Choices and decisions

Not too long ago I had the experience of being flown in for an interview. I have to admit that it was an experience that I’ve never had before and I enjoyed the opportunity to travel without any personal expense. The position was for a job at my alma mater. It felt so surreal and full-circle to walk the same grounds that I walked as a teenager and be there in a different capacity. All my former professors seemed happy to see me back as a potential colleague. I met with the president and vice president. And all I felt was confined. It wasn’t that the position wasn’t nice or that I felt that it was totally out of my comfort zone. It was the expectations that came along with it. While I had a good college experience, it was also very sheltered. There were multiple rules that had to be followed in order to escape expulsion. While I had a genuine desire to give back, I realized that I didn’t want to teach or enforce rules that I didn’t have any intention of keeping. I appreciate people who are genuine and I knew that I wouldn’t be my best personal self if I felt conflicted between what was expected of me and my own thoughts and opinions. I’ve learned that sometimes the best professional decisions aren’t the best for me personally. I want to be fulfilled in a position but also feel that I can be genuine about my experiences and perspectives while learning from others. You have to learn how to say no to things that won’t benefit you in the long run. Now, to only learn that lesson about men…

Your vote and you

Like many people, I have to say that this presidential race isn’t anything like it was in 2012. I’ve never been very involved in politics but over the past year I’ve learned a little more about political systems and the importance of being aware and involved in what’s going on on a local level. That being said, this upcoming election is one that is especially impactful and has the possibility of some long term ramifications. Apart from all the rumors going around, I haven’t taken the time to read about the platform of each individual candidate. In a perfect world I would pick the candidate whose platform is in congruence with my values and perspective. There’s been some discussion around voting and if it really counts. And if you know anything about the electoral college, you know that there’s an additional step that allows a select few to actually chose a leader. Needless to say, so far I’m not a huge fan of either candidate. I’ve identified one whose views seem most contrary to my own but haven’t done my own research on all the details. It’s easy to have an opinion when you don’t have all the information; and I need my choice to be informed by facts and not just what has been put out there by the media because everyone has an agenda. I don’t know if there’s a such thing as “unbiased” when it comes to pushing your own perspective forward. I think that this election would qualify as a defining moment for the country. It would be nice if progress could actually happen instead of a bunch of empty promises and the perpetuation of discrimination and racism that has been alive and well for centuries. But I’m not going to hold my breath. 

Experiential Learning

A lot of my posts this year have been about making choices, trying new things and following through. Recently I had the chance to experience the results of a pretty deliberate choice that I made. I had to go against a lot that had been engrained in me since childhood and also through adulthood. Going off the beaten path of what was expected and doing my own thing. I’ve always wondered what life is like for those who adhere to a specific set of values and morals all their life without even considering that other people live by other sets of morals and are completely fine. Some people have a need to learn by experience. They don’t want to take any one else’s opinion because they want to know for themselves. I think I’m one of those people. While I can fully agree with vicariously learning in order to avoid life altering pitfalls, there’s something to be said about having a personal experience. Many times we can be so quick to take someone else’s word for it without being willing to investigate it ourselves. In my opinion, nothing good ever comes from taking someone’s opinion as truth without critically thinking about it for yourself. There’s a quote I read not too long ago that said “Question everything.” In the world we live in, thinking is essential. In addition to that, the ability to see things though a different perspective can serve as a conduit for new experiences and opportunities that others miss.