Silver Lining

Silver Lining
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By Rachael Wallace
This piece was first published on theroadtorachael.com

Five weeks ago, all 24 public colleges within Ontario went on strike. This was my second post-secondary strike and I was less than impressed. In fact, I was enraged and felt a lot of negative emotions around it. I was by no means able to see anything good. Now, looking back, I realize I have a lot to be thankful for:

  1. I am lucky that I have the opportunity to go to school, let alone to receive a (second) post-secondary education;
  2. My true friendships flourished. Many friends reached out to make sure I was okay, they spent time with me, they allowed me to be every part of myself whether up or down and I did the same for them;
  3. Being provided with the privilege to live in the unknown because of my family and their support (financially, at home, unconditional love etc.);
  4. Knowing when to walk away from or take on certain things, whether it be a friendship, school work, or a job;
  5. Attending a professional development workshop, and;
  6. Lots of self-care – reading, crocheting, cooking, baking, Netflix and sleeping are things I love but can’t often do with the demands of school and working a few part-time jobs.
  7. While this list could continue, and will be different for everyone, the most important point I’d like to make is reflection. Whether you reflect daily, or whether it happens once a month, it just matters that you do it, and that it’s done meaningfully. Use your reflections to help you grow as a person and learn what works and what doesn’t. Be open. You may not see the positive side of something – that silver lining – right away, but know that it’s there.

From my countless hours of reflection, 

I have noticed that I am a lot stronger than I believe. I realized my worth. I realized that I am exactly where I need to be right now. It hasn’t been easy to get to this point, but I got here in the end. 

The more you reflect, the easier it will be to find the silver lining and the better you will feel. You control your happiness. Don’t be afraid.

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