The last 4 months have been extremely good to me. My mind was never still. I challenged myself to focus more on my future plans and dreams, instead of only living them day-by-day and being content with just that. I forced myself to think bigger and to push myself out of my comfort zone, both physically and mentally. I attended more networking events, where I knew no one, something I would never normally have been able to do. The words of my father always rung in the back of my mind at those last seconds where I would myself that I “didn’t have to go” or “maybe I’ll go next time”. I was always lucky enough to have him push me outside my comfort zone and just knowing his story made me want to do it even more. If he hadn’t taken all those little steps and pushed himself out of his world and into one unknown, I certainly would not be here.
I was also grateful enough to have travelled lots this summer (although not far), I enjoyed visiting and travelling to surrounding communities to showcase my products and sell my work. I was lucky enough to always have help in setting up, and travelling, and for that I am so grateful. I’m usually a one-person show (with no license to boot!), so to have people drive me places, help me unload and set up shop, give me a roof over my head, watch over my table when I needed a break, was definitely appreciated!
Over the summer, I’ve also been collaborating with a local hip-hop group from Halifax called Gentlemen Mafia and helping them with their promotion, and business side of what they do. The story behind their brand and music is inspiring and the change they want to bring to music and their community is also one worth sharing (stay tuned for another blog post!)
For a week during August, I had the opportunity to set up my shop at the Halifax International Airport along with a handful of other young entrepreneurs and artists from the ArtPreneur program I am a part of (Youth Art Connection – read last blog post for more info). It was such a different atmosphere and experience than what I’m used to. It was fun to see sooo many faces in one day, from all over the world and hear some of their stories (along with their accents!)
During the last week of August my mind and body were so exhausted from the busy days that had passed, but I was lucky enough to have been selected to become a Youth Reconciliation Leader for an awesome organization called Canadian Roots Exchange. I travelled to Schomberg, Ont to receive training on decolonization and reconciliation alongside 25 or so other youth from across the country. The topics of decolonization and reconciliation are heavy, so to be able to share that experience and have all my new CRE family there for support was an amazing feeling. I was my Mothers Daughter on that trip for sure, I didn’t speak much, but I listened. I listened to all the stories that were shared, the tears that were shed, and to the laughs that brought us together. I left there with a new sense of pride in my identity, hope for the future and wisdom of a thousand years….with still so much more to learn.
All in all, it was a great summer, one I will never forget. I have a to-do list the length of my arm, and as scary as that is, it’s also so exciting to stay busy and have so much to look forward to accomplishing. I don’t know where my path is leading me, but I know it’s a path that I’m making for myself and for my family. The trouble when you make your own path is that it’s one that hasn’t been travelled before, so there will be things in your way, road blocks if you will, but the challenge isn’t in making it through, but in believing that you can. I may not know what I have to do, but I know whatever it is, I can do it.
Wela’lin/Thank you, to all who made my summer memorable in any way you have. A hello, a goodbye, a hug…If we crossed paths this summer, you helped me on my journey, and if we haven’t crossed paths yet, I’m looking forward to the months to come, and the many new faces I will come across.