The days are slipping through my fingers like sand, and I'm trying to hang on to each grain, each moment. We say our first goodbye to one of our 20 and this brings what was just a feeling in the air, down to the ground at our feet. The end is near.
What was just months, and then weeks has now become days and I'm lost somewhere in between 'ready' and 'too soon'. There is a part of me that still doesn't fully comprehend that the beginning and the middle have been completed and all that is left is the end. All that is left is the end. But what is the end?
We have an over said quote here, that says it so perfectly that you one can't help but join the pack and repeat it.
"YIP is for the first year of the rest of your life."
It could not be said any more concisely that this. What has begun here for me is just the beginning. Just the beginning. And although yesterday still tastes so sweet I know that the road to tomorrow must be walked, and that hands must be released and goodbyes spoken into eyes. I'm trying to be in today with one foot in June and the other in July and the struggle that is 'this moment' is ever present every day.
"As part of the Core Curriculum, participants of YIP are given the opportunity and encouragement to work on a project called the Personal Initiative. The project is worked on throughout the year and comes to fruition with a presentation and written report at the end of the program. One of the intentions is to support YIP participants while they work with deepening questions and themes that challenge and inspire them." - Linda Kleinhenz
A week before the outdoor experience our Personal Initiative (P.I) presentations were held. Through the second semester this theme of the Personal Initiative was personally very difficult for me. Throughout the year we have had quite a few large projects that have taken much energy and time. I started out the year with a clear idea of what I wanted to do for my P.I, but as the year wore on I realized that between everything else I would have to set it down in order to finish other projects. This was a painful realization and process which left me feeling incredibly resentful towards the whole of the P.I.
Regardless, this week of presentations was in the end very important to me. Never before have I exhausted myself to such a degree from crying. This week was an opportunity to see each and every single one of my dear friends share the whole of their YIP experience and for some a project they had been working on throughout the year.
Before Sweden, I knew that I was seeking experiences with other human beings that I couldn't quite name yet. This is what these five days were about for me. Giving presence and attention to to who we each were and who we each have become. Through these 10 months I have been bearing witness to the unfolding of what was once perhaps fear, pain, shyness and doubt into something that speaks of an ownership. An acceptance of not only who we are, but of also who we are becoming. This week was about standing on our cliff edges and staring out past the horizons into the glaring brilliance of our futures.
I have faith in each and every one of us.
Above- Blood paintings of the heart and the reproductive system.
Below- Sophie's diagram that draws the parallels between the woman's cycle and the seasons.
Moments of Bravery.
A reoccurring theme for our year was the senses. While exploring we would often do so without our eyes as a distraction. Sometimes blindfolded we would eat, walk, dance, the list goes on. Here Marion dances for us while blindfolded. Watching her was a sensory experience in itself.
Kalani brought us through his year from start to end by showing us his application video.
Needless to say, there has been change.
Felix, our friendly wizard spent much of his year working on his theories. It was always very mysterious. He would often skips weeks of courses in lieu of giving attention to what I believe is his life work. This was an incredible moment, as we finally got to here a bit of what he had been up to.
Below is a poem written by Olga, pictured here, that she read during her presentation. I don't know if I have ever seen Kalani choke up, but as she read this, I could hear him responding to what I can only call the the plight of what it means to be a young adult today. Olga was able to pin it down with her pen, and the truth that she speaks of, speaks to every crevice in my body.
How to just 'be' today in this world?
just to fall back on the grass
just to fall down on my bed
to be just a being on this earth
my head objects
there's a life to be lived
a path to be followed
a skill to be learnt
a friend to be seen
a change to be made
a corner to be cleaned
a standard to be reached
to see everything i could pursue
in this world
and to stay sane
to know all that could be done
in this world
and to choose not to
just to fall back on the grass
- Olga Bloeman
The International Youth Initiative Program
I am a Yippie class of 2013/2014. These are findings, thoughts and captured moments of mine from here in Jarna, Sweden.