Pause in a Pandemic

We’re taking a break from our Profile of Graduate series. Stay tuned for another segment next week!

Let’s recognize where we are. We are in the midst of a life-changing event.

The past few months have felt like a reprieve. A cautious hope that life might return to a new normal. With surging cases over the last month, it feels like we are back to the beginning.

It is scary.

And yet, we are not back to the beginning. Scientists know more about this virus. There are better tools available to us: rapid tests and better masks. We have the experience of shifting the way we learn and work, i.e. everyone knows how to Zoom! We are, quite simply, better equipped. 

It is still scary.

In these times, I think of the story of Jessica Honegger (the author of Imperfect Courage). She founded the Noonday Collection, one of the world’s most successful fair-trade accessories brand. She also went through a complicated foreign adoption fraught with setbacks. Her advice? Whatever life throws at you, keep going. Even if you are scared.

Accept the fear. Successful people aren’t fearless; more often than not, they are the people who continue to move forward even (and perhaps especially) when they are scared.

There will be moments of fear on the journey of self-directed learning. Fear of failure. Fear of falling behind. Fear of missing out. In those moments, keep in mind the bigger picture. Is my child happy? Are they learning? Just about everything else can sort itself out.

“Perhaps the hero’s journey is not for a few brave people after all, but an invitation to me, to us all really, to rally our courage and go do the thing that we were meant to do.” – Jessica Honegger

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