Because It Matters
The goodbye blogs have begun. The reminiscing, memories, and stories of our first seven and a half weeks is already in full fling, even though we have almost a third of the total time left.
I would like to avoid this trend, because we have so much left to look forward to. There's so much to remember, of course, but the final sprint hasn't yet begun - we've got three weeks of prototyping, gathering evidence for our projects; three weeks to finish our internships, a weekend trip to Pondicherry, presentations, team and program dinners, and moving out. We've got three weeks of reflecting on questions we still can't answer, reflecting on what we've learned as individuals and as a group.
So, let's get into it. For myself, I think I refuse to accept that it's time to start saying goodbyes because I haven't felt a single grain of closure. I'm not happy with the work we've done for Biome yet, and want to finish a couple more projects for them. I know we have a lot of work left to do for our organization project, and, more than anything, I want to get our project to the point where it continues after we leave. I want so badly to leave something lasting here in Bangalore, because I know I will being back permanent changes and perspectives back to Seattle. I can't think about leaving yet because I haven't reached a point where I can leave and not regret my time here.
This last weekend was both horrible and a breath of fresh air. To see my entire team so motivated and willing to work to put forth the best possible product we could in a day, to know that I am passionate enough and able to sit down and bury my head into real, important work for ten hours on a Saturday is a relief. I was never the best student, choosing to get work done fast over really taking the time to learn, until recently. I always blamed it on being too busy to fully focus, but in reality, homework and tests just never seemed important enough to me to give up other parts of my every day life. Why should I spend another two hours trying to understand frames when I could go sweat at the gym and feel 100 times more satisfied and accomplished?
My classes last quarter, and coastal engineering last year changed that a bit for me. For the first time, I found myself wanting to understand, so that I could contribute to these fields. I spend hours in Pumpkin Hall, learning about watersheds and infiltration rates and all of these things that shouldn't be interesting but that are fascinating and enticing to me.
This need to understand and work hard to do good work increased exponentially here, and I know that that is why I was able to devote my precious time left in India to this project. I got lucky - two quarters after I figured out water resources and engineering is what I love and working with water is what I want to do, I get to work on water restoration and management in a foreign country. Why wouldn't I work as hard as I possibly can and soak up this opportunity? No, I didn't get to go to Nandi Hills again, or even go get street food. But turning in our report Sunday night, I felt pride in my work, the best kind of brain exhaustion, and excited to continue.
That is what I am going to focus on these next three weeks. That feeling of pushing myself to work because it matters, creating something that goes beyond what I want, or what my team wants. Making something that can genuinely help people. I'm not trying to discount the little moments, the trips and adventures - those are documented in pictures, shared between all of us or little groups of us here. Those I can't forget even if I wanted to, and I'm sure before my last blog I'll want to reflect and remember them too. But right now, two and a half weeks before we say goodbye, let's push through the final sprint, instead of looking back at what isn't finished yet.