I mostly like to travel and volunteer because I get antsy if I stay in my comfort zone for too long. – Eden Sher
Earlier this month I had the pleasure of once again volunteering my time and my energy towards women’s soccer at the FIFA Womens World Cup tournament which held some of it’s games here in my hometown of Moncton, NB. Last year as a warm-up to this event, Moncton hosted some games for the FIFA U-20 Womens Soccer tournament and I volunteered there as well.
Let’s begin with the fact I was not a soccer fan. N’or was I ever a volunteer before. Infact I was a true believer that my time was worth more to me than to give to someone or something else. Selfish, yes. Am I proud of that? No! But I decided to sign up to volunteer anyway. Why? I am not sure. I believe when I first put my name in the hat, I just wanted to be in the middle of the action in town. I wanted to be apart the biggest event Moncton has ever hosted. What I forgot to take into account though, was that I would be meeting new people. Yikes!
You see, I am a very introverted person. I never enjoyed meeting new people, I always felt very awkward in new situations. I have always been afraid that I would offend someone or that they wouldn’t like me. So when the event last year grew near, I was petrified! What am I going to do? The thought of bowing out came across my mind many times, but I just couldn’t do it. My one virtue is to not give into fear, so off I went.
In retrospect I am so glad I put myself out there. I grew an appreciation for the sport of soccer and how much these tournaments mean to the athletes who dedicate their lives to their passion. I also grew as a person because of all the great people from around the world that I met during these two tournaments. By opening up to strangers, I was able to learn from others and because of that I have become a better person. I have always wondered what the big deal was when some people would look for opportunities to meet new people. I always dreaded the thought and thought they were crazy. Through my new experiences though, I now know why this can be exciting. There is so much to learn, so much to experience and so much in this life to see that no one person can do it all. It is through learning from others and listening to their stories that you learn from their experience, and you grow from their growth.
Yes, I realize. To some of you this story is pretty silly. But to someone who has had a lot of social anxieties in his life and has not had a great amount of experience in meeting new people. This is all brand new territory. Territory I am so glad that I explored. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and was so proud that our little community could host such a large event. This was a tremendous learning experience and it is something that I want to do more of when the opportunities arise.
586 / 1000 KMs walked | 29 / 50 blog posts |
12 / 10 books read