Things have changed since I published my last blog. Then again change is always happening, so that should come as no surprise. I seemed to have had a moment of discouragement on my part. The thing about having a car without a working radio is that it gives me a chance to really think about something. This is when I am able to think more clearly. I gave myself a little, for lack of a better word, pep-talk and forced myself out of the panicked and self-stressing feelings I was engulfed in last week. I found that by not worrying so much about how something is going to get done I am freed of much mental weight. I have never really been good at relaxing, – considering that I am keen to take on as many project as possible at once – however, for my sake I chose to calm down and not take on anything new for now.
This past Wednesday the Western Region and Glendale ANCA chapters visited the Asbarez/Horizon office and met with their editor, Ara Khachatourian, and, to be frank, I did not want to stop listening to him. He was so full of knowledge and opinions that with the short time I was there I felt that I had learned so much. With each question asked he answered in great detail along with answering more than what the questioner had asked. In some cases this would not necessarily be the most entertaining, but I think I can speak for the group when I say that he was a very enlightening person. It made me realize that how much responsibility and much work it takes to run such an organization; and, how all this is taken on by such a small group of people. Talk about no pressure. When I asked him how he takes on such a project he told me that it wasn’t the group of people that take on the responsibility but the belief of keeping it going. This really put things in perspective for me, and I left Asbarez with more than I had originally anticipated. If you are reading this Mr. Khachatourian, thank you!
As for me, with myself bringing me back to reality and back to my “go with the flow” attitude along with my new found perspective, I have lots to do and am comfortable with the time given to complete each item. Finally – after 18 years, better now than later – I have taken the initiative to better learn time management. Ironically, that was one of the points Will and Haig told us interns that they wanted us to learn and take on with us after our time here is done. At least for me, lesson learned. Just in time as well, considering the new adventures I will be beginning this summer. This has brought a new wave of excitement for me and I am glad that I have finally reached this small epiphany. That’s life I guess.
This week I had a few slip ups—forgetting to check in right away, not copying William and Haig in my emails to local chapters, and formatting media reports correctly. The list goes on. Naturally, I don’t like to make mistakes. By constantly interacting with and motivating one another, I’ve learned from my fellow interns that it is fine to make mistakes, as long as I learn from them. As I progress through this internship, I do begin to understand exactly what is meant by a learning curve. I am exposed to such details that come with running a political organization and I learning quite a bit, and very quickly!
I learn something new every hour that I am at the office. During this past weekly meeting, Haig lectured about the ANCA’s involvement in Armenian-American issues on the federal level. In particular, I enjoy Haig’s lecturing style. He constantly involves us in the discussion, prompting us to provide input and feedback. I also enjoy his lengthy answers to our short questions. While the first few minutes might answer the question, he delves into a more detailed response that leaves us wanting to ask more questions and learn more things.
Through research and even direct experience, the more I understand what ANCA is about, the more enthusiastic I become about being a part of the organization. After reading about what the Armenian Cause 2.0 Leadership Conference entailed, I wished I had booked a flight straight to Washington D.C. But I am excited to hear what William and Haig have to say about it when they come back.