I’m not the most secure person– I second-guess myself, question my talent, doubt my abilities, and undermine myself. I’m only human after all, I think we all do this more than we realize.
When I published my book two years ago, I didn’t think anyone would read it, let alone like anything I had to say. I did it to just get my work out there.
When I committed to Week of Welcome, I didn’t think my WOWies would like me, I figured I would be just another person in their lives to fit into the collage of what Cal Poly becomes to them.
And two weeks ago when I took a photo holding a whiteboard, my loopy handwriting scrawling across, containing words that I felt defined me, I wanted to take that photo back. I felt awkward, not at all cute like I had hoped, I thought the lighting would be off, and my whiteboard was so much less creative or cool than anyone else’s.
Then became a published author, I turned out to be a great WOW leader whose WOWies love me (so they say), and I took that photo and I shared it on Facebook to let in the flood of reactions that may or may not go to my head. I got proven wrong.
Because more often than not, what we do will always matter to someone.
So why do we hesitate to do it?
I’m talking about voting… Why does it seem like my generation doesn’t vote? Possibly because we feel like whatever actions we take don’t matter. Quite frankly, whether we vote or not, it makes a difference. Because it can so easily come down to one vote, just like it did at my University two weeks ago when voting to suspend the fraternity who committed the blackface offenses last year. It came down to one.
We could be that one, if we used our rights and our privileges to do something about it. Trust me, with the way the government is turning these days, this matters.
I’m also talking about education, and not just in schools. Schools have their own systemic issues that need to be addressed, right now let’s focus on us. I mean in our everyday lives when we see something wrong, a microagression here or casual sexual harassment there; it’s our job to say something. So maybe the Brett Kavanaughs of the world are stopped before they get nominated for the Supreme Court.
Isn’t one injustice enough to see that something is wrong?
In the end, I’m really just talking about society. The way so many of us seem to put our jobs or our schoolwork or our accomplishments up for judgement when deciding whether or not we are doing enough.
It comes down to how well we do our work, how many positive comments we get back about a presentation, or the GPAs I know that it feels like college students need if they’re going to get anywhere.
We need to realize that our securities– how we feel about our accomplishments or our voices or our knowledge– all come down to one person: ourselves.
If we feel like our voices don’t matter in voting, do it anyway. Then do it again. And again. And again. Keep proving yourself wrong; one voice can be all it takes to hear the right words.
If we feel like what we know isn’t everything we need to know, keep learning, keep reading, and keep the doors open for finding something new. The day we stop learning is the day a part of our lives gets left behind.
And if we feel like what we do, who we are, or the life we hold isn’t enough…
Surround yourself with people who never make you feel the need to be more than you are, remind yourself that there is only one of you and being 1/7.44 billion is okay.
We are all human after all. Sometimes it’ll feel like our actions, our voices, and our beings just aren’t big enough to matter. If I have learned anything in the past year, it’s that no matter how small a person or an voice or a smile in this world might seem, it can change lives.
So use and be proud of what you’ve got.