The past is the past–leave it there.
I don’t buy into that train of thought. If I left the past behind me and forgot about it, then how would I know where to go next, or what to do? Who we are today is dependent upon our past. All of our actions, thoughts, jobs, experiences, and memories have shaped us. It would be a shame to let all that go to waste, right? I think so.
On occasion, I think about my past. I think about when I was younger and where I wanted to be and who I wanted to become. I must have changed a lot over the years, because I am nowhere near the point I thought I would be right now.
When I was a child, having a learning disability was frustrating and uncomfortable, and I felt stupid. I didn’t even know I had a learning disability until I got to college. Little did I know that my disabilities would become a big part of who I am and determine how I act or think and what I do. I never thought my disabilities would end up helping others, or that I would help others with disabilities.
I started out college as an art major, but after some time, I thought it was too impractical. Then I got practical, went into the sciences, studied, and worked in the field for several years. I got my degree in molecular biology—I know…what was I thinking? But, it was interesting to me at the time, and still is today. Then after working in several science jobs, I decided that my true calling was researching, writing, and teaching others. I eventually settled on becoming a career counselor for people with disabilities. Now that I am a counselor, writer, and mentor, I sometimes forget that my science background is still there. Occasionally, it will sneak up on me while I am watching nature shows or out hiking. I don’t realize that it’s still a part of who I am. I can’t forget that, because it was one step in my journey to where I am today, here at ILWAD.
My point is this: our past makes us who we are today. All the good and bad things that we do or that happen to us—all of it is important. I have been asked if I have any regrets, and that question always boggles my mind because if I had regret and wished that my life were different, then I might be a different person altogether. Well, I like who I am, so I am thankful for all the things in my past. There were a lot of barriers and hardships, but there were also good things and good relationships, and overall I am happy with how my life is. I thank myself for making the decisions that I did, because I am here with you all, right now.
How has your past shaped you to becoming who you are today? What experiences have made you a valuable member of ILWAD? I would love to hear your thoughts. Here’s to our future!