So here’s the deal…
I still don’t know how I managed to make it here. Being chosen to become a Karel Fellow has been richly overwhelming in more ways than I could’ve imagined, and at each stage, I’ve invalidated everything I’ve accomplished. Imposter syndrome has always felt like a cliche, but I couldn’t help feeling small in a city with so many opportunities, surrounded by people with the drive to sacrifice anything for everything. And coming from a place as large as Miami, I felt ironically out of my depth the moment my flight landed.
Life soon became comedic rounds of trial and error: spending too much on food, spending too little on myself, and all the mistakes that followed in my desperation to ‘earn’ my place here…to become seen as one of the valuable eight. But my smallness remained unshakeable and worsened the first day I stepped foot in my office, where no kindness could cloud me.
Working at Greenpeace through this fellowship has been priceless. I’ve been able to personalize my strengths into something partially malleable, making progress in some places and welcoming permanence in others. My dreams began to race miles ahead of me and run alongside the pace of DC while I seemed to feel stagnant with truthfully unrealistic expectations.
I had come in with a fantasy of helping Greenpeace to revolutionize itself, creating waves of content to overwhelm audiences everywhere with the intimate feel of the non-profit experience. And because I loved it here, I felt everyone deserved to feel the same thing; to see what I saw through their screens. But everything I visioned was out of focus and out of frame, and where I sat…with all the ideas in the world…I had to learn how to fit my image with my team and with the intern experience. And I can gladly say that by week four, I think I’m finding my way around.
Blurs of editing in the office, travelling with the other fellows, and getting lost when I move on my own have combined to mold something abstract. All the colours and sights of the past four weeks bleed together on one canvas, all light and dark tones, to create inseparable experiences. The surreality of it all excites and worries me for what’s to come. I can feel myself becoming more comfortable as our final day here creeps forward, but as I build myself to narrow down what I want my future career to look like, I can only take snapshots along the way and make the most of what I have left.