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Saturday, 17 September 2016

To Those Who Give Good Guidance

I am currently reading a book. Not just any book, but one of those take-your-breath-away type of books, words on a page which make me reflect upon my life. It's called Tuesdays with Morrie and I am hardly a fifth of the way through but already adore it. It is written with a simple tenderness, detailing a young man's life lessons from his dying professor.

When I am in love with a book, I literally don't put it down. Today I found myself walking through campus, nose buried in the story that I was avidly consuming until I virtually walked into an old professor of mine. I hadn't seen her since leaving for Ghana, and the delight on both of our faces as we quickly caught up filled me with joy.

As I walked away, about to dive back into my book, a thought struck me. In January I took a class with this woman, a fantastic and intensive three week endeavour in which I learned a great deal about gender politics in India, during which we took an amazing but emotionally taxing trip to the country itself. During this week a family member died, an event which, whilst not unexpected, was still incredibly traumatic. Upon hearing this the professor, a woman I had only known for two weeks, showed me a great deal of kindness and guidance at an incredibly difficult time. I am still immensely grateful for that, her gestures meant the world to me and made a significant difference to my ability to cope with all that was going on.

Going to school thousands of miles away from home has not been easy, but starting senior year has shown me how far I have come. I feel incredibly at home here, and increasingly confident in my abilities, but most of that didn't come from me. A great deal of my development was because I was supported and given the space to grow by some incredible people, this professor just being one of them. My boss over the summer is another, a woman crucial to my professional and personal growth. 
In fact, midway through writing this post, my best friend and beloved sat me down and gave me some advice that, if we're going to be completely honest, I didn't like. But you know what? She was right to do it. It wasn't what I wanted to hear, but it was what I needed. That kind of guidance is also invaluable, and she's right there beside me dishing it out everyday. 

I could write multiple books on what the badass woman just mentioned has taught me, just as I could write reams about what my beautiful Mumma has passed along across the years (I'm feeling particularly sentimental about her this week because it was her birthday on Thursday, happy birthday Mumma bear!). Instead of diving deep into those, though, I'm going to ask you to reflect on who may be in your life, guiding you along. Whether it's for a moment, a week, or your entire life, I'm willing to bet that there are some pretty wonderful people steering your ship towards success. So why not take a moment to tell them what they mean to you?  

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  1. What a beautiful post! Recently I've been really envious of those still in education. For a couple of reasons I think. The first is simple, it's September, and with that brings a lot of 'back to school feelings.' The second is the feeling, that maybe I didn't make the most of my opporunity to learn when I was at uni, which is a feeling that divides me because I wouldn't change the experience I had at all, but I just wish I had appreciated it all a bit more. And thirdly I'm ready for a new challenge professionally, after a year of being on pause at work because we've been fighting for funding. We hear the final verdict on our funding this month, and that is obviously unsettling. So all of these things mean right now I'm craving a mentor and not entirely sure where to look for one! Sorry long comment, mainly about myself, but your post, as always, has got me thinking, Stephie xx

    1. Thank you so much Stephanie! I really appreciate you using my post to explore your own feelings, it sounds like you're at an important part of your life and it's natural for that to make you question your path. Mentors can come from anywhere, is there someone in your life who already kind of fulfils that role, or someone from your past that you could get back in touch with? I hope things become clear for you. Liza xxx

  2. The types of books you mentioned are the best, I need to check out Tuesdays with Morrie cause from what you said it has to be amazing! :) Your post got me thinking & made me realise that I'm pretty bad at telling the people close to me how much their guidance means to me. I've been working on myself & reflecting on my habits a lot lately and opening up to people & letting them help or guide me is definitely something I can improve on x


    1. You would definitely love it! I'm glad you're using this as an opportunity to further work on yourself, good luck with your journey :) xx

  3. Such a beautiful post (as always)! It's so funny because this has been on my mind lately too! I've lately been given a lot more clarity on the people that should remain in my life and have consciously, or more often, unconsciously, helped me along the way and continue to do that. It's funny that we are made to believe that we should do everything on our own and be unique and successful, but that doesn't allow any credit to be given to all the people surrounding us that have helped us get here. It's so mindful of you to take note of all of that! I love it!! I hope this brings light for more people to be more conscious and aware of moments in their lives where people have guided them, because it often seems so small, but the impacts of those moments are immeasurable!


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and share your thoughts with me. I read and reply to each and every one.

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