It is honestly amazing and crazy when I take a look back on the journey called life I have been on. When I reflect on the decisions that paved the road of my past to get me to where I am today, while I still place bricks on the path of my future, I am in disbelief that this is where I am.
In the image above, I was 22 years old, working on my first large bridge project in Langley, British Columbia as a Project Coordinator. I was young and full of endless determination to become a Civil Engineer. I was dedicating my life to this career.
There definitely was a learning curve; sprinkled with failures. Failures where I wanted to quit and give it all up, but I held onto the idea that if anyone can do it, so can I. But seriously, I wanted to quit so many times. More than I care to count or admit but I kept going.
I am the youngest of my siblings, with four older brothers that all had amazing careers of their own; Forest Fire Fighter (now Mental Health and Wellness Community Coordinator for the First Nations Health Authority), Head of Security of the Vancouver Aquarium (now Paramedic), Actor, Electrician (now Renewable Resource Technician/Archeologist). I looked up to them and I never wanted to let any of them down. I also always wanted to prove that my parents survival of residential school had meaning and was for a greater purpose. I wanted to show the world it was a mistake to think that Our People were less than or not good enough to be seen as equals. I had this desire to show respect to our Elders and my parents by confirming that it was up to their generation to survive genocide, and it is up to our generation to show the world why.
For six to seven years, from age 19 to 26, I worked endlessly on building a name for myself and towards this goal career. A career I thought I could use as a badge or as validation that Our People were intended to survive the attempted genocide. I thought this was my purpose in life; to show those younger than me that you can do anything you put your mind to. But the truth is, I hated it. I lost the enjoyment of learning to build and create things. It all became mundane and redundant and very ‘blah’ for lack of a better word. I felt like a ghost walking in my own daily life; seeing it all but not being completely present.
I asked the Creator/Universe, in a plea, realizing I was unhappy, and a video came across my phone one day on Facebook. It sounds trivial, but this video completely changed my life. My heart finally fluttered again for something and I felt that urge to build and create. This is when my life truly began.