I find interesting things when I clean. Usually I'm looking for something specific and I was when I stumbled on some old school work from 2001. I keep a lot of things in my Dropbox. I found a report I had done in 2001 during my second year studying social work. A chiropractor visited to talk to us about how we can choose to live our lives. I found it moving and I've kept this report since and I expect I will continue to do so for a long time to come. Here is that report:
To: Bill Ingwersen
From: Rae Anne Roy
Subject: Dr. Kristin Sheppard
Date: Monday, November 12, 2001
Guest speaker, Dr. Kristin Sheppard spoke to us about the tenseness in society today and why she believes people are so depressed.
Dr. Kristin Sheppard is a Chiropractor. She resides in North Bay, Ontario. She spoke to us on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 at 10:30 a.m. in our Wellness class.
Dr. Sheppard talked about living life out loud and how more people need to. Living life out loud involves caring less about the little things that make one’s day bad. When you do something silly like pull into a drive thru and are not close enough to the window so you have to get out of your car to pay, it’s okay, no big deal, shrug it off. Everyone does things like that and worry so much about what other people will think instead of just going about your day and feeling good about being you.
She talked about how we make each other sick emotionally. She buys coffee by the pound and there were no more one-pound bags. She did not want to buy 2 half pounds because it is more expensive that way. This really depressed girl dragged a big coffee bag out to make 1 pound instead of giving her 2 half pounds and charging her the price it is for one. The girl never thought to ask her if that would be okay.
Another occasion involved a drive thru restaurant where employees are supposed to be friendly yet get in trouble if they take any time to be. The result there being a quick, “Here is your change, have a nice…” Slam the window goes down.
Another example of living life out loud is Dr. Sheppard’s involvement in musical theatre. She sings horribly but went out and sang anyway. She got lead role in a musical through persistence even though she really cannot sing.
Dr. Sheppard says to beware people that say to think positively. If you decide the best way to deal with a death in the family is to think positively, it really is not good for you. The best thing to do is feel what you feel when you feel it and not to dwell on the past. In other words, give yourself downtime to reflect on what is going on in your life and then go and live it.
I learned that if I really want something, only I can make it happen. Her words were real eye openers. It really is too bad that more people don't offer a friendly smile to one another. We make each other healthy through our daily interactions, if we choose to.
I'm pretty sure this experience is one of the reasons why I live as I do. Why I'm less afraid than others to go after the things I want. The rest comes down to life experiences. It probably also impacted on me because it was about a month after 9/11. For those that weren't alive then or too young to really know what was going on, I was at college and saw the unedited broadcast where bodies fell from windows. A thing like that changes you. Though it was in New York, my hometown has a large military base that is part of NORAD, which is close to the college/university main campus. We were sent home until further notice.
A couple of years later, I had switched to computer networking and while we were in the middle of a server format for a project, a major electrical blackout happened. We had to leave school. My friend acted as a crossing guard at the highway intersection until police arrived to do that. It was much later that we discovered the blackout was affecting much more than our little city. All we could do was sit outside and eat barbecued food. No restaurants could make anything.
I haven't always been a seize the day woman. When I was young, I could barely find words when I needed them. In grade eight, a girl that sat behind me was snapping my bra. I asked her to stop, but she kept doing it anyway. So I punched her arm. Well, naturally that's what the teacher saw and made me wait for her in the girl's restroom to ask why I did such a thing. I was still quite uncomfortable with bras though I'd been wearing them for four years by then. I couldn't talk about it. I said it was nothing. It was stupid. I couldn't tell her what had happened. The teacher mostly let it go. She was a smart woman and knew I didn't often do bad things. I had to copy definitions from the dictionary instead of having recess. The girl left me alone after that. She told me she had a bruise for a week.
There were girls that I used to play with in my neighborhood. One day they told me the people that lived beside them said they shouldn't play with me because I was a bad kid. I never figured out if they truly thought that or just hated me or if the girls were lying to me. The couple that lived beside them had rarely interacted with me. I fell in their pool one time when it was nearly empty and hit my head hard, which gave me quite a lump. Other than that I'd never been to their house. Was it because I hung out with a lot of boys? I had more boy friends because they weren't gossips and they liked fun things like role playing games rather than playing house.
I guess the point is that I've learned that no matter what you do, someone will find fault. Even if you're a kid who almost never gets in trouble and is always polite, someone is going to dislike you. So you have to learn to stand up for yourself and go after the things that matter to you. You have to find your words and know when and how to use them.
And you'll fall along the way, but it doesn't matter. What does matter is how you deal with the missteps. That's why I like watching the 2nd and 3rd performances of Bogdanova Sofia skating in some ways more than the first one. She doesn't let them faze her. She just gets right back up and continues her program. This so wasn't me in my last martial arts grading. I had a melt down and couldn't perform.
Maybe you have a dream and right now you feel like you're the worst at it and wondering why the hell you're doing it at all? Maybe it's drawing and you feel like you can barely make something look like anything more than scribbles? Check out how these artists have progressed. Also there's a great talk about drawing from this guy at Blender.
If it's writing, keep writing but also read books about writing, read outside your genre, and enjoy living life.
Yesterday I went over to Algonquin College to get my OSAP number and password. As I walked through the halls, and especially the arts section, I felt deliriously happy. I'm so excited to be returning to the arts and to be going after my dreams. I'm trying to learn as much as possible before school starts in September.
Whatever you want to do, find a way because everyone deserves to be happy.
PS: No post tomorrow. I'm traveling to visit family for Easter. Hope you have a good weekend!