Today, I emailed my First Nations Liaison Education Counsellor. I gave her an update on my status. No not my Indian Status. Status update on my grades and other things in life, just a quick update. I told my liaison counsellor I was working two jobs for the summer. The second job, I came across just by chance. I emailed someone, told them I was interested in knowing more (because I was interested in knowing more…) and **voila** Seriously, I didn’t expect this second job, and I am very thankful for it. When I see another person who is struggling to make ends meet, whether student or not, I can relate, and I give thanks for the opportunities given to me because I was that person before … many times.
My liaison counsellor, in response to my exciting update, replied with a “Good to hear, but don’t get burnt out.” Don’t get burnt out I thought to myself? Well, someone has to pay my rent, and since I live on my own, the only person fit for that task is … well, me. I sometimes envy my peers when they get to go home for the summer. When I see them talk about their “cool summer concerts” or “cool new car” or “cool new $300 bar clothes”, yeah, I’ll admit… I’m jealous. A bit. But then, I remember all the cool things I have, like my apartment that I work hard to maintain on my own. My cool family, who are there for me when they can be (even though they live far away) and are there for me no matter what. My new friends I made at school, who I see how hard they work to achieve their dreams. Aboriginal or not. I am thankful for everything that I have.
In the beginning, I was worried about this summer. I was worried about how was I going to pay rent? How was I going to afford groceries? Would I have to ask for help from someone? Asking for help is the hardest thing someone can do. Especially if you don’t want to feel like a burden. I told my family. I told my counsellor at school. I almost broke down. I thought: Would I lose my apartment–the apartment that I worked so hard to maintain and care for? Then, one day in an entire different conversation with my mom over the phone, she told me a story about responsibility when I asked her for input on a speech I was preparing. A speech I was attempting to prepare totally unrelated to this post and to my apartment.
My mom told me the story of the little boy who lost his jacket because he didn’t take care of it. She was trying to tell me a story that was told to her by an elder at a conference. She ended up telling me the lesson to be learned from hearing this story, and the lesson is this: if you take care of the things you own, your things will last. That is responsibility. Taking care of the things that belong to you. If you take care of the things that belong to you, you won’t lose them.
Here I was worried about losing my apartment, how I would afford groceries, how I would “make ends meet,” yet I was learning a story on responsibility. If I take care of it, I will not lose it (yes of course, still have to pay rent but that’s like taking care of it).
Sometimes I never know why people tell me things or why people share stories with me, but the more I think how it ties into my life… I believe even more now that everything happens for a reason. Even though I worked hard at maintaing my place, making it my safe-haven, and working hard at school, applying to scholarships, I was taking care of my life. Being responsible. Trust me when I say this: When you work towards the things you want, like really truly want, without any hidden intentions, things happen. Good things. But don’t forget, from the words of my liaison counsellor, don’t get burnt out… Take a break 😉