While scrolling through my Tumblr dash this very chilly morning (it was a balmy 51 degrees in my apartment this morning plus I have hardwood and stone floors…brrrrr willies!), I came across this quote by Maya Angelou (she just has some of the best quotes, period).
I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.
Originally when I was plotting out this post after reading that, I thought I would do the obvious link of my struggles with eating and body image. But really, this applies to everything. My parents divorced when I was 16 and now whenever people hear that I never want to get married and that I am a child of divorced parents, they immediately think it is because of my parents. Yes, my parents divorce absolutely changed me, how could it not? But my views on marriage were formed long before my parents split up and long before their marriage took a turn. I refuse to let my opinions of marriage be reduced by my personal life.
I absolutely have been changed by the turn of events that transpired after I finished grad school. I graduate thinking I would get a “dream” job right off that bat because of my education. Many people have expressed their “disappointment” for the position I ended up taking. But I can honestly say, this position has been great for me and helped me grow and develop not only as a professional but as a human. It helped solidify my passion for wellness. My love for research and data and consulting and poorly constructed sentences. While I have been changed by this position, I refuse to let others reduce me or think less of me because I didn’t come out of the grad school proverbial blocks sprinting. Mainly because I’m a horrible sprinter, but I have endurance. But I didn’t get the typical job out of grad school. I didn’t go into HR or consulting (my master’s is in Industrial and Organizational Psychology) like the majority of my cohort. Did I think this would be my first job? No. Did I think I would be doing what I am doing now? No. Have I been changed by these events? Absolutely. Am I reduced to my job title? Negative. Do I enjoy answering my own questions with one definitive statement? Sometimes.The point is this. Life happens. Events happen. Do these things have the power to change you? (Ok, I tried to find a meme of Gru from Despicable Me here because whenever I say/write/think “absolutely” I always think of Gru…). But do they reduce you? Reduce who you are? No. They add to the story. It’s another layer.