coming back from our trip to the beach in the car with the radio playing one of those songs you can imagine in a movie when the main character is leaving town on a night-train or something i looked down at myself, covered in sand and wearing garish flip-flops, my badge all tangled in with the seatbelt. my badge. and was it sad that out of everything i was giving up i was mourning my badge the most? when i got home i went upstairs and sadly took my badge off for the last time, putting in my memory box. just a memory now.
today was my last night as a volunteer at p7 youth club: coming up for three years, three lots of p7s, a rotation of youth workers, and so many laughs. i loved my badge – gemma: youth club volunteer, and a horrible picture, but it showed i belonged. i loved working behind the coffee bar and the relentless dishing out of ice poles, saying goodnight to the polish man, how each year one p7 would become my little minion, the phoning through to kathleen and meg at reception, laughing at malcolm’s ridiculous jokes, the things the p7s came out with, violent high fives with scott “look at the elbow, now”, and alex’s joyous dancing.
tonight i left alone with no pomp and circumstance, none of the p7s knew it was my last night, probably the last time i”ll ever see them. they screamed and ran around, jumping the waves and wading up past their waists in the freezing water, shivering and covered in sand; and in my head i could see their whole lives ahead of them, who they would grow up to be at big school. i walk around westhill and work and school and get smiles and hellos from current and previous p7s, who have listened to my stories and advice and who i’ve seen grow up. and when they grow up, when they become those people i see them becoming, i hope they remember me. that i made some kind of positive impact on their lives and they look back fondly and wonder what i’m doing. and that will be enough for me for three years of volunteering, i think. and now? i have to move on. everything is ending and everything is beginning. and i’ll be excited for those beginnings if i don’t explode with sadness first.