I Am Blessed by Jeff Lucana

I am blessed to have been a part of the 2020 YOU Fall Rally. The theme was “Happy Little Accidents”, focusing on sharing and understanding the mistakes we make in life. The Rally was filled with inclusivity and greatness as I got to see and engage with my Unity community once again. The pandemic has afforded me virtual opportunities to meet with other teens throughout the southeast region during a time we cannot gather in person.

Through each day, we had family groups, an activity where we were broken up in groups separated into virtual rooms for us to discuss and engage in activities relating to the theme of the rally with each other. We also sang joy songs through each day, for example one person would sing a song and the rest would sing-along. Each day had a different song, and it was fun to be engaging in something as a community, even something as simple as singing.

On the first day of the rally, we had a virtual concert after our family group, one of my favorite parts of the rally. It feels so good to be listening to performances with others, I know it is virtual, but I try my best to feel like I am with everyone as much as I can. The second day scheduled a mediation and workshop event after our family groups. The workshop event had us doing activities and discussions to better understand the mistakes we make and feel free to talk about them. When I shared my mistake of how I handled my schedule poorly, I felt more positive as I let go of what seemed like something holding me down. When you share your experiences and mistakes with others, you feel better as some weight gets lifted off you because you shared what you were feeling with other people. That was the type of feeling I felt there. I shared my mistake, something positive that came out of it, and how I am different because of it. From my mistake of handling my schedule poorly, I now understand the importance of the times set for each event in the schedule, a component that seems so insignificant yet very vital to understand. If I had not shared my scheduling challenge, I would have not understood it better and thus I would probably be making the same mistake again without taking  time to stop and think about it. Sometimes, you do need that time to spend thinking and reflecting on your challenges so that you can do better next time the situation arises. I encourage you to take some time out of your day to look back on an error or two. Examine them and see something positive that can come from it, and think about how different the difficulty has made you as a person.

To end off our second day, I contributed a vespers activy to the night, an event where one person shares a talent or does storytelling to the whole group of attendees. I shared a story that taught me the lesson of pursuing your true decisions and passions leading me to greater benefits. This story took place when I was in middle school. It is about how when I opened up to my computer science teacher about my big interests in the subject.  He cared enough about me to lead me to opportunities to take me further in my interests. The best example of this had been through a video game system he implemented in his class. Based on the popular Star Wars, the game gave students the chance to earn points through completing assignments, to buy power ups with fake currency to assist on assignments, and to pick an occupation class to better define themselves as a player. Here I shined with passion and made an everlasting bond with my teacher, which I still hold true to this day.

Our final day was spent with mainly family groups having with heart talks. This is a time in which we go around a circle sharing whatever we felt to say to our group from our hearts. I was interested in hearing the stories and experiences my group was going through. For me, it's always interesting to hear experiences from another person’s perspective. After the heart talk, we came back into the main virtual room for closing and goodbyes. We ended by blessing everyone and their contributions, taking a group photo in our rally T-shirts, and saying final notes before ending off the event. I made sure to thank the Regis, sponsors, family group leaders, and other coordinators for making the event possible. And with that, the event was over. Thank you very much for reading my experience letter, I appreciate your time and efforts you take to learn about experiences like mine and hope that they will provide you with some inspiration and motivation for the future. Thank you again and I hope for you to read another one of my experiences soon. I can’t thank my sponsors and the Board of Unity of Gainesville for giving me the opportunity to share in these life changing experiences. 

Jeff Lucana