Those Who Fan Your Flames

A few months back, there was a photo of a Tweet from Lauren Aitchison that kept showing up in my Instagram feed:

“Four years ago, my ex boyfriend told me I should get a  grip on myself and realize I’d never be a writer. Today, the CEO of Penguin Random House shook my hand and told me he couldn’t wait to read my book”

The first time I read this, it hit me hard.

About 2 years ago, my  ex boyfriend told me that I wasn’t cut out for international development. Doing an overseas placement was great experience and everything, but I obviously wasn’t meant to do that kind of work forever. I was better off in Canada.

It hurt me. But at the same time, I listened. Living in Nepal was hard. I felt like I was having too many difficult days. I thought he must be right. It was really, really hard. So maybe it isn’t for me.

And so when my contract was over, I moved back home. Applying jobs in Canada. But deep down, all I wanted was to get back overseas. I missed Nepal. I missed the challenges. I missed… well, everything.

Then, my relationship ended.

Fast-forward to a year later, and I was back in Nepal.

The staff at the Kathmandu office told me they were glad to have me back. Happy because they knew I could handle the work in front of me, challenges and all.

Sure there are hard days. But there always are, no matter where in the world you are.

But now, when I call my friends on those hard days, they don’t tell me “Well, it’s only this many months or weeks before you come home.” or “I told you that you shouldn’t do that”.

Instead, they tell me “Yeah, I know that it’s hard, but you’re doing it and you’re doing great.” or, “I know it’s hard but you’re going to keep doing it anyways because you’re you, and you can keep doing it. You need to be kinder to yourself. Be patient with yourself. You deserve that much. And you’re going to be okay. I’m always here if you need to talk.”

This unquestionable, undeniable support is always on the other end of the phone. I’ve found people who have my back no matter what.

And they’ve said all of this enough times that I’ve realized… they’re right. Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean that I can’t, or shouldn’t do it. And I’m so glad that I didn’t give up on what I wanted.

Thank goodness for the people who stand behind me no matter how far my aspirations take me away from them.

“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.” – Rumi







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