Facing the discomfort of the unknown is one of the many facets of the human condition and experience. Often, we find it easy to stay down after falling down. Sometimes, the stumbling block is a slight inconvenience such as accidentally grabbing the wrong cup of coffee, and sometimes it is something truly trying, such as our current circumstances with the pandemic and racial injustices.Tricia Santos-Babaran, Student at Butler University
But as hackneyed as this may sound, we must do our best to take the bad with the good. Fortunately, resilience is another facet of the human condition and experience. It takes practice and time, but just as we can be there for our loved ones, we can learn to be there for ourselves.
Getting back up is a key value of mine because it is the first and most essential step towards personal progress and growth. It allows me to realize that I can be present and venture out of my comfort zone so that, ultimately, I can process, reflect, and learn from what happened, no matter how bad. The best part is that I can use my experiences of getting back up to lend a helping hand to others.
Share your journey and why this is important to you
Currently, I am an occupational therapy graduate student. To say that my path wasn’t linear is an understatement. In undergrad, I was undeniably set on the pharmacy route. However, after academically struggling with just one class right before the white coat ceremony, my dreams of pharmacy school were crushed. It felt as if my past and future blurred.
Fortunately, I revisited the field of occupational therapy. It was a career I considered when I applied to colleges as a high school senior. The heart of occupational therapy is the commitment to working with clients and patients towards their functionality and independence, addressing conditions and injuries so that they can engage in life. I translated this to mean that occupational therapy was the field of helping others get up again, and again, and again. It isn’t about how an individual falls, it’s about how they get back up.
Now, I’m relocating due to the pandemic’s effects on school and employment. I find myself in new situations that requires me to get back up, each day bringing unique obstacles. I’d like to think I’m better equipped to get back up, but the truth is, getting back up after each new situation requires just as much intention as the last situation. While I know better than to hope for smooth sailing, I am hopeful to continue to grow from these situations, just like I have with switching from pharmacy to occupational therapy, my niche.
How would you like to inspire others?
Superheroes are known for getting back up after each punch. I challenge each and everyone of us to be our own superheroes when we fall. Getting back up will look for different for each individual–some will find journaling beneficial, while others would prefer to read perspective-changing books. All are valid ways as long as the effort is there, and while getting back up may be easier said than done, in due time, what you get is what you put in.
Whether you’re making space for getting back up or choosing to work on another aspect of growth, take your time. It’s neither a race nor a competition. Remember, you can be a work of art and a work in progress at the same time. You may not know it now, but one day, in a beautiful moment of clarity and peace, you’ll look back and thank yourself for making space.
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