Reflection Essay

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When I first thought about where I would serve back in the spring, my initial idea was at a soup kitchen. I had worked at one during the Sophomore Retreat Experience, and while I found the three hours we were there exhausting, they were also really fulfilling. However, at the time I was also learning more about myself through the enneagram and was really coming to terms with my particular manifestation of social anxiety. I knew that in a impersonal environment like the one I had experienced at the soup kitchen sophomore year I would not motivate myself to independently form interpersonal relationships. If I went to serve without connecting with people, I would have felt, "that i had no real intention of meeting, even learning about, [the] needs," of those I was serving. I needed an environment that was deliberately structured to create those relationships, like GiGi’s Playhouse. At GiGi’s I feel challenged to live in solidarity with these kids and their parents, and to move past the anxiety that holds me back from connecting with new people. In the article, Joe Wotawa describes the tension between the intention behind his actions and the result of his actions. He says “I only wanted to help. I wanted to be a familial presence…I wanted to let that little girl act like a little girl…It’s all I wanted. And yet still I brought an air of distance.” Similarly, I tell myself on my walk to and from GiGi’s that my main goal is to help, to play with these children with Down

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