Some people say that staying busy is a way to distract ourselves from issues we have within us. I believe that is true.
Last year, 2016, was a mixture of extremes. Extreme luck for being chosen by the government as a visiting researcher for their 3D printing program. Extreme sense of belonging in a co-op housing filled with amazing people who would really make you feel at home. Extreme challenges, psychologically, that literally pushed me to my limits.
I will no longer expound on things of the past, but my experiences in 2016 catapulted my activities for 2017. In 2016, I felt I didn’t have a voice to speak my truth. So when I came home, I made clear what I wanted and made sure that the world will hear. In 2016, I felt like a prisoner while working. So when I came home, I pursued what I wanted, not allowing anyone else to ever tell me again what I should do with my life, be it in career or personal decisions. In 2016, I was crushed and rebuilt only to be crushed again so many times by someone I considered my friend. So when I came home, I felt distant to people I considered very dear before I left (except my family). No more writing of letters. Hiking trips together no longer became priority. I would reach out or allow them to come through my “wall” from time to time, but there was something in me that preferred not to be seen. Not yet. I was, and probably still am, running away from 2016. Maybe that is one reason I feel comfortable in my “new” environment. Technically, no one knows me in this new project. I have never worked with anyone of them before. It was my way of starting anew. I can be my (new) self without being judged based on who I was before.
I needed to drown out the voices of 2016. Voices who told me I was weak and unworthy.
Now I have started a movement in our university and gained support locally and internationally. I am fearful, yes. But better be afraid working for something I know will give me meaning than to feel safe while living someone else’s life.
At the end of the day, I will still choose to be grateful for 2016. It has molded me into who I am today. Cracked here and there, but stronger and with more will power to leave a mark in the world by creating positive impact together with people who share the same vision.