Director of Fun & Chief Adventure Officer, The Everyday Weekend (https://www.facebook.com/everyday.wknd/)
"Think of yourself as a piece of art; not everyone’s going to get it.” My friend Joan gave me this advice several years ago when I was feeling misunderstood and I’ve used it to guide my life ever since.
As human beings—and especially as women—it’s easy to fall victim to self-doubt and negative thinking. Now, anytime those nagging feelings creep into my mind, I remind myself of that art gallery analogy. I picture myself as a weird and wonderful painting, and I am aware of some shadowy figure squinting their eyes and cocking their head to the side, trying to make sense of me. I see them shuffle away confused and I stay exactly where I am, confident it’s where I need to be. Because other people are interested. Plenty of people “get it.”
But what is “it”?
For me, “it” is right here. Right now, in this moment, in this place. Atlantic Canada is bliss. I was born and raised in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada—and I intend to die here one day too. It’s too great a place to intentionally leave. It’s not a “drive-through province.” It’s not a “have-not province.” It’s definitely not “Nofunswick.” It’s that colourful, unique piece of art that only attracts the right people.
Atlantic Canada is a lush and beautiful place, and one that is taking root and growing into its true potential—as are the women who inhabit it. Like many of the trees around us, we, as a community, are evergreen, everlasting. And we all have an important role to play in the next stage of growth—whether that’s personal, professional, provincial or beyond.
The pressures of work, home, and our constantly-connected society can make that tricky, but not impossible. I found yoga as a way to relax and develop healthy coping skills for our busy modern life, and it has helped me gain a fresh perspective on everyday life so I don’t need to wait until the weekend to feel happy. My hope is to share what I’ve learned with as many people as possible, so we can find better balance as we work hard to create positive change. And I want to do that honestly, in my own way, regardless of whether or not I’m fully understood by everyone. Embracing our uniqueness (and, with that, our flaws) is the first step toward progress.
Starting an unconventional social enterprise in Atlantic Canada has helped me realize how much support is out there, whether that’s from other people (especially women), local businesses or institutions like the Pond-Deshpande Center, or even the ground beneath me. Of course, there are still those who don’t get it, who don’t see the potential for growth. And to that I say, “okay.” That’s okay. The reality is we’re not all going to see eye to eye. But if we were all the same, we wouldn’t need each other. So be okay being misunderstood. Let your haters be your motivators. Because for everyone who doesn’t get it, there are many people who will.
So, think of every inhale as a breath of fresh air (because it is) and think of every exhale as a sigh of relief, knowing you’re in the right place. Let’s breathe through any moments of doubt and show the rest of the world what the East Coast of Canada is really made of. Let’s go get it.
Creative Writer, Certified Yoga Instructor, Humorist, Social Entrepreneur, New Brunswick Advocate, Nature Enthusiast, Animal Lover, Freethinker, Wildcard