2013 was meant to be the year I blog more regularly eh…? Some things never change. Anyway, happy new year. I still think it’s 2012, considering I keep forgetting to write 2013 on everything.
Charity and volunteering have always been a big part of my life. My mother ran a local charity for most of my life so I and my sisters would usually be involved in some capacity, usually involuntarily. When you’re a kid, you don’t think that taking time out to help and do sometimes monotonous jobs, is particularly fun. But as I’ve matured, I’ve definitely grown to appreciate the time my mother made us put into helping.
Currently I live in New York, and I helped volunteer for City Harvest (a local food bank) during post-Sandy efforts. Having lived my entire life in the rather safe and not climate diverse London, experiencing a hurricane was something entirely new and unsettling. A friend suggested we go help pack food packages, and we did. Not only did I build some slight upper body strength by slinging cans around (not really) and have my first experience with Viennese sausage (not an euphemism) but I got to meet very interesting and different people. And not forgetting the biggest volunteer opportunity I ever did (and most time consuming) was the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony.
A lot of people do ask, why do I volunteer? Is it to show off? To make myself look better. I can honestly say it isn’t. Sounds selfish but it was first to make myself feel better. And also to branch out, and to get out of my comfort zone. The experiences and people you meet during volunteering is invaluable, and pretty fun too. Not to mention that it’s great for networking, and opportunities for another selfish reason. But mostly, it’s helped my self-confidence to no end. People who know me laugh about that because to them I have confidence falling out my butt. Not true.
Being a young person is hard. Of course, all the adults in your life tell you that “You’re young, what do you have to worry about? Enjoy life while you can.” Maybe the things you feel now won’t be important in the future, maybe they will be. But the most important thing is that they’re important right now. Feeling lost and out of place is something we all know what feels like. I definitely know what that feels like. One of the biggest issues is uncertainty.
I always think back and sometimes wish I was more confident in myself and abilities, but live and let learn. The frustration that comes along with it can be lonely. And the scaremongering that comes along in the media isn’t a help. Don’t get me wrong, yes, it’s a tough economy. I worried for ages about finding a job, paying off my student loans.
I’m a firm believer in going out there to find your own opportunities and make your own way in the world. When I couldn’t find a job after I graduated (which for me, seems to be always) I won’t lie, I was pretty despondent. So I kept interning. And interning. And interning. But I also started a blog based on my experience with writing on another blog which I loved. And the rest they say – is history.
I have worked with vInspired before I even forayed into the world of fashion. I can truly say hand on my heart, that they are a fantastic charity. Whether it’s an one off thing, or a continuous ongoing project, give it a go. Check it out. I can truly say that it’s not something you will regret. To get involved with the Beta Generation or just to find out more information check out vinspired.org