First off, let me say that I acknowledge my recent absence from writing. And while I am a tad disappointed in myself, I must say I am by no means surprised that writing hasn’t come too easily to me these last two months. Between exams, final assignments, and just trying to get my graduation and move back home in order, writing has seemed like less and less of a priority, which I now realize is such a mistake on my part… because the writing helps. It really does. Let me also say that when I began this blog, I never made any specific promises to myself in the form of “I’ll write one post every two weeks” or “I’ll try and set aside one hour each day to write.” Maybe I should. Maybe I will. I do know it works for others, but right now for me and where I am at, this blog is an escape. A stage on which to play out my thoughts, opinions and daily struggles and joys. My stories. Right now, for me, writing when I feel I must or sharing a story when I feel it is the right time is enough.
With that being said, I am graduating! And I am so so happy to say that because for a while there it seemed as though Lupus would get in the way of that, but I am proud to announce that it didn’t! And that I am done my final exams, and in June will be receive my degree with an honours specialization in Media Information and Technoculture and a minor in French Language and Translation. I have officially moved back home and am completely lost as to what the next stage will be for me. But I am happy. Scared, but excited. And I feel like that is important to say. Yet even with something so rewarding and exciting as graduating from my undergrad coming up I still can’t help but feel the pressures of not having found a job in my field yet; the little voice in my head whispering to me that I’m a failure.
A little while ago I had a job interview with an adorable events, marketing and public relations firm in the city. It would have been my dream job. I learned that I was one of six out of 150 people to receive an interview, and the youngest of the bunch as well. When I got the call saying they were asking me back for a second interview, not only was I shocked, but thrilled. Both interviews went well, but unfortunately the company ended up going with another girl. I can’t say that I wasn’t disappointed. I felt as though after the past year the universe somehow owed me some good news. But I think it is important to know that we are never owed anything. You need to work and try and try again for the things you seek in life.
I am so grateful for that interviewing experience. For the connections I have now started to make in my field of work thanks to that interview opportunity. For the friends, room mates, and family members who have insisted and made me see just what an accomplishment it was to even receive an interview in the first place…. to even be graduating. So why was it that I didn’t see these as such accomplishments at all for so long then?
I recently watched an episode of Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday surrounding the concept of having a “calling” in life. It really really effected me. In fact it moved me to tears which may seem anything but normal. I find myself crying over such ideas quite often lately. On my way home from an exam, before bed, during a movie. They seem like silly, unnecessary tears, but they are very real and feel anything but trivial at the time. I never used to think that everyone had a calling in life, or an ultimate purpose, but truthfully it has become a more and more appealing possibility. The idea that I was put here to do something special, for some specific reason. That one day I may discover once and for all the epitome of a balance between success and fulfilment.
I find it easy to sometimes feel as though I am surrounded by people who have already found their calling. Friends and family who know exactly what it is they want to do. Who are so passionate about their work and who are already making a difference doing what they love. And I can’t help but crave that type of passion and fulfilment. You see the problem is I would be happy doing so so much. I would love to write, to be an event planner, to act, to own a business…. the list goes on and on. I’ve always felt as though I didn’t have my niche. That maybe I really didn’t know what it was that I wanted to do or that I had somehow chosen wrong; that maybe I wasn’t going into the field I was meant to work in.
Last week, with these ideas weighing heavily on my mind, I began to frantically take career quizzes online… I know, not exactly the most precise or insightful of the career counselling tools. But what happened each time I took one of those stupid little quizzes was remarkable. Over and over again I would get the same results. Maybe they weren’t stupid at all. I was being told by these websites that not only am I in the field I should be in, but that it would be possible to combine it with my interests somehow. Why I needed an online automated quiz to tell me this I do not know, but sometimes it is the most simple things in life that take the longest for us to figure out.
After all of this I came up with a chart. A plan. Really a dream.
These are the things I like, I am passionate about, that I am good at, and that I would like to do. I may not be an artist, or an athlete or a beautiful singer, but I am many things rolled into one. And I so believe that one day it will be possible for me to find a career combining all of the above. And until then? Well until then I plan on continuing to be happy and grateful. I’ll go back to my high school job, the same one that helped put me through school and start paying down my debt. I’ll keep interviewing with companies until I find the right fit. I’ll graduate. I’ll continue to take better care of myself, kicking Lupus’ ass. I’ll read more. I’ll write more. I’ll love more. And I’ll be more kind to myself.
Deepak Chopra says that “To be happy for no reason is the happiness we want to experience,” To be so fulfilled by who we are and so secure in self-love that no external factor controls our happiness. This of course may sound a little idealistic and almost impossible, but it is definitely a concept that has had me thinking this last little while. The idea that I am not defined by my career successes or failures may be difficult to swallow yes, but it is also such an incredible relief.
This summer I would like to be happy. Focusing not on what I want to do, but who I want to be. Realizing that right now, even in this moment of uncertainty and fear of what is to come, that I am happy. And that that is really all that matters.
One of my favourite professors gave me a gift during one of our last days of class. It was a book by an author I had mentioned in passing to him that I liked. On the cover of the book was a yellow post it with a simple message telling me to read the book on a beach near running water. I think that that is exactly what I will do. I think that I’ll start with doing just that.
A quick little health update for those that are interested…
I still have Lupus yes hahaha but recently I like to say that I just have a “little bit of Lupus” because quite honestly my quality of life is so incredible that it feels as though I am not sick at all! So cheers to that!
My muscle inflammation levels have dropped completely down to normal, and I will hopefully be off of my steroids (prednisone) in about a month! (Again, lets drink to that!) I am still doing some weekly injections and am on my regular medication, but again I am hoping with time to cut those down as well. I am working out again, going to spin classes, doing some strength training and really building my strength back. I feel incredible. I feel healthy and strong and alive. My hair is beginning to grow back… seems trivial, but if I am being honest it is such a relief.
May is Lupus Awareness month. My room mates have vowed to become butterflies (typically associated with Lupus) for the entire month. I’m not asking you to transform into an insect, but maybe you could start with reading up on Lupus on Google, or donating to a Lupus organization, or maybe just by telling a friend.
I would so appreciate it. As always, thank you for reading.