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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hot Child in the City

Love the city, love your life.
My mom told me this before I left for Philadelphia. I think it's interesting that I've come to the "City of brotherly love." It seems as if I've come to a point in my life where I'm learning to love. Learning to love myself. Learning to love others openly and honestly. Learning to love God through faith in his promises. Learning to love.
In fact, in many ways I have come here to "love" this city through a least a year, possibly two, of dedicated service. I once read somewhere that love is not a feeling but an action, a choice...
I've come to Philadelphia to work with National Student Partnerships. I'll be working as an Americorps National Direct (formerly VISTA) site coordinator. I feel like a robot when I explain my job. Mostly because I can only recite what I know about NSP and my new job from the website. I'm sure these provide accurate descriptions but they just don't feel authentic.
I do know what pulled me to this position. One of the things that I enjoyed most about my time in college was working with other college students and being somewhat of a mentor. I especially loved community service and working hands on in communities. NSP provided all of those opportunities and it just seemed to fit. So here I am.
But seriously.
My service is going to impact many lives, but how. I have now just began to examine the implications of my service on others and myself. What am I doing in Philadelphia is a question which I will need to ask myself everyday.
I've started reading Robert Coles book "The Call of Service." In his introduction he writes "... I had begun to see how complicated this notion of service is, how it is a function not only of what we do but of who we are (which ofcourse gives shape to what we do)."
So in honor of that old quote ,said by some old presumably now dead person, "an unexamined life is not worth living" I've started this blog as a way to publicly examine my first year of service and its effect on myself and those I serve. In addition I hope to elicit support and advice from others who have gone before me or some who may also may be living out their year of service.
Practically, I am writing this blog so I don't have to talk about what I'm doing 400 million times to the 400 million people who will inevitably ask. I can just say, refer to my blog...
Read, inquire and whatever feels right.
In addition to my narratives of my experience I also want to end my blogs with a song that fits the theme of the blog and a quote which I found inspirational. Enjoy.

Song: Hot Child in the City by NickGilder

Quote: I'm trying to live my life from my heart, being authentic to who I am. I'm trying to feel my way to my truth. I do things now that feel real to me. Maria Shriver

With Love,
Ashley Nicole

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