A few words about changing the world
Let me take you back four years. I’m a student. I’ve discovered my loud and powerful voice. I’ve discovered positive outlets for all of the injustices I had spent my teenage years trying to change.
I’m living, breathing, eating and sleeping my passions (largely tackling violence against women and poverty. Bedtime reading anyone?).
I’ve covered my room with related leaflets, postcards, posters, everything I read, everything I listen to, all of the activities I do, heck, all of the essays I write for university all link back to violence against women.
If I watch something on TV, it has to be related to social justice, if I go see a band, it’s not only for their music, but because of their ties to a wider social justice issue.
I spend hours reading the news, and hours beating myself up because I can’t effect the change I wanted to.
I think you’ve got the picture.
I felt that the passion was my identity. It became me.
And it really wore me down. I was constantly surrounding myself with bad news. I took no time to nourish or nurture myself.
I was burning out, and I was burning out fast. I was giving everything to the cause and nothing for myself. Not only was it not sustainable, it wasn’t desirable.
I was living a guilty existence. Through desiring change so much, I had unwittingly placed the world on my shoulders.
When I went to bed, I would think of all the suffering around the world, all of the problems much bigger than myself, all of the issues around the world I had no answers for, and feel so small. So powerless.
I would look at all I had achieved, which was a lot, and I would see it as a tiny drop in the ocean. It was a tiny drop in the ocean, but my perspective was way off.
I wouldn’t see the joy I brought to the world, I wouldn’t see the people I had helped. I was looking through the world and cutting out everything I had done.
I was seeing the shit without seeing the rainbows.
Don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of fun along the way. I learned to find my voice, I met amazing people,I learned to develop strong communities, I learned to campaign.
But while a lot of the things I did made me feel alive, they also made me feel remarkably small. The value that I held for myself as a person was overshadowed by the things I couldn’t achieve.
I couldn’t separate myself away from the cause. It had become me. Where did I begin and where did my passions end?
Where was the time for me?
It’s only been within the last two years that my perspective has started to shift.
It doesn’t mean that I’ve ceased caring.
Now I can see the bigger picture. Now I value myself enough to look after myself while trying to change things.
I can see that the only way I’m going to change things in a positive way, is if I start small, I do it while doing things I love, and I look after myself.
I have always grown up with the desire to change the world. I’ve always been conscious of the time I have here and wanting to leave a legacy. I don’t think that will ever change.
But I know, that as I grow and travel through life, my definition of changing the world has changed, it will change, and will be ever evolving.