Next weekend I will be presenting my research on social innovation and Aboriginal health at the Public Health Policy in Asia conference at UBC. It’s both exciting and nerve-wracking considering that my fellow panelists are either professors or PhD students. Nevertheless, I feel that this event will be pivotal in terms of where it may lead my career, either in or beyond Vancouver. I’m hoping it’ll be the former.
I remarked to my Uncle one day how quickly things can change in one week, to which he replied anything can happen in one day, one hour, one minute. He was exactly right. Plenty has transpired since November 1, the month that most Vancouverites have told me is the worst month of the year, but I don’t think that it was. It got off to a rough start but now everything is pretty good. For one, I’ve met so many new, interesting and colourful people. My social circles in Vancouver have expanded rapidly, and I feel content about where things are heading. There is still uncertainty, that is unavoidable, but it’s also serene. And it feels good to have the pieces you give away to be reciprocated.
I’ve found that speaking with people who’ve had to struggle through their lives, or faced some hardship and obstacles, is much different than speaking with those who’ve mostly breezed by with an EZ pass. This is not a judgement on what’s better or worse; it’s simply different – world view, character, values, beliefs. It explains why I have the close friends I have, the ones I feel like I can confide in and count on always, because it’s that shared experience of wading through shit that bonds us. It has nothing to do with skin colour, gender, body image, sexual orientation, education, or what have you.
And it’s those people who have had to deal with shit that have the best stories to tell. They’re the ones who evoke the greatest trust. The ones with lessons to share. I can never wish that I had always gotten things to go my way, because I’d be a radically different person than who I am now, and I don’t think I would like that person as much. I do feel like I have something to give now, something that goes beneath the surface.
It’s hard to put my finger on it. It’s definitely good novel fodder. I’ve taken up hip hop dancing and soon bouldering as well. Collecting MTG cards too. Trying new things, putting myself out there. It’s actually working. I think people are noticing.