I messaged close friends and announced the closure of AVEH. I had spent so much time and energy thinking and doing the action that I hoped would lead to the expected outcome. A few setbacks in funding the social project and closed doors left me disheartend yet we still pressed on. When we couldn’t afford the rent on the property where the workshop was to be built we pressed on. When the village began to lose faith in our abilities to provide the lessons and support promised we pressed on. When the only two members driving the project burned themselves out – Ni Luh and I together we pressed on.
On and on we went with nothing but ourselves to offer and donated school supplies. Endless meetings from the USA to Indonesia with emailed yet unread proposals for the project left me exhausted and distracted. I put my ‘business’ on the back burner. I didn’t design a single dress while in the USA. Everything my entire life for this past year has been about building the success of this project so that we can empower big change through young Indonesian girls. A few friends agreed that I should take care of myself first and to put the project on hold. I saw the words ‘don’t give up’ turn up on my fb message. It was from the partner of Ni Luh. I had spoken with him the night before about how discouraged and confused I am about taking AVEH forward.
When I got home, there was Ni Luh waiting up for me. Tired from a long day of work and then Masters studies she leaned against the wall. She talked the most she has talked since we met. She said that my greatest challenge is in fighting for an outcome I have set in my mind. I must accept the process. She goes on to explain how we must learn to take care of ourselves to care of others, but also that we are an example to the girls. She reminds me that ‘there are many more villages and many more girls that need our help. Just because we may fail in one village doesn’t mean the end to our work. We are still learning and working toward changing not just the lives of 12 young girls but many girls’. We agree that there has to be a stronger foundation to the project so that we can grow. We need government support and community partners. There is no need for us to attempt to carry the mountain. We must only climb it with patience and love. So here we are going on and on and on….lucky to have the support of friends new and old. You are the fire that fuels the belief that I want to blow out. I have taken the challenging path because I want to, I know that this world is deserving of more than we are currently giving to humanity. If we all took our own unique step in stimulating beauty and kindness through our character, I would fall in love over and over with this dream realized.