Reality Check

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you already know that #ACPA15 was in Tampa this past week and my mind will be processing information, perspectives and challenges for days.

But in four days of conferencing and hundreds of millions of words spoken, in about a three second time span a mantra was spoken that hit me hard.

JLM QuoteWhile it might seem simple or obvious, for me this was something that has had me really examining myself over the past few days.

Over the past year since the close of the invigorating #ACPA14 Convention, I’ve been trying to find my place in the Student Affairs field. Looking at leaders and rockstars of SA as “who I want to be”, how I want my journey to go” and “where I want my endgame to finish”.

But perhaps one of the frustrating things this year has been that I haven’t been able to match their journeys, experiences or processes.

I’m not a strong academic, I’m very much an ambivert, I can be very emotional and I’m very Type A. I find a passion with encouraging and supporting those around me and be extremely optimistic, I can be overly cautious at times, with a sharp tongue and as you know, baby animal pics rule my life.

To me this combination hasn’t been able to  parallel let alone align with any of those individuals who inspire me. And it’s frustrating. Cause in my eyes, something has worked for those people who inspire me and I want to experience their journey and get to where they are.

But I think the above line is the needed slap in the face, shake me awake, cold water shower moment that has jerked me into realizing that it’s ok that my journey has not lined up to theirs.

Its ok to have people who inspire me to help me encourage myself along my journey. But its not ok to try to be the people who inspire me. If I can be genuine to myself and with those around me, I’ll still reach my goals in life and maybe one day be in company with those who have inspired me in my own quirky, ambivert, baby animal pic loving way and maybe that’s what will inspire another.

Until next time!

Peace, Love and Pandas!

Also, check out Jason L. Meriwether on Twitter at @jlmeriwether06 or his website:

Published by Brian

I am currently the Assistant Director of Student Life for Registered Student Organizations and Late-Night Programming at Michigan State University. After earning my B.A. from the University of Michigan-Flint, I entered the Student Affairs profession. After a few years in the field, I returned to school and earned my M.A. in Educational Leadership-Higher Education Student Affairs from Eastern Michigan University. In my spare time I blog about my thoughts and musings on current issues in higher education, student affairs, digital worlds, identity development and general life inspirations and observations. I also volunteer a lot for my fraternity and multiple regional and national professional associations.

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