Hope is the Thing with Feathers…

Hope is the thing with feathers
that perches in the soul
and sings the tune without words
and never stops at all.

–emily dickinson

These past two weeks I spent interviewing a myriad of potential candidates for an opening here at Starfire.  Interviewing was met with mixed emotions for me: the person we are replacing is leaving rather unexpectedly, but on kind terms.  We wish this person well, but still, there’s that old familiar feeling I remember of when I was dating in high school.  It’s that rejection feeling, the “So…you don’t like me anymore?” neediness of break-ups.  Will we really still be friends?  Can I still call you?  This is silly banter of course, but a question we wrestle with in this field.  A true test of a staff person really comes after they’ve moved on: will you still take an active role in our lives?  I hope so.  And hope, I’ve learn over the past two weeks, is a delicate, fragile, and fickle thing.  Sometimes, it’s all we’ve got.

I’ve been vacant from this blog for awhile, dealing with my own struggles and emotions when it comes to this work.  Instead of focusing on the negative, the stressors, the things that upset me about this world, I have instead compiled a list of things I am currently loving:

  1. I love the frustration that the juniors of Starfire U are experience when they are using their own planners, and choosing their own days.  Something about their frustration of having to choose is refreshingly wonderful.  When Ronny says, “I’m doing your job now…” I want to yell, “hell yeah!  And keep it up!”  Not because I am lazy, but because his doing my work (calendars, making connections, making phone calls, asking in speakers, finding new places in the city), is the point.  I shouldn’t be the one doing this for him.  They are struggling, but it’s a beautiful struggle.

  2. While the candidates for this recent round of interviews were all qualified and exciting people, I had a wonderful conversation with one applicant in particular.  Imagine that!  A conversation instead of grilling someone with mindless, monotonous questions.  If interviews weren’t already like awkward first dates, (two people getting dressed up, knowing very little about each other, not knowing how the whole thing will turn out, both hoping – could this be “the one?!”), the uncomfortable series of questions certainly makes it feel like one.  So… tell me about yourself.  What do you do for fun?…  Where do you see yourself in five years?… all so personal, so serious, so quickly!  It was great to pause and recognize that interviews could also be conversations.  What a novel concept!

  3. My favorite phrase of the week “recognizing someone’s humanity.”

  4. “Did you celebrate?”  was a question Tim asked someone during a meeting.  What a great question!  It’s been echoing for me all week.  Ask yourself this question, ask it of your friends and family too when they tell you something great.  It’s a phrase that brings me back to equilibrium.

While I can’t guarantee I’ll have inspiration to blog as frequently as Tim, I do hope that this recent wave of things I’m loving continues, and I’m assured with the knowledge one never needs a reason to celebrate.  Happy Friday, Cincinnati.

Candice Jones Peelman