Don’t blink.

When I was offered a spot in the 2010-2011 City Year New Hampshire corps, I remember exactly where I was. I was seated in the northeastern corner of my parent’s couch, tapping away at my laptop’s keyboard, bored out of my mind with the work I was doing for my job at the time. My grandma and aunt were visiting from California but were getting ready to leave the next day. They were upstairs, packing. Both of my parents were out. I’m pretty sure I was still in my pajamas. It was sunny, not unusual for south Florida. Law and Order: SVU was on TV. Impressive that I can remember so many minute details of what was a pretty average day.

Then – insert dramatic music here – I got the email that told me I had been accepted to City Year. And what I did next I shouldn’t have done. There are a lot of things I could have done, but instead I made a huge mistake that I can never take back. And the crazy thing is, I still do this all of the time!

I blinked.

And now I sit here at my desk in CYNH’s downtown office, basically halfway through my senior corps year, and I find myself grasping at the last year and a half, wondering where it went. Wishing I had taken more pictures or wrote down more thoughts or just stopped for a second to breathe and look around.

As December approaches and winter begins to intrude on fall, I know what is just on the horizon: the tough times. When the work load gets more overwhelming, your homesickness becomes more nauseating, and the days are literally darker. When, in all honestly, I had my I-want-to-quit moment last year.  At the time when blinking as often as possible seems like the best thing to do because you just want to get through it, this is the time to stop. Don’t blink.

Take a picture. Write something down that inspires you. Get to the balcony and take a look at where you are now.

City Year is an intense and fast-paced experience, but from a different point of view, you can see how awe-inspiring even the most overwhelming moments can be.











And appreciate it.

Because at some point, you will have to blink. And you’ll be so thankful for the moment when you dealt with the uncomfortable feeling of air hitting your pupils and of tears blurring your vision, because you’ll be able to relive the incredible journey that you took from average to extraordinary.

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2 Responses to Don’t blink.

  1. VilmaRodriguesSilva11CM says:

    I love this abbi!!!!!! ❤ ❤

  2. carol j says:

    Abbi – so beautifully written. Brought tears to my eyes. I know exactly how you feel and at 59 years old, I want to stress to all of you remarkable corps members – take Abbi’s advice – don’t blink – record your journey in memories and with photos and with your words. You are all on such an incredible journey! Share with others – spread the word about the good work City Year is accomplishing!

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