Today was my last day at Mojave Desert Land Trust as I prepare for some final summer trips and the return to school in August. Moonlighting in the environmental conservation sector has long been something I was interested in pursuing so this was an experience that I have appreciated on many levels.
I liked that it allowed me to contribute to preservation and conservation during such a tumultuous time for the environment. I liked that I got to network with so many local and like-minded individuals. I especially liked the relationships I was able to cultivate during my time here. I’m looking forward to continued interactions; my work “framily” and I are planning to attend weekly trivia nights. Spoiler alert: we’ll slay.
I also liked that working for MDLT gave my summer vacation a purpose. Through the years I’ve noticed a trend wherein I invest a lot of time looking forward to break, go extremely hard in the first week accomplishing all the things I’ve wanted, am forced to nurse assorted wounds from said “going hard” during week two, the allure wears off in the third week, and by the fourth I’m in a full-blown existential meltdown. What’s my purpose? How am I contributing to the better good? Is this the life I should be living? What is life? Where all da people at? etc. Finding a summer job has completely alleviated this dynamic.
Clocking out today for the final time was therefore bittersweet. Summer vacation can begin in earnest, on one hand. On the other, my days spent fighting on behalf of public lands have come to an end, and that’s something I’ve really come to embrace as part of my identity. The sun may have set today on my time as a Desert Defender, but tomorrow the sun will rise on my first day of summer vacation.
Let’s do all the things!