Did you ever have that feeling at the end of a school year, the knowledge that the summer would be restful and good and before you knew it, the school year would be starting again, and so even as the school year is ending, you have that anticipation of all the things you’ll be learning next year?

I’ve been out of school for a while, so I’m not used to having that feeling anymore. This fall, however, will involve a lot of learning for me, and a lot of self-management and willpower.

I’m finishing up a year of volunteer service in Davis, CA with a program called LEVN (Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network). My placement site is with Lutheran Social Services as an Employment Specialist Intern with the Youth Programs in Sacramento. This year has been amazing, exactly what I needed and more than I even thought I could hope for.

And now that I’ve had this experience, I know I won’t settle for doing anything less than my best. This was, in many ways, a crazy opportunity to go for (a year of “simple living” — read, minimal money — in a four bedroom house with 7 other roommates? Can’t tell me that’s not crazy.) But I’ve learned that the sane, safe options aren’t necessarily the best ones to help me grow. The things that let me stay in or on the edge of my comfort zone are going to feel safer, and I am more likely to get complacent, to feel like this must be good enough, like I should stay with the safe options.

I’m moving back in with my mom after LEVN, and she has offered to be my “patron of the arts” so that I can take a bit more risk, not pull myself back into my comfort zone for the sake of practicality.

I will be working on a couple of crazy ideas. The first one, I’ve already sort of mentioned on this blog previously; I will be working on Pear Comics, on networking and getting the Hey Kitty project in particular to be closer to self-sustaining (we pay our artist for pages, so we’re currently using GoFundMe to get additional funding, and soon we’ll be adding a Patreon account for Pear Comics in general). Pear Comics is an artists’ collective with the goal of promoting indie artists. By this time next year, I intend to have at least one other comic series in progress and….a lot of other fun things.

The second project is something I’m calling Budget Explorers. I want to work with people on creating budgets tailored to their individual goals and desires, making it more personal to work towards success — it’s not some abstract, “I’ll have more saved for something years from now, which is what I’m supposed to do, I hear,” but rather, “I have succeeded at funding ______, something which I hadn’t thought I could fund before.”

Of course, the possible problem with the Budget Explorers project is that people who most need the services are the least likely to be able to pay for it. I’m working on some possible ways around this, since those most in need are also those I most want to serve… This is why I created a Patreon for Budget Explorers: www.patreon.com/bebudgetexplorers. I also want to post things that I learn from the experience here on this blog.

What do you think?