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What I've Become

By Naomi Desilets, Community Fellow

Not all that long ago, I was a DISASTER in the kitchen. The permanent scars in my parent’s kitchen won’t ever let me ever forget it. A decorative rug now covers a spot where the linoleum melted after I threw a pot of something that caught on fire on the floor in an attempt to save the wooden cabinets.

If someone had told my younger self that I would be the head chef (and manual dishwasher) for a daycare when I got older, I probably would have laughed at you. But here we are, 11 months into the Community Action year, and I have not caused any kitchen disasters in my tiny daycare kitchen.

A few weeks back, one of the toddlers gave the cutest explanation for my job. The conversation went like this …

Child: “We need a Maker for our house.”

Mom: “What is a Maker?”

Child: “Like Miss Naomi. She is a Maker, she makes things. We need one for our house.”

I may have melted just a little.

As I wrap up my time with AMI, I look back and see how I’ve become a more confident “maker” - to borrow the lingo of my kiddos -

A more capable Cook

A more successful Baker

A more creative Gardener

A bolder Chicken-processor

A loving Teacher

A calmer Public Speaker

...the list goes on.

As my time in Monterey starts to wrap up, I am trying to balance being fully present in my final weeks, while anticipating and preparing for my next steps. I’m still in some denial about having to say goodbye to the people who have become family, but I’m also nervously excited to jump into new projects and adventures. I now find myself with a clearer idea of where I want to go moving forward, and how exactly to do just that. After 18 months in these mountains, I see how I can continue with the ongoing important work happening in our food system using my passion, creativity and hard work. These experiences will stay with me forever, shaping my vision and commitment and informing my contributions to the next community I am excited to make my own.

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