The eAmbassador team was given a writing challenge to reflect on why we are where we are. This prompt is quite open to interpretation, and since I wrote about how Glendon brought me to the place I am now earlier this year, I’m going to talk about why: what I want to contribute to the world, and what I bring to the proverbial table. Here goes a potentially sappy self-reflective post, but anyways, these are my thoughts.
I’m here to be the best that I can be—but what does that mean? I have been asking myself that question a lot in the past few months. I am nearing the end of my (very structured) formal education pathway and the most common question I get after I tell people I’m graduating in the spring is “so, what are you doing next year?”. Please stop asking me that. Or if you do, and I say “I’m not sure yet”, don’t look at me with disappointment. I want to do something that keeps me passionate about life, learning, and the world. The number of people who say “do what you love” and “you can’t love your job” are just about equal, but it is something that I strive towards. Being at this stage in life is really hard. I feel like there are so many pressures to fit into the mold that society has pumped out (school, job, marriage, kids, retirement). While I do want that kind of life eventually, that’s not what is around the corner for me yet.
I want to travel. I want to see the world. I want to live my life passionately. Again, idealistic, I know – that voice in my head (like the Kermit meme) is saying “but how are you paying for this?”
I want to have time to read books and play music. I value my formal education very highly, but I also think that schooling can be incredibly restrictive. Since high school, I have found that I have increasingly less time to do activities that I enjoy and that fulfill my life… but I keep finding things I want to learn about.
In the past few years, I have met people who have inspired me to do great things (I just got a weird flash of Mr. Ollivander telling Harry that Voldemort was great, terrible, but great). I think there are people who come into your life and make you want to work your hardest – not to impress them, but you want them to be proud of you. Now, I know that seeking approval can lead down a dangerous pathway, but I think encouragement and motivation is also very needed.
In my Research in International Studies class I have learned so much about how academia is even more vast that we all imagined. I learned about the credibility of research, and in what ways we can listen to “unconventional” voices. I never imagined myself to be a researcher, but this class has been so interesting, and now I am so curious about how these types of research can be implemented into so many of my personal fields of interest. I feel validated because I learned that there are so many intersections of my identity that have been overlooked in my exposure to general media and even in academia, but there ARE voices, or the potential for voices to emerge, so I can find my own community of stories.
Writing is something that I have always enjoyed, but never thought I was good enough to do (basically until I was hired to do this job) – I want to inspire others who also don’t see their faces in the main stream. On the flip side, sometimes I often feel like I’m not qualified enough to investigate these topics – I’m not _____ enough.
However, my friend said to me yesterday that people like us are always striving to be the best that we can be, and often don’t see how amazing we are. I wrote about this last year about how I feel that acknowledging the good things about me feels like bragging – and when he said that to me I came to that realization again. There is so much pressure, which I think is self-imposed, to be perfect, and to please everyone that is important in my life: I honestly don’t know how to exist any other way. We also had a conversation about unlearning, and how it is so hard to be brought up being told what is good and what is bad (for the most part that has been correctly taught) but there are some institutionalized ideas that have been so deeply ingrained into my psyche that I might always feel that I can’t live up to those standards that I everyone holds me to. I think that this unlearning process will continue for my whole life, but I think I also have to re-learn that validity does not come through what “they” say. It comes from yourself.
Things that I want to be/do:
– to inspire others to love themselves
– to help others
– to challenge harmful streams of consciousness
– to be a light in a person’s life
– to provide for my eventual family (and also the family I currently have)
– not be worried about what people think of me
– do work that benefits others
I don’t yet know exactly how I am going to do that, and I think that’s where my difficulty in figuring out what I want to do after my undergrad comes from. I am passionate about many things. International Studies opens so many doors – I’m not sure which one I will go through first. I might not be working in my field of dreams (I don’t foresee baseball in my future) immediately after graduation, but I have hope that everything I have learned in my program and through my work experience will allow me to find the door through which my Narnia will exist.
Overall, I think the answer to #whyareYUhere is that all the experiences I have had at Glendon have led to me to this point where the world is ready for me to explore, and I am ready to explore it. While I think in some ways I’m more confused about my life than I was at the end of grade 12, I am a different person in ways that I would never had imagined in high school. I’m definitely happy with the person I am now, and I have opened my mind to so many things during my four years at Glendon. After graduation I am looking forward to pursuing my passions that have been ignited during my undergrad, and living my best life wherever the road takes me.
Song of the Week!
Higher Love – James Vincent McMorrow (I am aware this is a cover)
#HAM4BEY – Created By Michael Korte & Arranged By Jared Jenkins (THIS IS INCREDIBLE!)
Festive Song of the Week:
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Pentatonix