Go turn on your TV, computer, or flip through Facebook on your phone and plastered on many news articles, angry posts and stories will be stories on the COVID-19 pandemic. The real question: where does it end? Do not get my title twisted; COVID is a real issue. It touches almost every aspect in our lives currently, and there seems to be no escape from the long-term devastation it has produced. This, however, is not going to be about the current state of the pandemic. Let’s focus on everything else BUT that.
It is so easy to get lost in the negative connotations that surround us every single day. A skill I learned in the pandemic is the ability to see the good. To find the good in an everyday situation. While this has been found to be increasingly difficult in some aspects, I am writing here in spite of these issues. Recently, I have taken this new and improved school year to reflect on some of the things we missed out on. A word I am choosing to use as the main theme of this blog is privilege. This is a word that I feel can be tossed around loosely in a manner that can offend some; for me it’s a matter of perspective.
In light of my new-found privilege, I have discovered so much happiness. The saying of “not letting your happiness depend on others” is an accurate one, but one that I found can be twisted. My happiness, in fact, has come from watching others. Being a part of people’s lives and growth is why I have seen and learned what I have. For instance, I have had the privilege of watching my friends and roommates grow into adults who have a clear eye on the future. College is an emotional rollercoaster; the process of learning each other’s mannerisms and comforting techniques is part of becoming more self-aware of other’s emotions- a skill we could all learn. Watching them get excited about a great test grade, or even a good day in class, are examples of small and significant victories. Secondly, I have watched my mother become so enthusiastic about our next endeavor- a big move to a new house on lots of land in the country. This enthusiasm is not one that I have seen so vibrant since before my father’s untimely passing four years ago. The joy (and stress) of this new chapter is one that I didn’t realize we all needed. In the end, I found that my younger brother, my mother and I were all ready to let go and begin again.
Career wise, I have had the privilege of working two amazing internships, in person. I have been tasked with agendas that are unique to me and graciously initiated by my attentive teammates and managerial staff. I have learned so much about myself, and even proved my own doubts wrong more than I thought I could. Being able to step into a lecture hall or board room is indeed another privilege that a year ago seemed so distant.
With all of my experiences being noted, I invite you to think of your privilege. Your small victories, your happiness, and what keeps you going. And keep in mind- someone is looking at you. Someone sees that you are taking advantage of your time, your resources, and using the happiness around you to keep you going. So, remember your privilege, and make the most of it.