Sunday 29 July 2018

A note on volunteering and mindfulness.

Gosh. What a week. I mean most of it was spent at work with not a lot of happening until the end, when everything happened and knocked me for six a little bit.

Because for the first time in a while, on Sunday 29th July, I volunteered! And it was for YALC/LFCC which is something I'm super passionate about. So I was understandably very excited but also super anxious because I hate going into things not knowing what to expect. I could have volunteered to be a part of the full-day Crew but wanted to be a Helper as I could only do one day and wanted some time to actually explore the convention too. It meant I wasn't paid and I gave up my free time to help them out for next to no reward other than entry into the show itself afterwards.

I did not appreciate being immediately shouted at for being late because the bike race going on prevented anyone from being able to cross a road for ten minutes by a member of an external security company who knew nothing about the volunteers anyway. I did not expect to be told that I was 'too late', not trusted that I actually was a volunteer and made to feel that my hour journey there had been for nothing. I did not enjoy the chaos, the feeling that no one knew what they were doing, the eye-rolling because I was 'only a helper' and not doing a full day.

It fed my anxiety and it made me angry.

Now the rest of the day, after talking myself out of turning round and going home, was okay. I met some nice people, most of all those attending YALC whose tickets I scanned and I saw some cool costumes, stalls and sights before going home after my shift finished. But was it worth it?

On the one hand - no. I am still reeling from the first part of it, and felt that I gained no real valuable insight or skills from the rest of my shift. I didn't even get to enjoy a huge amount of the show because I was exhausted afterwards. Though I was asked to, I won't be doing it again. But I'm still classing it as a victory, because despite dealing with very severe feelings of anxiety, procrastination, and feeling drained emotionally, I still did it

And that still puts a smile on my face.

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