One day someone told me I needed to figure out what inspired me to keep me going and I nodded my head and sipped my tea acknowledging them. Less than three months later I found myself sitting in an office with someone who told me the same thing and a wave of tears rushed over me. Why? Because I had no idea what inspired me. I had no idea what I was passionate about and it made me feel like I did not have a pathway in life.
Finding what inspired me and what I'm passionate about has been a journey. I've tried to fit into these boxes my friends have made in regards to what their passionate about and what inspires them. It worked for me for a short period of time, and then I would become bored and not the least bit interested in things anymore. This year, things seem to be different. This year in addition to being a year to improve academically has been about a year improving emotionally.
What I found out about me #1: I actually love psychology and HATE social work.
For the past year I've been telling people I'm going to become a social worker. I convinced myself this was going to be the perfect pathway for me and I was going to find a job and help people. The thing is, I actually hate social work. Most of the social work classes I took were heavily psychology based and I convinced myself from this that I wanted to be a social worker. I have many wonderful friends who love social work and will be great social workers (shout out to Tristan) but it's not for me.
Social work is not all about therapy. Social work is like this giant puzzle involving social policy, and justice, and a variety of issues including therapy. I realized I want to be a person who spends their entire day listening to people's stories. Listening to what they have to say and guiding them to empower themselves. This is what counselling psychology is all about. I want to be able to handle mental health issues like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder, this is where clinical psychology comes about.
And once I realized this is where my passion lies, I became inspired to find a grad school. I'm not talking Google search: APPLYING TO GRAD SCHOOL IN PSYCHOLOGY, I'm talking buying a 980 some-odd page book and reading it four or five times to bring it down to 10 grad school choices among Canada and the USA. I met with multiple professionals who have gone to grad school and picked their brains about their application process and kept finding out information. When I became inspired, I worked my butt off to get to my goals.
What I found out about me #2: I am inspired by hard working, humorous women.
I never really had a mentor in my life from the university stand point of my life. My mother has raised me to be a hard working, humorous, hard headed lady but it's always good to have more than one person to look up to. On a trip up north, through many tears, I poured my heart out to someone for the first time in my life about how frustrating it is to have parents who don't understand the academic world as badly as they want to and about how nobody ever says their proud of me. In the course of 15 minutes a person who barely knows me was able to highlight all the ways that I reminded her of herself. I became inspired, that if someone has gone through these things and has come out of it to be a badass female, then I must be able to do it too.
And then I have a mentor who has been in charge of a big volunteer group I worked with last year and now is one of my bosses. I admire her hard work, her hilarious personality, and her ability to be an ear and empower you. She doesn't solve your problems for you, she gives you ways that you can move forward and coaches you to how you can be better. She is adventurous and the lessons she has comes from years of being an amazing student life professional who has travelled and embarked on many adventures. She helped my confidence grow over the last year, and every conversation with her ends with me hoping that I can be as amazing as she is some day.
What I found out about me #3: I have the ability to change the world.
I never knew that I inspired people until someone told me they looked up to me. I never thought people could see me as a counsellor or going to grad school until I asked someone. I am a listener. I am someone who will take the time out of her day to hear your story and not talk over you. I will provide you with a hug when you need it and give you the tough love you need. I am empathetic, not to the annoying point of "I KNOW EXACTLY HOW YOU FEEL BECAUSE THIS ONE TIME I..." but to the point I can assure you that I hear what you have to say. I have the ability to pick up my bags and move and get an education with an adventure attached to it. The little things I do inspire other people now, and will continue to inspire and empower people for as long as I can.
Discovering myself is painful at times. It means breaking down the tough walls and having sensitive moments. But it's worth it. It's so worth it to finally discover things that make me happy and that I find myself wanting to work towards. I know as far as theories such as Erikson is concerned I'm way behind on the development scale. I spent my adolescent years trying too hard to grow up and handle problems too big for my age then discovering myself. This is my time to do it. Where I'm as free as a bird and as willing to learn as I ever see myself being.