RSS Feed

Tag Archives: zen

Small Pleasures

…That pure, utter thrill of joy I felt today upon checking my Great Exchange email account and receiving three inquiries from people who had found the program independently. One from a special needs case worker who wants a job at the Great Exchange (to which I had to sadly reply that our budget is literally 0, for the time being), one from a parent of a disabled 19-year-old who’s interested in the program, and one from a group of students at Rice University who want to volunteer with the Great Exchange on their Spring Break.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt such gratitude for the small push of forward momentum via a source that seems completely out of my hands. And on the day before Thanksgiving, of all times. Thank you, thank you, thank you random emailers. May you always help me rejoice in the simple (profound?) pleasure of reaching people.

And thank you, blog readers, for joining me on this slow and steady journey. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Zen and the Art of Grant Applications

I just sent off my first grant application! And I learned something very important in the process.

Well, it was technically an award application, but if I receive it, I’ll get $5,000 for The Great Exchange. I discovered the award within one day of the deadline, so the process of writing it was a five-hour, 11-page, mind like water experience of trying to reiterate my passion over and over in meaningful ways.

As I send off my heart, categorized and packaged into a strange, evaluator-friendly format, I’m a little surprised that I’m utterly empty of expectations. Of course I’d love to secure the first small chunk of The Great Exchange’s budget. Of course I would. But I’m simply not expecting to receive this grant, nor am I expecting not to.

I’m just happy that in a couple months, I won’t have to wonder about what would have happened, had I only submitted this application. I hate “what-if’s.” I hate them so much that every time I go to my favorite restaurant in Austin I try a new dish, despite knowing exactly what my favorite dish is.

Today, after this submission, more than feeling excited or nervous or hopeful, I feel content. I suppose you could call it the sheer enjoyment of eliminating a “what if.”

I’m glad I arrived at this feeling naturally, because it seems like a fairly profound way to avoid becoming defeated. I think the process of applying for grants will be much easier when I see each grant not as a make-it-or-break-it means to an end, but as another “what if” put to bed.

100 grants won or lost won’t be 100 grants won or lost; they’re just 100 ways in which I won’t have to wonder anymore.