Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tiny kernels of influence

My iPod is riddled with memories and influence. Better than Ezra is a reminder of a guy I briefly dated, Mika was received from a co-worker, and Billy Joel is one of the gifts my father gave me. When I hear “Build me up buttercup,” my mind immediately goes to the moment when I crossed the finish line with my friend Kendall. No matter to what extent these people have touched my life, these tiny little remnants still remain. Sometimes, I can hardly remember where I learned something, or how I got into something, but I know there was an influence, a moment, I’m forgetting.Even when someone significant touches your life, the tiny everyday reminders enhance the existing relationship.

I feel like my working experience has been similar. I wracked my brain trying to remember all of my relevant skills to pepper my resume. Sometimes, these skills were not part of my everyday life, but someone taught me something little that now has significant value. Obviously, it’s hard to remember who taught you what, but these tiny interactions are not to be ignored. Based on recent discussions with my career counselor and other informationals, I realized I was leaving off valuable skills from my resume because I didn’t perform them everyday. Even though I don’t hear these songs everyday, the memory is intense when I re-hear it, just as my learning comes back to me incrementally and I can readily apply it.

One of the hardest things to remind myself as I try to figure out my life is that I’m not going to figure it out alone no matter how hard I wrack my brain. Someone else is going to say something, perhaps miniscule at the time, and it’s going to leave a mark. Taking in all these small details is cumbersome and exhausting to wade through and try to find the value. However, if I am open to the learning, it will make the task easier. I have to keep reminding myself that I’m embarking on something I’m not an expert at, and that’s super scary. To keep my mind open and be willing to gather each kernel of knowledge or influence, while still remaining true to myself? That’s the real challenge, but I’m ready to take it on. I don’t want to come across as flippant or easily influenced as my journey becomes more planned out and fine-tuned. Right now I feel like everyone is an influence and my mind and plans change day to day. However, I know that with every kernel, eventually I’ll find a playlist I can live with, and that permanently defines me. Or maybe not permanently.

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