Hi everyone, I am beginning to feel excitement in the air as the end of our program is drawing nearer. I have very mixed feelings on this as I am looking forward to a new career but I am very much going to miss class and all the people involved with my growing and my studies. If you’ve noticed I said growing, I say this because at 43 I am still growing and I will be growing every day for the rest of my life, growing does not stop. This had been a misconception of mine until I stopped drinking 16 years ago and a few years past that. I thought, what more do I really need to know? If I only knew (no pun intended) I may already be years into this career that I know I am going to love, but at the same time if I had discovered this sooner I may not be the person I am today. Quite honestly I really like the me I see in the mirror today. I just wanted to share with you all three things that have really changed my life thanks to Stenberg College, besides signing up that is.
Just over a month or so ago my colleagues and I were going through a block of classes called Health in Urban Areas of Poverty and it really showed me how our environment truly affects how we grow and learn. It also really hit me at how much we follow in the examples of those who raise us be that parents, step-parents or other people who must assume the role due to circumstance. I find that I really am like my parents in a lot of ways and it amazing when I think just how much that is. I learned a lot of values from them that I hold true to my heart. They are honestly good people with good intentions and one thing I’ve noticed recently is how unselfish they are. I like to think this is a strong quality that I have and I know exactly where I got it. There were also some bad habits I picked from them and from some of the peers I choose to spend my time with one of which was smoking cigarettes. I do not blame them in any way for this for I was free to make my own decisions and the friends I had all smoked so chances are I may have started anyways. I was a heavy smoker at 2 and a half to 3 packs a day with no real thoughts of quitting when we had an assignment to do in this block of classes that I fore-mentioned. It was to create a poster to campaign against substances or situations that cause harm. My partner and I chose smoking ironically and as we assembled our poster and did the research I started to think of how much damage my smoking was causing. The little neurons in my brain started firing and the conclusions began to befall me. Not to mention that according to our instructor our poster on the reasons not to smoke was really quite good.
Right after this block of classes we began Motivational interviewing. Are you getting an idea of where this is going? A lot of the exercises we did in class really began to get into my head so I started motivationally interviewing myself. One of our assignments for this course was to create an interview using the skills we learned and record it on video. Again, the person I was partnered with and I chose smoking as the basis for this her to interview me and again the little neurons stared firing as we worked on this project. Well here we are few weeks later and I have been smoke free since, that is correct. The skills that I have learned within this class have given me the strength to eliminate something from my life that was causing my wife and I damage not to mention our four legged version of children. So, thank you Stenberg for helping me with this life changing decision. I realize I do have a bit of work to do but truly as it was when I quit drinking 16 years ago my mind is made up. I believe that is all it will take for me.
Another thing Stenberg has done for me is to truly help me see who I really am. I feel that I have truly found myself. I relate how I have lived my life since I have quit drinking and I thought I had myself all figured out. Well, I did not know how wrong I was. I did not know me at all compared to how well I do now. I can’t get into all the ways this is true as it would be a book by the time I am done. All I can say is that I really like myself now, I have confidence and faith that I can take on the challenges life will throw at me I ponder the different challenges and I believe now more than ever that whatever it is I CAN DO IT. And you know what? So can you we all have it in us we just need to explore ourselves to find that on switch.
The final thing I wanted to share with you is my last IPE which was the Drug Users Resource Center (DURC). All I want to say is I have found what I want to spend the rest of my life doing and that is helping the people of the Downtown Eastside. I have never felt anything more strongly in my life. I have been aware of the situation down there for a very long time and I have been down to the Eastside a few times but the passion and respect that the staff at DURC have every shift I spent there opened my eyes as wide as they could possibly be opened. There is Hope, there is Care and there are people who will Give these things and all I want is to be part of that team whether it is DURC, Insite or any other establishment DTES this will be my life moving forward. So Stenberg I say thank you for helping me find myself completely. Thank you for helping me with the strength to quit smoking and most of all Thank you for showing me the way to my future. Until next time dedicated readers I have no regrets in my decision the day I chose Stenberg and I can only say if you are thinking of a career take a look and see. I don’t believe you will be disappointed.