A world of difference

Life roles on, people come and go, but sharing our experiences can make the world of difference.

The past week or so has been a series of interesting encounters. The Mental Health First Aid folk have had many great posts stating how talking to others really benefits you, and whilst it can, I’ve found it’s really fascinating simply to see how people’s lives are developing.

There’s been some interesting insights into the development of youth work locally and hopefully over the next few weeks some of these discussions will continue further. With my own youth club, whilst the team have continued to update the premises and work on ways to increase income, I continue to beaver away quietly in the background looking at improving systems in order that we provide the best experiences possible. It’s been great revisiting some literature from the early days of my degree and feed the basics back into what we do.

The youth club always has a changing scene and requires a lot of understanding of individual’s personal situations in order to ensure that the team remains as one and does not feel put upon. I love the fact that we are open with each other. This makes for a real family feel behind the scenes and allows us to work more coherently. Everyone should take time to get to know their team or staff.

Of most interest in this area this week is finding out that a leader from the youth provision I left just before the summer holidays due to various reasons including my own health which was being jeopardised as well as the usual politics, has found they too are now beginning to feel much the same and has begun conversations to come and join me.

I’m not one to pull people away from a youth provision if I can help it, but if it means ensuring they remain happy and it allows our provision to develop, then I’m all for it. Better to have a good worker working than lose them completely. The bonus is knowing that it’s at least not me that was the issue at the last place. Perhaps it’s about time the feedback given was heeded but who am I to judge?

It’s quite amazing how reflecting on situations can change your perspective. Further work has happened on my latest script offering. I received some useful feedback from the cast, and with drama classes restarting, I’ve been able to really get inside these other character’s heads much better, and things are developing at a pace. There’s potentially a new writing partnership for future projects too, which is a new avenue as I tend to be a lone writer, so another adventure begins. I’ve decided with the edit this time to leave out certain aspects of the character’s lives to provide more suspense. I wonder whether we do that as human beings more than we know? Leaving an air of mystery so we sound better than we are.

Meeting up with old work colleagues who are more like family was, as always, a bonus. I’m amazed how after so many years a group of ex work colleagues who have gone completely separate ways and now work in different fields, still manage to meet every few months for dinner and it’s as though time has not moved on. This is a group of people who are happy in each other’s company and will tell each other anything. Maybe you’re reading this and had a colleague who you’ve lost touch with. What harm can it do getting hold of them again? Lives move on and change, but it doesn’t mean friendships have to.

I quite like developments. One really pleasing one and a big one for me was in meeting an ex-student in the street who rather than ignore me as often happens (I wasn’t a cool member of staff, you know – I tried, perhaps too hard), they actually spoke and told me what they were now doing with their life. I highly appreciated that. I’m not expecting an ex-student, especially out with their mates, to have a long drawn out conversation, but it means so much when they have enough respect to at least acknowledge you.

Interestingly, he didn’t tell me what grades he got in his GCSE’s. I wonder why? Why offer the info he did about his career path? Why hold back certain information? Again, an air of mystery. Another young person I’ve worked with up until a year or so ago also stopped and told me how their career was progressing in unimaginable ways. It was two minutes, but it really makes a difference to know you made a difference. It’s wonderful who you meet on just a local walk.

On one of my pleasant relaxing walks down by the river, I met up with a neighbour I rarely see despite living only a few doors away, and was able to discuss their recovery following a life-changing operation. This was very open and again made me wonder why we share certain elements of our lives when we don’t know others that well. I think there’s a culture much more these days of doing that. It’s a good thing. If we can help even one other person with their recovery, that makes the world of difference.

Oh, and for those following the story, acupuncture round three saw me having a good few chilled few days after. The start of this week hasn’t been so good but never say never. What I’ve realised is that even though I still get some of the same issues I had before with the anxiety (and yes this week a few of those ‘here comes death knocking on my door’ moments), I’ve still felt better able to deal with them, although I will admit, a lot of getting through it is very much down to being able to talk to people. especially who speak to me first (and a few birthday celebrations helped too).

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