– no actual tips, just a bit of complaining so people know it’s normal to feel troubled –

Written by Alisa Kivirian

Long-term volunteering project is taking months. Countless days and never-ending hours you get to spend working and living (not necessarily but) together with the same people. Same faces, same vibes, same features that you may or may not like. Your colleagues and your mentors. Constant challenges of finding an inner compromise shutting yourself down for the Big Great Common Goal.

You know, every family, couple, a pair of best friends or a team goes through a crisis sooner or later. It’s inevitable. Firstly, you probably will always feel like fighting and standing up for yourself but the more issues you face, the harder it gets to keep explaining the same obvious things to the same people who are not able to hear you. Or maybe you are the one not able to hear what your so called ‘friends’ are trying to tell you? What if they are all right and you are the one who is the problem? The one in need to work on yourself? Obviously, no matter if you are in a conflict with someone or not, one should constantly keep working towards personal development fighting the demons of the dark past. But…

I often feel like I am not supposed to be where I am now. Being quite a confident person knowing my own worth and working hard to get things in life, I would never guess I will face this problem so soon. Even though I know I am good at the things I do, it takes only one phrase from anyone near me to feel like I’m the worst person in the world. You may know that you are the most suitable person to work with the kids but ones you hear ‘you can’t be able to show someone how to find self-trust if you are not able to trust yourself first’, you start doubt your abilities. And it might all be true but this is where the paths split for different types of people. No matter what you hear from people who might have seen a lot in life, there is hardly a person who knows you better than you know yourself. Dividing personal and professional is important and if your private problems and situations are not trying to haunt you on your work place, you are doing alright.

And if you are a person like me, very stubborn and with strong opinions, working and living with the same people, being on top of each other all the time, you keep fighting and crying and fighting and crying and fighting… And at one point, you feel like you are ready to give up. You just don’t want to be here and now. You are done trying to rebuild yourself after every conversation with people who try to bring you down, consciously or subconsciously. Challenging people is nice but only when it’s reasonable which is not always the case here. You are just done and regret ever coming to your location and meeting the people you’ve met. You regret everything and want to come back home (if you are lucky enough to know where your home actually is by now).

Is it just a phase? Am I gonna sleep on it and wake up feeling like I feel perfectly fine and haven’t had a single fight and haven’t heard and said a lot of offensive things? It might be. But it as well might be not. And if it’s the second option, it’s all cursed.

But no, being, as mentioned above, very stubborn, you don’t feel like giving up just yet. No matter how bad it gets, how much you might miss ‘your’ people, how tough it gets to collaborate, you don’t quit. You ask the mentor to change your team, you stop talking to people for a while, you write an article which will never be published just to let your feelings out. But you don’t quit yet.

It’s normal to feel this way. It’s normal to cry and not be in the mood. It’s normal not to feel like doing anything. But it’s not normal to be toxic towards people around so they feel like I do writing this.