Monday, 12 October 2015

Don't Hold Back

As some of you may know, I volunteer at a museum. 

More specifically, an immigration museum.

As a volunteer, I tell the volunteer coordinator when I can go in and she adds me on the schedule accordingly. So far I'm going in every Saturday afternoon until the end of November.

Seeing as today is Canadian Thanksgiving, she asked me if I could go in today and said that she understood if I had family plans. I told her it was no problem and I would be there for the shift she put me for.

I walked in today and it turns out that she forgot to add me to the schedule. Not knowing what to do and not wanting to make my mom drive back already to pick me up, I decided to stay and to just walk around, talk to our visitors and see if I could help them out with anything.

Because I made that decision. I met some wonderful people today.

We have two exhibits at the museum and I met one group of people in an exhibit and they were looking for something in the opposite exhibit, so I told them that and said that I'd be more than happy to escort them over to what they were looking for.

They were pretty thankful for that and I led them over to the exhibit.

I ended up giving them a tiny tour of the exhibit and talking to them a lot about the stories of the immigrants from France, the story of the Deportation of the Acadians and a few other stories that I knew. I told them a few personal stories of my own and they said that they loved that I was sharing my stories with them because it enrichened their experience at the museum.

I was so honored to be able to meet and to talk to these people because they were just wonderful and the sweetest people.

Not too long after that, I ended up chatting with an elderly woman who immigrated to Canada from Scotland. 

She was telling me that for her, her brother and her sister in-law, the experience was long and awful. Her brother and sister in-law got so fed up that they decided to immigrate to New Zealand instead.

I was chatting with her about her whole immigration process and I asked if she had any regrets.

She told me that she packed her bags in Scotland at 18 years old and hasn't regretted it one little bit.

She then proceeded to ask me about myself. At first she thought I was a university student, but she was rather shocked when I told her that I'm still in high school.

She then asked me what I wanted to be when I'm older and I told what I want to be: a travel writer.

She told me that every time I get a paycheck, I should take 10% of it, put it away and never touch it so that I could retire at 55 and live comfortably. 

It was really good advice and I'm going to follow it. She also asked me where I wanted to go, so I told her my top destinations but that I was also hesitant to go.

She looked me in the eyes and gave me advice that I'll never forget.

She told me to go for it.

She told me to do what I want to do and that it's a good thing to be scared. 

She told me that she wasn't sure if she wanted to immigrate to Canada or Israel, but she said that if she didn't like it in 5 years time, she could change her mind. But 30+ years later, her she is, still in Canada.

She packed her bags at 18 to find something better and I'm going to do the same.

I can't say that I'll immigrate to another country, let alone another continent when I'm 18, but I'm not going to let fear hold me back from going to new places and meeting new people.

Great minds must think alike because this lady and my amazing older cousin both gave me the same advice.

Don't hold back.

And I won't.

Until next time.