A New Page

After realizing that I’m losing track of the other blog posts I’ve written, I’ve decided to organize them into one place. You can check out these posts on my Contributions page. It’s really satisfying and gratifying to see my other works and that others value them. I hope that this is the case for those who find them for the first time. 🙂

 

The Opposite of Apathy

Growing up, I cared a lot about pretty much everything. I cared about being a good daughter, sister, student, classmate, friend, and person. I cared about school and getting good grades and pleasing everyone. I wanted everyone to like me.

Now that I’m witnessing firsthand (yet again) how young people think that it’s cool to not care about anything, I’m becoming confused and frustrated. It’s like high school all over again, except I’m the adult and (this is a stretch) the teacher. Now that I’ve grown more confident and sure of myself, caring “too much” is something that I am proud of being. So it’s really interesting to see the gap between people who think it’s cool to be apathetic and people who think it’s cool to be empathetic. We do our best to meet halfway, and sometimes we both get there. Sometimes, we don’t. And I’m learning to be okay with that – which might be another aspect of becoming even more empathetic, or at least patient and understanding.

Working at this particular summer camp has been transformational in a way that I would not have expected. I seem to be surprising myself a lot this year. I’ve been discovering just how patient and understanding and empathetic I can be. And – get this – creative, out-going, open, and well-spoken. Younger Camille would not have believed that she would come to love speaking in front of other people, let alone leading other people and wanting more of that kind of role.

Another thing that surprised me as a result of working at this camp is how much I’ve come to care about the campers. I want them to do well in life. I want them to come to camp everyday, even (and perhaps especially) if they don’t want to. I want them to become genuinely good people who will make a positive impact on the world.

This was hard for me to accept. I had grown weary of the daily routine of programming and engaging the campers, and putting so much energy and emotion into the job. I had wanted to just do the work and never see those campers again. And, of course, I was mistaken.

I’ve pretty much stopped wondering why I care so much. I’ve accepted that the reason is simply because it’s who I am. I’m always going to care about others and care for others. I’m not going to stop being invested in their personal development. I’m going to continue being in that role of a parent, counsellor, mentor, boss, leader, you name it. And if people have a problem with that, then too bad. I’ll eventually make them like me and want to do well in life. 😉

Imposter Syndrome, Part Two

I had written about not feeling good enough back in July, and thought I’d revisit the topic. I’ve noticed in between these two posts that feeling like an imposter comes and goes. That feeling has never really left, to be honest. It’s like it’s taken a vacation knowing that it will come back with regained strength.

I’ve been ready for it, though. Just yesterday, I was about to browse through strangers’ LinkedIn profiles fully aware that I would push myself into a downward spiral of guilt and inadequacy – but as soon as I knew what was about to happen, I stopped myself. It was one of the strangest “about to” encounters I’ve ever had with my ego. Yes, I was proud of myself, and that I had come a long way in how I compare myself with others… But I knew deep down that I could be better, and fully rise above that downward spiral and avoid that cliff fall into what we know as the imposter syndrome.

Which brings me to this video of Natalie Portman delivering the commencement address to Harvard graduates. She talks about going through the various stages of life (school and work and the transitions in between) and how she had a nagging feeling about how she wasn’t good enough to be where she was.

We’ve all been there. I had felt the same way when I was in school and other students talked to the professor at the same intellectual level, while I struggled to complete the readings. I had felt the same way when I started any job and saw how much of a family my colleagues had, while I felt like an outsider about to push the boundaries. Whenever these situations arose, I did my best to be as likeable and hard-working as possible. Often, those two things conflicted, especially when it came to my relationships with co-workers and superiors. Achieving a balance only came naturally when I was able to be myself.

“The only thing you can be the best at is developing your own self.”

This one line from Natalie Portman’s speech really stood out for me. I’ve always thought that being brave enough to be yourself was one of the most spectacular things that a human being could achieve. And developing your own self takes a while – often a lifetime – to accomplish. But is it ever worth it!

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

No Time for this Shit

I’m realizing that I am having less and less patience and tolerance for things that I simply do not want to deal with. I think it’s a mark of becoming (more of) an adult, and hopefully not a sign that I’m becoming a more negative person.

Relationship and friendship drama, rude behaviour, jobs that I don’t want, being in situations where I can’t be myself… I don’t want anything to do with them. I don’t have time for that shit.

Ignorance, apathy, people who don’t bother to learn about important things or to care about important things… I don’t have time for that shit.

People forcing their way into circles, people who aren’t considerate of others, people I know I won’t get along with, people who don’t share my soul… I don’t have time for that shit.

And the weird and wonderful thing is that I feel better when I turn away from those things and those people. I feel happier and liberated, like I have so much time and energy to devote to the things and people I do love. And isn’t that what truly matters?

I mean, yes, I still take into account what others think and feel, and how I can help other people become better while improving myself – but when it comes down to it, I want to drop situations and people who don’t allow me to fully be myself and who prevent me from reaching ultimate happiness. There’s something to be said about the many times that we all have felt walked over, ignored, or not given the opportunity to do what makes us come alive. We have probably brought that upon ourselves, but I think we can bring about profound and lasting change that allows us to cut that shit out of our lives and move along our path to fulfillment.

So we shouldn’t feel guilty about not having time for shit like that. We should feel like we’ve just dropped a load and intend to leave it behind where it belongs. (And yes, you can construe that into bathroom humour. I won’t mind.)

Brief Hiatus

Working at a summer camp can really tire you out. I had made time in July to write here, but now that I’m working in the youth leadership program, I’ve been thinking about work more often than usual. And while youth leadership is something that I’m really passionate about, it’s making me shift priorities in a way that I am not okay with.

I miss this. I miss writing, sorting out my thoughts, sifting through the words and finding meaning. I haven’t done this in a while. I don’t feel like myself.

I also miss yoga. A couple of days ago, I went into child’s pose (one of the most basic and relaxing poses) and felt so at home that I thought about becoming an instructor (not the first time). I actually feel out of shape, even though camp has made me lost weight.

I miss the freedom that I had at the beginning of this year, when I worked part-time and was able to volunteer with two organizations at once. I was able to write, do yoga, read, and practice self-care and mindfulness everyday. I want that back.

But, I also want a job that pays. And so I’ll get back to this when I can. I’m actually looking forward to the end of this job, even if it means going back to square one. I know I’ll be okay, though. 🙂