Never stop, never give up.
I am not immune to feeling sorry for myself, on very rare occasions. I am human, after all. And I live in a city that is unaffordable, that is expensive, where people sometimes don’t smile back when you smile at them (I joked on Twitter and said that I lived in Frownyville). The damp and cold weather, dealing with too many things and trying to juggle hats while trying to maintain balance and sanity, it’s not always an easy ride.
Sometimes it gets bumpy. And while I’m pretty successful, sometimes there are disappointments and letdowns. At times, things don’t turn out the way I want them. And on very, very rare occasions, I feel the desire to just do absolutely nothing. Stay still. Sleep for hours and hours and not wake up until the worst has passed.
But the reality is, I am always inspired by the love that surrounds me. The excitement of the projects I am working on. The eagerness of my students. The smart brains of my colleagues. And in the worst of adversities, I am reminded of people who day after day, struggle with their lives and keep going. They never stop. They never give up. Some people I am close to (and I won’t name them to respect their privacy) have been dealt pretty bad cards in the game of life. And yet, they keep going. They wake up in the morning, and make sure to continue on. If they are unemployed, they send resumes. They work on polishing their skills. They find other sources of engagement with society, like volunteering, or collaborating on non-profit projects.
I am always in awe of people who, while struggling to keep their heads above water, they still do it. I have been dealt amazing cards in my own life. I have an amazing family, wonderful friends, a job I love, students who value my mentorship and teaching, and opportunities in all the different worlds I navigate. Far from me to complain about anything, really. But whenever I feel even remotely the slightest desire to feel sorry for myself (for being overworked, for being too busy, for any of the minutia that often pass through our lives), I always look around. I look at my fridge and see the photos of my nephews and nieces, and they inspire me. They inspire me to keep going, to thrive, to be a success and to be a role model to them.
I look at my neighbour who has overcome so much and completed her undergraduate degree even later in life. I look around and see how many people keep the good fight. And then all that I get drilled into my brain is these five words: never stop, never give up.
And I do. I keep going. At the usual, fast-paced velocity of the hummingbird.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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