I am perpetually stunned by the bullshit advice we give to young people.
Follow your passion.
Chase your dreams.
Never give up.
And my favorite…
Be yourself no matter what.
I don’t know if Hallmark personally sponsored all elementary schools to pump this generic, saccharine motivational garbage into the minds of our youth, but someone needs to tell them to cut it out.
What’s with all the negativity, Gina? Why kill dreams?
First of all, who invited you, disembodied voice, questioning all my thoughts? You can leave.
*door close sound*
Ok, now we’re alone. Back to my rant.
“Am I doing this right?” – When I was 3, feebly forming my letters for the first time.
“Am I doing this right?” – When I was 15, on my 3,000th attempt to parallel park my car without running over a cone.
“Am I doing this right?” – When I was 21, graduating with a college degree that left me feeling simultaneously accomplished and unprepared.
When I’ve failed,when I’ve gotten lost, when I’ve fallen in love, when I’ve moved away, when I’ve felt so lonely, when I’ve learned new things, when I’ve tried to make my family proud, when I’ve let down or let go of those I care about… I’ve been asking this question my entire life.
These days I wonder, "Am I adulting right?"
Always looking to my parents, my peers, my professors and my friends for reassurance. Always thinking that somehow, someone else could confirm, with authority, that yes, Gina, yes… you’re doing it right.
Eventually, I learned that there's only one person who could answer that question: me.
The New York Times has reported that AmeriCorps is among the list of organizations and programs on the chopping block under the new Republican administration; what follows is why we cannot allow its funding to be cut.
“When I grow up, I want to be a public servant.”
— Me, age 26
If you asked me what I wanted to do with my life and career, up until recently, I wouldn’t have had a direct answer for you.
From the time that I was a child, dreaming of becoming a famous author, until today, I’ve ping-ponged across many possible career paths and fields, from journalist, to professor, to entrepreneur, to lawyer, to politician, to professional nomad. (Let me dream, dammit!)
So, how did I get to this point, where I now aim to dedicate my life to public service?
One main reason: AmeriCorps.
To celebrate AmeriCorps Week, and do my part to ensure this program stays intact, what follows one little piece of my own #StoryofService, and why we must ensure that AmeriCorps opportunities continue on into the future.
“How can I help?”
It’s a question we’re used to hearing when a friend is upset,
after a national disaster,
and when your sister is moving.
JK –– no one offers to help anyone else move –– they get recruited.
Helping out is something we get taught from a young age (thank Barney and his “clean up song” propaganda… ), so it naturally follows that when we as adults, young and old, are faced with adversity and distress, out reaction is, just that:
“How can I help?”
Only, the problem is that sometimes, even with the best of intentions, sometimes our question is met with confusion, misinformation, or the worst… silence.
Luckily, the internet offers the resources to overcome this barrier.
But, where to start?
I do a lot of thinking about social entrepreneurs.
You could say I’ve become a little obsessed with the movement towards building businesses for good. (It would be true, I am.)
Along this path that I’ve been walking for a short time, there is one thing I can definitively say for sure:
It’s lonely out here, man!
Tell me if this doesn’t sound familiar…
You’re all jazzed about an idea that you’re working on, whether it’s a new element of your business you’re launching, a challenge you’re trying to solve, a recent success, or the like, practically bursting at the seams with passion, and want to share it with those around you, but….
… no one quite seems to get it.
“Oh, wow….” “
That sounds interesting…. wanna order some pizza?”
Let's change the world.
Who wrote this?
Gina Edwards, Impact Explorer founder and lover of all pun jokes, making a positive change in the world, Stephen Colbert, Jif Peanut Butter, and staying inside on rainy days. Order may vary.