New Year, Same Desire For Personal Growth

New Year, Same Desire For Personal Growth

I’ve been putting a lot of focus this academic year on personal growth (Thanks OceanPath, #blessmrp) and the new year has seemed like an ideal time to reflect on what personal growth has taken place and what habits I want to work toward. I use the word habits because it’s the habits and daily actions that will get me toward a final goal but also set me on the track for success even beyond that goal. And so, I’ve formed my resolutions into habits.

I’ve taken inspiration from many other sources (on the shoulders of giants and all that) and so I’ve linked to other blogs/sites etc when appropriate!

Habits to continue:

  1. Being aware of how I talk about women and girls. Very often women, young women and girls in particular, are talked about in ways which place value on their looks first. ie “You’re looking great!” “You look like you’ve lost weight!” “Have you changed your hair?””She’s so cute” And while there is a time and a place for this, I want to prioritize supporting women for their intelligence, strength, creativity and drive. SO enough small talk about folks’ hair. I want to here about your passions.
  2. Not saying sorry when really I’m not sorry. My mom gives me flak for this one.
  3. Reading more. I used to read almost non-stop. On my way to school, when I finished my work at school, on the way home from school, after school, before bed. You get it, I was a bookworm. Until university. With the amount of reading to do for school, the last thing I wanted to do in my free time was read. But books can be a wonderful way to learn and expose yourself to other ways of thinking. So starting with Hillbilly Elegy (thanks Dad!) I want to get back into reading more this year.

 

Habits to adopt:

  1. Observe (and modify as needed) how gender roles influence my actions. It would be naive of me to say that even though I’m a feminist I don’t suffer from internalized sexism and misogyny. I know I do certain things because as the women in the room/house/department/class etc I feel obligated to. And I’m done with that. Thanks to Bustle for pointing this one out!
  2. Reconsidering my consumerism. While I’ve always been a proponent of supporting local/independent/small business, there’s much more to consider. I want to look towards supporting businesses owned by women, POC and other marginalized folks. I want I focus on buying clothing that will last and avoiding fast fashion. I want to focus on buying clothes I feel good in not clothes my friends say look good but I know I will never wear. If I have to engage in capitalism I might as well be putting my money where my mouth is in respect to supporting marginalized folks, the environment and social justice.
  3. A morning routine. I am not a morning person. At all. Ever. BUT I know sleeping through the morning is a waste of my time. I want to learn to be able to set myself up for success and find a morning routine that works for me.

Habits to lose:

  1. Spending way too much time on social media. Yeah, I do this. It’s bad. Starting at law school in the Fall I want to work on cutting down on my time on social media and working on only using it in productive ways so I can make the most of my time in law school and focus on the #grind.
  2. Staying in my comfort zone. I want to work on doing things that scare me. I want to face rejection, I want to face failure and I want to be terrified. Because I know these are things I’ll have to do sooner or later so I want to start sooner. I want to find ways to do this in my life every day.
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Am I the diaspora?

Am I the diaspora?

Many aspects of my identity, particularly over the last few years, have been linked to my relationship to my Algonquin community and the town where it is located. It has framed how others think of me and how I think of myself in relation to others.

But going back home and working within the community in ways I never had before has ,e questioning my claim to this identity in ways I thought I had moved past. I’ve often struggled to deal with the question of whether or not I an Indigenous enough or Algonquin enough. Before I had been battling questions from non-Indigenous folk asking if since I didn’t have status if I’m really native, but this time around I’m battling with questions from me wondering if I can claim this identity that when I’ve spent so much time away while others have been there fighting the fight.

However reconsidering the idea of diaspora. Merriam-Webster defines diaspora as: a group of people who live outside the area in which they had lived for a long time or in which their ancestors lived. I do fit this definition. But to me when I think about the term diaspora there are many other aspects and nuances that come to mind. I think about people maintaining connections and history with their past and origins. It also brings to mind people supporting their home and community while living away.

I do like to think I have done this in some ways. I like to think in some ways I have been fighting the good fight just in a different way. I have supported Indigneous student activism at McGill and in Montreal and I’ve supported Mohawk students in working towards post-secondary education.

So maybe my identity is to be for now, part of the diaspora and recognize I have been fighting the good fight from a different angle, but each battle leads towards resurgence.