It turns out, we were taking a deep dive into how our own past experiences have shaped who we are becoming. The first question we were asked was “What would be your defining moment?”, which is another way of asking what moment made you who you are right now. For me, my defining moment was going to the University
of Nebraska. Moving away from my hometown of Hartsville and my parents was a big deal, on top of it being 2020 (COVID year) for my first year away. It was a very emotional year that helped me learn more about myself.
The next question we discussed was about crucibles, or challenges, in our lives. We drew a life map on flip charts stuck to the 7-foot windows facing East Spring Street in our office. We starred life events that we considered to be crucibles in order to discuss them. My main crucibles began after my high school graduation.
In 2018, I went to USC Salkehatchie, a junior college in Allendale, SC to play baseball. Over those two years I dealt with two deaths in my life. I experienced the first during my freshman year. During baseball practice, my teammate collapsed on the field while we were running sprints. We were all in shock watching as he left in an ambulance. My second experience with death during that time was in my sophomore year. Right after we played a double header in Cary, NC, I received a call from my mom. She put me on speaker so that I could deliver any final words to my Grammy.
Dealing with these two very impactful losses right before I went to Nebraska was difficult. Suddenly, I was alone and facing a heavy workload. I developed a lot of stress and anxiety that I still deal with as I head into my final semester. In our book discussion, however, I wasn’t the only one to tell my story. Some of my peers shared as well, and it was great to be able to hear them and understand their defining moments and crucibles.
This meeting was therapeutic. It was nice to speak about some of my defining life moments and share them with my fellow interns so they know a little more about me and where I’m coming from. I hope that is what I can do with the people in this community— listen to what they want or need and truly hear them in order to make a difference for them in this community.