It's official! I bought my airplanes tickets tonight! On January 23rd, I'll be flying from Montreal to Zurich then from Zurich to Dar es Salaam! In addition to that I have also managed to catch up on 11 other YCI deadlines!
I promised myself this summer, that I would make a more conscience effort to be more aware of when I seem to be standing in my own way. I realized this was becoming a problem of mine when I began to seriously assess where some of my stress was coming from: the amount of pressure I put on myself and how impatient I can be with myself.
My solution to this was to more of a realist than an idealist for the time being... And be on the pursuit of happiness, not matter how unconventional the means!
Ideally, I would be able to make my typical ambitions come to fruition... Be really involved in university life, in different clubs, volunteer, maybe hold a simple job to gain transferable skills and experience for my foreseeable career... Live a balance and healthy life.
Realistically, I'm aware that I'm still grieving and dealing with a lot of complex emotions including unpredictable episodes of PTSD. As a result of this am not 100% as capable as I may have been three years ago to balance the type of schedule I'd like or produce the quality of work I'd like at school. While emotionally compromised, it's only fair to reevaluate my expectations. Keeping them up high would only guarantee disappointment; a very counterproductive feeling to give yourself when your striving to feel more fulfilled!
I needed to be more kind to myself. The first thing I opted to tackle was my academic path. My strong distain for Ottawa U has been getting stronger and stronger by the day. Administratively speaking, they have caused nothing but problems. To make a long rant short, it's simply not the place for me.
You wouldn't guess it by how I am at Ottawa U, but I love being a student. Post-secondary education should be an enjoyable experience! Especially since all the material people are studying are subjects they chose and are passionate enough to make a career out of! I'm an enthusiastic person and don't want to do anything I don't have a certain zeal for! With that in mind... that is precisely why I reassessed my own academic path. Knowing that Ottawa U wasn't for me, I began to search for alternatives, applying to anything and everything just to create options and opportunity for myself.
Enter Youth Challenge International. One long application process later, I become a Youth Ambassador for an international development project based in Tanzania with a special focus on youth health. A chance to get hands on experience with experienced people in the environment I hope to work in someday. The first thing I've had to look forward to in YEARS. Not weeks. Not months. YEARS. After a rough October and November of struggling to get through what will hopefully be my last semester at Ottawa U, the only thing giving me energy or bringing me happiness was this trip which served as a light at the end of my dark tunnel.
I'm proud of myself for following through on a promise I made to myself...
to better my life, live at my own pace and on my terms.
In many ways, it's easy to be skeptical that it may not be the best time for me to embark on this journey for fear that I still may not be able to deal with the stresses that come along with moving into a third world country, in the home of locals, living authentically without basic necessities, in a dramatically different culture where even the language is foreign. Yes, it's easy to be skeptical. Although that may scare most people, it exhilarates me! I'm voluntarily putting myself in that position for upwards of half a year and I haven't been happier. I'm so eager to learn to in every sense and feel like I have purpose!
I deserve this adventure.
It's the stuff my dreams are made of.
I'll end this with a snapshot from one of my virtual trips to Zanzibar, curtosy of the streetview function on Google Maps: