We often are posed with questions that we have trouble finding answers to right away. There are certain phases in your life that you know you will be bombarded with questions. We know they come from a good place, but man, are they ever frustrating. Whether you have just graduated, the hot topic is, “so, now what? what are you doing with your life?” or if you’re just starting out in a job, everyone must make sure that it’s right for you, with the questions, “so, why this job? are you sure? how did you know?” Justifiably so, it’s a lot of pressure to have the ‘correct’ answer. Even if it’s correct in your heart, it may be surprising to some to hear that you’re taking a gap year, you’re travelling, or you know, just trying to figure it out and take the days as they come. There is no way in our society today that it’s possible for everyone to travel down the same path and have the same goals. And we should see this as such a positive. It’s so exciting (and relieving!) to know that everyone around us is so different. It gives us more opportunities to collaborate, be creative, and learn from each other.
For instance, the other students in my Master’s cohort all come from such diverse programs. It seems like there are only a few similar undergraduate degrees. At first, it is super intimidating because you feel as if you have nothing in common. As a Communications graduate, how will I collaborate with an Engineer, a photographer, or a entrepreneur? After spending little over a week and a half in class, I can say it is so much more interesting working with individuals who are not programmed to think in the same way. Studying in an Arts program for four years, I found it difficult to differentiate myself from my classmates unless they had a diverse backstory or a set interest in another field. Combining different passions into one program is incredible, and I know there is so much more to learn.
Back to my main question, “so, why are you blogging?” I get this question more often than I imagined I would since I started sharing this platform. I can tell you it is not as frustrating as the “what are you doing next” question, but it still requires a lot of backstory.
I started blogging when I was 16 when my parents were going through a divorce. Ooooou getting down to the real personal stuff. I don’t even think that blog exists anymore, but it was an outlet for me to diarize how I stayed positive and happy. So cheesy, I know. I remember reading books, blogs, and listening to music defining happiness. I didn’t know how I felt about the whole family situation at the time, but I was trying my best to stay upbeat and focus on the good.
Fast forward 4 years, I was headed to Austria for a 6 month European exchange. As many of you know, I have a huge family. There are a loooooot of us. I knew the best way that I was able to accommodate every generation and keep everyone in the loop was to find one easily accessible platform for everyone to check in. I loved it. It ended up being such an exciting wrap up to all my trips (I went to 45 cities y’all…) It was something I looked forward to. It was therapeutic, relaxing, and genuinely made me happy. While I backpacking, I journalized all my trips and decided to post all the blogs when I got home so I could use my laptop. Fast forward again to September 2016 when I had arrived home in Toronto, moved to Waterloo within 2 weeks and was starting my final year. Suddenly, completing these blogs became a burden and were stress inducing. I was now bombarded with messages, “when are you going to post this trip” and “why haven’t you shared pictures yet?” As silly as it seems, I was so overwhelmed. Something I loved doing for personal reflection felt like a chore. As well, I started finding it hard to look back at these trips and reflect and go through the same emotions I felt from being away over and over and vocalizing them for my family and friends to see. I rushed through them and finished them all by December. I was sad and anxious for the future, and it was scary that this life changing trip of mine was all in the past. After that, I felt I had nothing to look forward to. The only other things I had on my plate were school, grad school apps, and my future (???) It was a lot.
Keeping up with the theme of fast forwarding…it’s September 2017 and I’m starting this up again. But, for myself. With no upcoming or undocumented travels, I’m focusing on what my 16 year old self did best, and that was how to nurture happiness and inner peace. Finding little things each day that bring me joy, as minuscule as they may seem to you, the reader! Blogging, again, I’ll say it, is super therapeutic, and I urge you to try it out. Don’t minimize the little things that bring you the smallest or biggest bit of happiness. Those are what count the most!
What is your hesitation to begin something that makes you happy? Or has the ability to alter your life in a positive way? I hope this post gives you the nudge in the right direction, and maybe inspires you to find something that speaks to you in an insightful, healthy, and happy manner. Sharing stories about your life, whether happy or sad is so empowering. You never know who is going through something similar, so may as well lend a helping hand in case someone needs to grab on.