It’s difficult to describe the thing I want to describe, but I’m going to have a good ol’ crack at it anyway. (Once again, grab that cuppa. Maybe a biscuit? Go wild.)
When I left high school, 3 years ago now, I was a completely different person. “High school years were the best years of my life” are not words I can relate to. The high school version of me. *Huge eye roll*, where to start? She was narrow-minded, quiet and was so scared of standing out that she would hide behind a persona of – “oh don’t pay attention to me I’m not important” – and so, tragically, went completely under everyone’s radar. (And by that I mean some teachers who taught me for 3 years still didn’t know my name at the end of year 11…yay. *sad violin music*)
So, what I suppose I’m concentrating on is growth. I don’t think my mind-set has ever grown so rapidly or vastly in such a short space of time. 16 year old me was one of those people who sniggered at anyone different (I know I know, it’s appalling, sorry), and now 19-year old me just wants to meet everyone and get to know them without judgement, because quite frankly, what is the point in sitting and condescending how someone dresses or what they look like, what sexuality or gender they are, which religion they follow, their grades/job or who’s dating who?? The idea that any of the above could somehow be an indicator of what someone has to offer is absurd. The bottom line is, if it’s not hurting anyone then do whatever the hell you like.
I used to think that there was a social hierarchy (or perhaps that’s what I’d always had drilled into me) but now I severely struggle with the idea. Maybe I’m in a bit of an odd position – the first person in the family to go to uni, going into the world of medicine and doctors. But maybe it’s given me a bit of unique view too.
I’ve seen doctors look down on patients and other staff. (Not all doctors – most are angels in disguise, but nevertheless I’ve seen it happen). Maybe I’ll feel different when I’m in their position in 15 years time, but I hope I won’t ever believe that a profession determines your worth, or an entitlement to more respect than others. I can’t imagine ever being so fond of myself that I look down on anyone. Your profession or ‘class’ (whatever that means) do not define your worth in any way. To me, a good hearted, kind person is the best and most respected thing you can be.
Healthcare has taught me one thing again, and again and again. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from. Regardless of everything, every single person means the absolute world to someone out there. You are someone’s whole world. Therefore, everyone has to be worth and respected the same, it only makes sense.
It kills me to say it but, high school me was also hella judgemental and perhaps a little bit shallow (aka the type of person that makes me feel nauseous today). Thankfully it’s a phase I’ve grown out of, but the judging thing is hard – because as we all know, it’s human nature. I suppose the key is to stay open minded, despite judgements.
If over the past few years I’d have let my first impressions effect my actions and opinions, I would have lost out on some pretty amazing people. For example, when I first met every single one of my closest friends, I thought they were weird and scary. (Not naming names, but the first thing one of them said to me was “I believe in voodoo”. Hi Clarissa.)
3 years on, I still think they’re all weird and scary, but I love them for it.
You don’t know you need to meet someone until you actually do, and then you wonder how on Earth you got by before them. I’ve met people who have shown me what being a good person really means, and the type of person I want to be. These people emit light. They are the type of people that make the space around them positive – seemingly without trying. They’re genuinely kind, and lovers of life. They love the every day and live the every day – brightening it as they go. A friend to everyone and everywhere. And that’s the type of person I’m aspiring to be.
I’m not quite there yet, I can be grumpy as hell (sorry Mum&Dad), but as the 7 day countdown to uni begins, this post is almost like a note-to-self, to never stop trying to be that person. I’ll get there one day. Maybe you’ve read this, thinking it’s v airy-fairy and ‘my God what world does she live in, that isn’t how the real world works.’ Maybe so. But it’s how my world works and it’s getting me through for now.