George Bernard Shaw said, “Life isn’t about finding your self, it’s about creating yourself.” Our responsibility is to our self so stop blaming others for missed opportunities and experiences. We are what we create.
I like this truth. Naysayers might ask what if I’m born into a condition that prevents me from moving beyond my circumstance – my poverty or my education? Or maybe they’ll say what if I’ve made a mess and can’t change. Is it just too late? I challenge you. See your life and your self-worth differently. Invest in you and reframe the problem or the excuses.
Know it won’t be easy. We live in a world of convenience and blame. It’s always someone else’s fault and if only I had more time. Stop. Be inspired by WomanScape’s weeklong series that asks you to think and to consider inventive women in history like Melitta Bentz and Farina Bedwei.
Melitta Bentz refused to keep drinking coffee grinds and bitter tasting coffee. She changed her experience and created a revolutionary new product, business, and labor rights, all along the way. Farida Bedwei didn’t let cerebral palsy stop her from living a productive, fulfilling life. She became a software engineer despite her condition and created a superhero figure for others to enjoy.
Change starts within each of us and, of course, it starts with me.
When I founded WomanScape two years ago, I had no idea where it would lead. I knew I wanted to write. But would I be good enough? I didn’t know then and I don’t know now. I’m that proverbial “work in progress” – it stops when I do.
What matters is that I have reinvented myself in small ways and made big things happen. I started talking to new people, exploring unfamiliar subjects and learning new computer skills. It wasn’t easy. I was filled with doubt and fear. But lots of women have faced these worries and changed course. So I asked, “Why not me too?” That’s what counts: ask why not me?
Today I’m sitting in front of a video camera and asking you to sponsor my trip to Baffin Island. I’m feeling a little like Julia Roberts asking Hugh Grant to love her in the movie Notting Hill. Of course, Julie is a superstar with great teeth and deep pockets.
Instead, I’m not “just a girl asking you to love her” but I am asking for your help. I am raising money for True Patriot Love, a non-profit organization that helps military veterans and their families in a number of ways.
I’ll head to the Arctic region of Baffin Island for two weeks but not to find myself in Canada’s Great White North. I was born there, in a small northern Ontario town called Manitouwadge.
Together with military veterans and civilian business and community leaders, I’ll be part of a history all-women team trekking 100 km. I’ll create new hopes for veterans that need help and I’ll discover strengths and skills I never knew.
I’m not what you call the outdoorsy type and -30 celsius is not my idea of fun.
My toes will be raw and blistered, and I’ll wake up terrified knowing I’ll have to do the same long 10-15 kilometers all over again when the next day comes.
But I also know I’ll see the beauty of untouched nature and wonders I’d never get a chance to see. I’ll meet Inuit women and families, and learn about how they live. I’ll walk with military women who harness strength, fear, and dedication in dire circumstances and in duty to country. I will live largely, creating new friendships, breathing fresh air and experiencing what few can.
You can learn all about True Patriot Love (TPL) and their Impact Report. See my two-week itinerary and follow me as I travel. I’ll be sending photos and accounts via email, Facebook, and Twitter.