When I applied for my first remote position, I was not sure what I was expecting. I knew that remote positions could work for some and not work for others. In the past few months, I have learned that the agency prioritizes a healthy balance between work and needed breaks. They have also hosted webinars that teach remote employees how to stretch and move their bodies when they are at their desks. I still feel bad when I get up and walk around for a couple of minutes every hour or two, but I know that I should be moving so I find myself doing mental gymnastics. Also, even if we are remote employees, we need to prioritize time to visit the field and learn about the land we are helping to manage.
Additionally, I have had the opportunity to travel and learn from different communities. Last month, my mentor and I visited Selma, Alabama for the National Trail Administrators Roundtable (NTAR) to learn about the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, the only trail that honors African American History. Foot soldiers joined us and shared their stories, stories that had many of us on the verge of tears, but despite the sadness/anger in the room, they ended their stories with songs. I was the youngest individual at the roundtable, and there were times when I felt inadequate to speak up on certain topics. But I was always given the space to have a voice. I felt as if I was a sponge taking in all the information and learning all the acronyms. I hope that in next years’ NTAR I have more knowledge and understanding to provide better feedback.
I feel grateful to be in the position that I am in, and the good news is that I will continue to be in this position post my RA-ship. I have accepted a permanent position as a Partnership Liaison Specialist. I will continue to do the great work I am doing now and so much more. I am looking forward to the future blogs I will be writing and reading everyone else’s blogs as well.