a 2 week intensive Diploma in Digital Marketing with Sure Skills and DPP Skillnets. I have also tried to remain more active, having recently purchased a Fitbit Charge HR, which has definitely added some extra motivation to my life.
All in all, I would have to say that the last year was a good year. Sure, I am not in the position that I wanted to be. I don’t have a cadre of friends that I spend my weekends and spare time with, I am still single too. I haven’t been successful in acquiring gainful employment, despite my efforts.
But, I wouldn’t want to change anything realistically. I have had some great experiences, met great people, and I think (and I hope) I am a better person for having gone through it all 🙂