A hard pill to swallow

It can be very trying to collaborate with individuals that just rub you the wrong way. I am very glad that I can be very flexible and at least understanding when it comes to navigating difficult professional relationships. Whether it be personality clashes or polar opposite attitudes, I personally found it valuable to demonstrate an ability to work with a variety of individual’s personalities, communication styles, and over all attitudes. Have I met individuals that I would not want to work with if given the choice? Yes, of course! However, I will not allow another person’s actions to dictate my reactions. I can’t control anybody or anything but myself. I am responsible for myself and the actions I take. I aim to have thoughtful actions. I do not like to blindly react to things without analyzing a situation first. Even in emergency situations you need to think quickly before you act. It is like a reflex for me to analyze before jumping into something. My overall thought is that it’s important to know yourself, be aware of yourself,  and try not to allow an external individual take control of your reactions and outcomes. 

Fragmented

If things had gone differently I wonder what life would have been like? I feel like I am longing to understand a part of myself that I never really got to know. The culture I was only exposed to in bits and pieces. I feel fragmented at times. I know nothing of the mother tongue of half my lineage. Parts of me want to explore, parts of me feel cautious and weary of my naivety, and parts of me feel too far removed from the culture I never truly knew. 

Reflection

As I prepare to complete another year of my life on this Earth, I like to reflect. I think I’ve done well in terms of my professional development and personal growth. I feel as though I’ve begun the transition from the planning phase into the implementation phase. All the things I hoped, planned, and prepared for all of these years have​ begun to come to fruition. 

I do feel blessed to have all of the opportunities that have been afforded to me. I am grateful for the mindset, coping skills, and motivation my family and community have cultivated within me. I am thankful the paths known and unknown that I’ve traveled thus far. I think I can sum up my year like this: you’ll never quite know what’s around the corner until you get there or you have a better vantage point. As I go forward another year wiser and eager to learn, I will work on putting action to my words. Time step into the water; just getting my toes wet is not enough for me anymore. Here’s to a year of dreams, hopes, and plans manifested. 

Uncertainty

What do you do when you hit a fork in the road? There have been many times in the past when I was uncertain and just plain stuck between decisions. Do I change my field and complete a professional degree or do I go to graduate school and remain in my current field? Do I take that position or do I move for a better potential opportunity elsewhere? Do I stay or do I go? I could go on with the many options that I’ve encountered over the years. As I reflect, I notice that it wasn’t that I truly was uncertain it was more that I was fearful of the outcome if things didn’t workout or lacked confidence in my ability. In my heart I knew the option I was more in favour of, but I also knew my choice was often the more risky option. In the end I usually ended up going with the safer option.

 It’s a difficult decision the tred the more risky path, especially if you are not the only person your choice will impact. After deciding upon the direction I wanted to take my life I said “why not try the risky path” the worse thing I could do is fail. I’d rather try and give it my all than stay too safe and constantly wonder if I would have made it. Would I have been great at that? I am in the process of motivating myself not to settle for mediocrity and complacency. I don’t want to have regrets to ponder about decades from now. There is a time and place for “safe” decisions there also times when you know deep down that you want to try and take the risk. When it comes to decisions regarding the overall direction of my life I now ask myself  if I had no fear and no doubts which option would I choose and why. What is really holding you back?  

Refocus

Sometimes it’s good to realign your actions with your values. It can be challenging, in a world seemingly littered with obstacles, fear, destitution, and heartache, to maintain your identity and follow through according to your values. There’s a time to rest and repair yourself and there is also a time to step forward and continue on your path. Well for me, it’s more like simultaneously shifting in and out of self-care, refocusing, and continuing towards my goals while reminding myself to help the people around me as well. Sometimes we get off track. It may a little detour or it may be a bare footed journey across harsh terrains to reach our goals. Our path can always be rerouted. Some ways are longer than others. All that matters is that you arrive eventually. Sometimes the places we think are the destination turn​ out to be pitstops. We simply reset and continue onward. 

Vulnerability

Is there strength in vulnerability? I think so. In the moments when one can leave themselves open to the world or a person I think there is a certain  strength and bravery needed. I my youth I was privileged enough to be in a position where I could positively impact and come in contact with other youth and young adults in some of their most vulnerable moments.  Some of the individuals I had interacted with before in my daily life. It was always emotional to see the difference when someone let down the mask they showed the world and let their vulnerability take centre stage as they sought a change for their life.  There is something so empowering about people exposing their souls, raw and unabashed, as they earnestly seek to better themselves and the lives of those around them. I am always moved when I see another youth or young adult earnestly trying to improve themselves. I sometimes have to restrain myself in public because I want to cry, cheer them on, and proudly slow clap. I love to see people doing well and progressing despite their circumstances. When I see youth and other young adults lost and dejected it hurts my soul. I want to go to each one and tell them to raise their head up. You are not your circumstances. You are not the negative words people have spoken about you. You have so much potential. Who has convinced you otherwise? Who convinced you to settle for less than your potential? There is more than one way to reach your goals. Failure is not the end of everything. It is often the beginning. As the saying goes ” if one door closes try the window”.  Let me lend you a hand! Two heads are better than one. Let’s figure things out together. Of course that would seem strange running up to people like that!  I think youth and young adults will always have a special place in my heart.

Sometimes being receptive to change and being honest and open with yourself can be uplifting not only for you, but for the lives you may touch knowingly or unknowingly.

What drives you? 

What motivates you to keep going? What drives you to get back up every time life knocks you down? After maintaining basic necessities what is it that makes you say “this is worth it”. In times of defeat and despair what makes you dust yourself off and get back in the ring? These are questions I ask myself as I reflect on choices and contemplate decisions. Will I thank myself in 6 months or a year for this decision? Will I wonder endlessly about the potential possibilities if I walk away from a challenge? Personally, the one thing I don’t want to wonder about and possibly regret is my potential. I’d rather try and fail than sit on the sidelines wondering what could have been if only I had not been afraid to take that first step. 

One thing that really gets to me is seeing people walking parallel to their full potential. Stuck in path never to intersect, whether it be due to socioeconomic, mental, or physical circumstances and barriers, they are looking over and wondering what could have been. You can’t change the past but you can certainly direct your path going forward. If you want it, go for it fervently. If there’s a barrier you can’t go around, you may just need to bust through even if it’s a small opening. Take it down brick by brick. Use any helping hands and resources you can find, even if it’s just one pair. Share your goals with few even though you will be surrounded by and working with many individuals. Not everyone you surround yourself with is meant to be within your circle. Some may not be there to build with you, but merely spectate or discourage you. I say this because social support is important even if you have just one person that can encourage you when times get rough, it can help keep you afloat in stressful times. As you go along your journey I encourage you to ask yourself what drives you and where do you want to go?