Have fun when you can. Think all the time.

Music, Trees, Environment, BBC, Hardwood floors, Storytelling, Adventures, International development, Learning new things, Getting new perspectives, Writing essays, Water, Road trips, Photography, Spaghetti squash, Art, Books, Getting involved, Gingerbread lattes,(Not)Sleeping, Reading, Poetry, Falling leaves, Aging, Monologues, Prickly pear tea, Making lists, Politics, New ideas, Exploring, Traveling, Dinosaurs, Killer whales, Sushi, Pop Culture, Meeting new people, Barbequing with friends, Tubing down the river, Waking up early, Discovering new things, Trees, Empathy, Believing in the Power of Love

October 24, 2011

Elated with knowing we were in the right place, at the right time.

That pretty much sums up my life as of late. The stars have alligned, leaving me pleasentrly surprised, and eagerly embracing whatever comes next. The roots that I decided to put down after returning from Bangladesh have indeed been growing and things are falling into place.

Returning to Canada proved to be a challenge (as usual), espeically with so many unknows. I re-read my entry just before returning from Thailand and as a predicted, re-entry has always hit me particularly hard. “I am nervous (once again) to return back to Canada, to a bunch of unknowns and changing relationships with so much baggage--filled with not only souvenirs but unanswerable questions, frustrations, unsharable experiences, memories, and dreams.” (June 18, 2011) I think I can count the number of people I have shared pictures with one one…finger. That’s not necessarily because people don’t want to see them, don’t want to hear stories, but maybe because I’ve grown tired (and frustrated) of trying to explain things, share stories, bring feeling to places, people and issues. Moreover, no matter how hard I try, or how articulate I am the person who has showed genuine interest in ‘sharing’ my experiences can’t, and I’m left feeling more isolated than ever, alientated by my experiences. So I don’t delve too deep when someone asks me excitedly, “Oh, how was your trip?” and have continue to ‘compartmentalize’ the me who exists in Canada, to the me who exists abroad and is interested in development internationally so ease the relationship-shock but it hasn’t necessarily been the most effective method of coping. I think I will always have an issue compartmentalizing and trying to separate but will have to explore other ways of coping.

After a few weeks working for the lawyer, anxious about finding a job, and fearful I would be forced to remain under his reign indeffinitly, I somehow landed a job at Big Brothers Big Sisters, and with that entered the non-profit sector. (Yeeey!) It is a delight to work for such a respected and well known organization that (in my mind at least) is doing such great things for the community and taking an individual and preventative approach matching kids with mentors in a variety of different programs. The job has me constantly learning, keeps me on my toes and ensures not a day goes by where I am not inspired by the people I work with, my co-workers, or humanity as a whole. I am excited for what lays ahead and very appreciative to have this opportunity so young to develop both personally and professionally in such a supportive environment.

Not to turn my back completely on the international aspect, I am one of the co-presidents of Engineers without borders (EWB) at the University of Manitoba, which is proving to be more of a challange than anticipated, although a welcome one. EWB is a fantastic organization that does some great grassroots work both through advocacy and education in Canada and by working with governments and non-government organizations in Zambia, Ghana, Malawi, and Burkina Faso. It's my hope (and personal goal) that at the end of my 'term' the EWB UofM chapter will have a good foundation and starting point to jump off from and do some great things at the UofM and in Winnipeg as a greater community. Cross your fingers for me.

I've also been exploring the possibility of taking some courses with Mediation Manitoba as a way of continuing to develop my personal/professional strengths, besides the point that I find it fascinating and really enjoy doing it. I'm excited to continue to explore the possibilities, perhaps work on some side projects, and develop some skills that I'll be able to transfer to any situation I am faced with (in a working environment or otherwise) and see where that takes me.

Now for a personal development beef of mine. When I hear people, awestruck by the sense of community lammenting their own loss in our own 'industrialized' and 'individualistic' society say, “What a sense of community, I’d hate if development changed that. They should be grateful for what they have and stay the way they are, Canada [insert any Western Industralized country] isn't that great, we have our own problems.” I want to smash my head against a wall and scream, not necessarily at the person, but rather at the absurdity of the comment.

This infuriates me. I get the feeling of loss for our own culture and society and the feeling of sadness for what we seem to have given up to get our flat screen televisions and white picket fences, but it is absurd, ridiculous and unfair to impose our ideals on others because we are 'sad' for what we feel we have lost but are at the same time unwilling to give up our comforts in order to have back. Frustrating and pretentious. Mini rant now over.

In the moment,
Delaney C.