Sunday, March 8, 2009

Weathering the storm

March has been an odd month for weather. Sunshine, rain, sleet and snow in one afternoon. We had a snow storm just the other day. How have I weathered the first week of March? In February, I wrote about many projects I was working on. I had a positive response to a talk I gave to a class of occupational therapist students at the university. After receiving 5 or 6 applauses, I was on cloud nine. I answered many questions and received big thank yous from the instructors. They said, they try to teach theory, but for someone to come in and share their story so beautifully and vividly was very much appreciated.

My submission to Front Magazine was rejected. I have been published in their magazine quite a few times in the past. Perhaps I've outgrown them or vice versa. Also I did not win the February writing contest at Secret Attic, however, they did send me an invite to submit for March. Which I've already done! I followed up on two queries to local small presses. They both replied to me in a polite, efficient manner. I felt respected.

I've come to the conclusion, I'm not as intimidated by someone's status, economic, educational or otherwise as I once was. I am a valued person on this planet as much as others. If someone with great credentials talks to me, I'm happy but if a cashier smiles at me and says thank you, that's good too. Humans from any walk of life are still biological beings with similar DNA.

I could have attempted to go on in education, but I chose not to. I think others who want to achieve that for themselves is an admirable goal but has no bearing on me and my decisions. No one's life is perfect. Mine included. I think compromise and patience are important to get along with others. Life isn't about being right all the time. It's about navigating, learning, interacting with others and believing in yourself.

I'm not able to control my environment or situation to a great extent. However, I can attempt to change how I react to people and conflicts. I can get angry and complain but usually it blows over and things settle down. Unfortunately, I don't fully recognize the impact my behaviour has on others. Instead I may be too caught up in my internal dilemmas which causes my judgment to be skewed. I wish to be empowered and at the helm of my own ship. Sometimes it's harder to stand up for myself, than give in and be passive. However, taken to the extreme, self-determination may have negative results if I stop listening to others. Forgiveness and compassion are important skills to have. Life can change people. I will probably never stop learning. Healing can still happen.

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