It’s All the Same…
by Brooke Ashley Lynn Salvanto
SHA Class of 2014, Deputy Director of Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen’s Museum
Bon Jovi’s words echoed in this Jersey Girl’s ears as she returned to work after three weeks away. Away from being bookkeeper, grant writer, event planner, community organizer, copy machine repairer, and goat feeder. Away from focusing on surviving the moment. Developing History Leaders @SHA provided the opportunity for time and space away from the same place to which I would be returning to think, reflect, challenge, and grow. Many people arrive at SHA with big plans to move onward and upward, thinking of it as a career stepping stone. I arrived committed to returning to Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen’s Museum, the place I call home, and moving it onward and upward. SHA’s greatest gift to me was perspective. Through the speakers’ generosity of sharing their collective experience, burden began to look like opportunity and change became my mantra. How would I hold on to this new knowledge when staring at the same desk and the same mountain of paperwork?
- Falling into old habits was not an option.
- Status quo would never be good enough again.
- Accept responsibility for being the change.
- If you are not being heard, speak louder.
I owed it to myself, the Seaport, (Bon Jovi) and John Durel. And I was not willing to let any of those people down. If you have not had the pleasure yet, John Durel is the moderator/shaman for SHA. His understated wisdom will inspire and guide you. On the first day back at work after a 20 hour train ride, I never went to sleep and walked in there ready. It was, in fact, all the same, but this time I was different. By association, I too was understated and wise. In trying times, I channel SHA, I share what I have learned, I ask questions, I encourage others (and myself), and I seek out opportunities for change. In the 113 days since I left Indianapolis, there has not been one day when I have left what I have learned at SHA behind. My coordinates remain the same, but everything else is decidedly different.