Lately, I have found myself thinking thoughts like “this pandemic had the worst timing”, and “poor me”. Once I think these thoughts, another part of my brain smacks them down like Lebron James dunking the winning basket. This is a bad time for a pandemic, but when would be a good time? "Hold on COVID-19, I have a lot of milestones to accomplish in 2020, can we reschedule to 2025 perhaps?" But alas, life doesn’t work like that. And I for one, am happy we get forced into new and unfavorable situations. It helps us grow, it helps us adapt, and it ultimately makes us better.
As I begin my remote fellowship journey, there are so many blessings to remember. I have gained a fantastic support group through the Fish and Wildlife Service and MANO. I feel comfortable in this position both mentally and physically (during the meetings I’m always in my PJ bottoms). My FWS supervisor is an ideal leader for this situation. She is very friendly, informational, and helpful. I am working with Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge in Hawaii where I am establishing an environmental education plan. This plan will include creating programs and activities to extend the refuge's reach in the local communities. The focus is on making the refuge an asset to the local people. Even though I’m working in ‘Hawaii’ from North Carolina, I have had an extraordinary time. I am doing what I love which is trying to connect the public with nature and conservational concepts. I never thought that I would be in this position, and I am extremely grateful for this opportunity.
It is easy to let the unanticipated, unprovoked, and unwelcome circumstances define our situation and drag us down. However, it is so worthwhile to put a little effort into your thoughts. Let Lebron James shut your negativity down like a winning basket. I am so lucky to have been offered a fellowship position at the US Fish and Wildlife Service and to be a member of MANO. I have met some incredible people and learned how amazing of an opportunity I have been given. Yes, this situation isn’t ideal, it isn’t ideal for anyone (except maybe the medical supply companies?). It is important, perhaps now more than ever, to train ourselves not to succumb to the worst aspect of a situation, but to embrace the good. As the human rights activist, Widad Akrawi said, "If you are positive, you'll see opportunities instead of obstacles."