Me, the Volunteer.

Because I don’t actually have experience working in the mental health field and my grad degree is going to be in mental health counseling, I’ve decided that if I actually want to get a job in the field when I get home, I should really get some experience. Specifically, I’m hoping to work with multicultural/marginalized populations when I graduate, so I spent this morning emailing about half a dozen interesting-sounding organizations and NGOs. I’m hoping to find a volunteer opportunity where I actually get to interact with the organization’s intended demographic, rather than spend the day filing paperwork or working the phones. Mostly, I want some experience in the field, and administrative tasks definitely aren’t my forte. I am really excited to start.

Also, after three weeks of knitting, I have a sore shoulder. I’m cutting back to one weekly visit to Alavaro’s knitting class for the remainder of the month and will  now focus on learning the basics of crochet, and I think I’ve taken the first step toward learning to be patient and learning that it’s good to challenge myself and go beyond my comfort zone. Through my grad classes, I’ve learned that there are several kinds of personality types, and one of these describes people who enjoy comfort. People who value comfort above all else tend to not challenge themselves because they don’t want to get out of their comfort zones, and this generally means that they don’t reach their potential. Although I always thought I was adventurous and didn’t mind taking risks, I’ve realized I only like taking risks when I feel comfortable that I’ll succeed. I think a lot of people don’t reach their potential because they’re afraid of feeling uncomfortable or failing, and I really don’t want to be that type of person anymore.

Photo courtesy of

In addition, I’ve decided that my new skill next month will be yoga (perhaps to counter knitting-related sore shoulder). Yoga is one of those things that’s  always seemed very romantic and hip to me, but I usually quit after one class because I find it too hard for my non-flexible, non-slender body. So while knitting has helped me become appreciate tedious tasks more and become more process-oriented, I hope Yoga teaches me to relax and physically challenge myself. Yoga is pretty expensive here, so I’m hoping the fact that I’m paying $10 a class motivates me to actually go. I am really hoping that whatever yoga studio I choose isn’t surrounded by dozens of mirrors that invite everyone to observe me in downward dog position. Considering I can’t even touch my toes, I don’t think that would be a pretty sight.

Boyfriend-Related News: In other news, I’ve given up on my boyfriend liking anything I cook. My boyfriend thinks that chicken and rice is the epitome of the perfect meal and would happily eat it everyday for the rest of his life. So I’ve decided that I am going to make a nice “international” meal once a week regardless of his preferences and tell him there’s nothing else to eat. I am hoping this widens his culinary horizons. I’ve also been trying to get us to eat healthier. I’ve been trying to get him to cut back by giving him an arepa for breakfast rather than bread, but what does he do? He eats the aprepa and then eats three or four slices of bread.  My boyfriend encourages and helps me in certain aspects of my life but not so much when it comes to healthy eating or exercise. I think I’m going to have to take that step on my own and hope he follows. Also, yesterday I asked my boyfriend how the month was going for him. He told me it was going badly. I asked him if he was worried. He said, “Worrying is the most wasteful activity one can indulge in.” It was then that I discovered that my boyfriend enjoys listening to inspirational video conferences online. I’ve always wondered how he manages to stay so calm in the face tons of work, disappointing sales, my yelling and sermonizing, and a messy apartment, but now I know his life philosophy is that worrying is the most wasteful activity one can indulge in.

I know I’ve been neglecting Bogota in my entries and hopefully when I start volunteering I’ll have more insightful things to share about Bogota. Right now, I feel like Bogota is so huge but so small at the same time. I am also (still) completely perplexed as to why Colombian people (namely my grandma) are so interested in other people’s eating habits. In the U.S is it common to ask people what they had for breakfast or what they’re going to eat for lunch?

Categories: Daily Life


5 replies

  1. Good luck with Yoga! Don’t give up either, sometimes you have to try different types of yoga &/or different instructors. Do you know what kind of class you’re taking?? Also, don’t worry about the mirror issue, most “real” yoga studios generally don’t have mirrors. 🙂

    Also, I always ask people what they had for breakfast/lunch/really any meal & I always ask what they plan on doing for the next meal. I try to limit who i ask so I don’t sound crazy though…haha

  2. Love this post, Ji. Your boyfriend sounds so great; I love that you were surprised by his life philosophy.

    Remember this about yoga: it’s about how it feels, not about how it looks.

  3. I love his philosophy! I try to live by that too. Good luck with yoga… I want to try hot yoga…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: