A couple of the bloggers I follow, including Yogi Crystal and Rob McLeod, have posted a series of questions that probe your innermost feelings and thoughts. I think perhaps I don’t ask myself the hard questions often enough, so I thought I’d give it a go, too. While I know I’m in the place I want to be in many ways, there are some still left outstanding and perhaps reflecting, and reading back, will help me overcome those obstacles. So, onto the intimate look into my soul…
1. What is your dream job?
My dream job is to pull together web technology, writing/communications and people. I don’t think I could work in any just one of those areas, but the combination really excites me. It’s funny, because I was cynical of communications when I was in school myself, but now I realize how rich and deep a speciality public relations is, having worked in it for close to 5 years.When I was in my undergrad, I tried getting into a class on human-computer interaction (HCI) but didn’t have the prerequisites. At the time I was disappointed, but I find it’s funny that some (too many) years later I’m essentially working in the softer part of the field. Life really does take its own twists and turns, doesn’t it?
Essentially, I love what I’m doing now. I am a communicator, I’m a project manager, I’m a web technical expert. It fits everything that personifies me into one position.
2. What fulfills you?
I really enjoy meeting new people and learning new points of view. I can’t say I always agree with them (sometimes they elicit strong emotions in me) but I still feel fuller for the experience. I read (fiction, mostly) but also scads of articles online about writing, communicating, web, social media… anything to do with my job and interests.
But I also truly enjoy helping others. I offer my assistance often, whether asked for or not; usually it’s gratefully accepted, sometimes ignored. But I am willing to put aside my time to lend a hand to any organization or person that I have a vested interest in, whether long- or short-term.
So, I’d say that both learning and volunteering fulfill me.
3. What’s your greatest fear?
Failure. Of feeling like I’ve wasted my time and effort with nothing to show for it. I hate being disappointed and, even more, in disappointing others. I hold myself to the highest standards and assume others do too, whether it’s true or not.
4. What do you want more of in life?
Memorable moments. I accomplish a lot: I have a full social life, I volunteer, I love my family, I enjoy my job and I even get out for vacations every so often. But I want more memories that I will remember my entire life, and can look back on and laugh or smile (or cry). When I look at my past, I see a lot of noise… I’m looking for the music notes to blare through.
5. What is your greatest accomplishment?
Right now, I’d have to say my career. It was a rough start, graduating with two (somewhat conflicting) degrees, Computer Science and Library Studies, but no experience. While I was first hired on a “good feeling” at CP, it was my perseverance, attention to detail and grace under pressure that got me drafted into the communications department. Long hours, networking, volunteering for any/every project, always taking the opportunity to ask questions to learn more, honing my skills… I am always trying to expand my horizons in my job. For myself, and the company that hires me.
Funny, because I’m sure many would think I’d’ve said my house was my greatest accomplishment. But, like I’ve told many, it’s all about numbers. Once you’ve done the math, a mortgage is really just like a big loan. That’s it.
6. What are you most ashamed of?
My lack of willpower when it comes to my health. I KNOW all the research, the guidelines, the diets… I know how I’m supposed to eat, I know how often I’m supposed to exercise. But, when it comes down to it, I cannot find the willpower to make myself become a healthier person. I can do it – I’ve proven it – but left to my own devices I’d rather give in to every unhealthy urge rather than work towards my goals. And that’s my biggest struggle right now.
7. What makes you sad?
Feeling helpless. Unable to help someone, or myself; feeling like no matter how hard I try, nothing I do will make a difference. There is nothing worse than watching someone you know (and love) struggle and not being able to do anything to make it better. And, yes, sometimes that person is me.
8. What is the hardest thing you’ve ever experienced?
Probably my first four months of grad school in Montreal. I moved across the country to live alone in a city where I knew no one and was starting a new program at a new school. I know the situation sounds similar to what I did for Vancouver, but I had a roommate, my parents helped settle me in, and undergraduate programs have a much more developed orientation & integration program than graduate programs do. I’m assuming this is why most people go back home for grad school, or stay at their undergraduate uni. I’ll admit the fall of 2005 was the closest I’ve ever been to depression (they’d probably call it a “depressive episode”) in that I cried a lot and had trouble dragging myself out of bed.
Lessons learned? Networks are key. Once I’d developed a close group of friends and actually started participating in outside activities, as well as exploring my surroundings and getting to know the area, things really picked up. I’ll use this knowledge for every aspect of my life going forward.
9. What is great about you?
I’m a modest person, so this one is hard to answer. Probably that I’m willing to try anything once, willing to give anything and everyone a chance. I like to explore, I am a risk-taker and an adventurer. I’m not afraid of change.
10. Who are you?
I think everyone is working to answer this question about themselves. I’m at an age where I’m starting to ask this question of myself a lot. Or rather, who do I want to be? Do I want to be an executive? Own a consultancy? Do I want to be a world traveller? Do I want to be a wife? A mother?
As for who I think I am now? I am a communications professional who is trying to make a mark in her organization and field; a supportive, as much as I know how to be, daughter and sister; a somewhat selfish but forgiving girlfriend; a devoted and enthusiastic volunteer; and, a friend that can sometimes be hard to get ahold of but will always make the time.
11. What inspires you?
Other people. All the time. How much more it seems other people, especially working mothers (parents), are able to get done in a day when all I want to do is kick back and watch a movie or read. Those who volunteer selflessly and balance lofty commitments with their work lives. My friends who’ve struggled with their health the way I have mine, but have overcome the challenges and become lean, mean competing machines. Homeowners who manage to fix the little things around the house, tend gardens, cut the lawn every other day and have immaculately pruned bushes and trees all the time.
And I know that not one person can embody every single one of these characteristics. That nobody is perfect, and we quite often don’t see the struggles and breakdowns in the background. But having such empowered people in my social and networking circles keeps me inspired, constantly striving to be a better person.
And now… I need a nap from all this thinking and introspection.