EyesOnBC Magazine Jan 2019

Page 14

Learning How to Swim A

Micki Findlay is the founder of Works of HeART Project – ‘Inspiring Positive Change Through Artistic Expression’. This is a Vancouver Islandbased initiative that challenges racism and bullying and promotes kindness and inclusion through creative means. Micki is a new, contributing author to the ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ series and Eyes on BC magazine. She has fought and won the long battle of depression and her hope is that the transparency in her writing, and the message behind the WOH project, will give hope to those who might otherwise feel like giving up. To find out how you can help make a difference go to: Website: www.worksofheartproject.com Facebook: worksofheartproject Twitter: WOHproject Instagram: worksofheartproject

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• J A N U A R Y

s I look back on 2018, I recall so many different experiences, combined with just as many emotions. I remember the uncanny feeling I had that it was going to be memorable; like a premonition, I suppose. After a dear friend of mine passed away, a switch turned on inside of me. Facing mortality will do that to a person. It reminded me just how fragile life is and how, in spite of my need for control, I do not have control over how or when I will exit this world. But I can control my attitudes and choices in life. I can decide to grab life for all it’s worth, or I can choose to let it slip through my fingers and be left with regret. I am not afraid to die so much as I am afraid of not living; of wasting my talents; of going to the grave without having at least tried to make a difference in my corner of the world. I won’t lie… there are times when I question whether I am making a difference. I also question what on earth I am doing, whilst in the middle of organizing an event, and being painfully aware of how anxiety is getting the better of me. Can I really do this? Am I smart enough? Will I forget something important? Will anyone show up? As I stress myself to ad nauseum, I decide never to put myself through it again. (Until I change my mind, that is.) At our last event, someone came up to me and asked if I might consider making it an annual affair. Without hesitation, I shot back, “When someone has just given birth, never ask if they are planning to have another one!” We all had a good laugh but, really, just like having a baby, you tend to forget the excruciating pain and only remember the joy you feel when your creation is finally born. Some of that joy also came as a result of the wonderful friendships that evolved through planning, networking and sharing with like-minded people. It all began when we created the ‘huge human heart’ in Parksville, in honour of Anti-Bullying Day. Friends and strangers alike came onboard and, without them, it would not have been possible. I had never organized anything like it before and had no idea how many details went into planning such a seemingly simple event. But maybe it’s

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by Micki Findlay good not to see too far ahead because it would probably have scared me silly, and I might never have ventured out of my comfort zone. Our latest event was our ‘Works of HeART Show’. Having never curated an art exhibit, let alone plan an opening reception, I found myself, yet again, thrown into the deep end. To be honest, there were times I felt as though I might drown. I never was a great swimmer. My old, not-so-friendly-friend - Self Doubt, threatened to engulf me and I wondered if I could pull it all off. But, again, amazing people came forward to help me plan and execute the whole thing and, in the process, I was blessed with even more cherished friendships. It was like receiving that Christmas gift I never expected and never knew how much I needed. Who knows what 2019 will bring? Do we ever really know? We can dream and plan, fret and worry, obsess and secondguess ourselves but, when it all comes down to it, there is something greater than us ultimately in control. So then… why bother? Why try and make a difference if the world will still be in a mess? Why be kind if someone is always out there ready to take advantage of us? Why plan if we might die tomorrow? Why love if we run the risk of getting hurt? Why challenge injustice if it still goes on? If there is anything I have learned in my sixty-some years, it is this… it is all worth it. We may never know what difference we have made on this earth until we find ourselves in the afterlife; shooting the breeze with Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. If we make a difference in one person’s life, it is worth it. If we bring encouragement to others who may have lost hope, it is worth it. If we create meaningful relationships along the way, it is worth it. If we become better people in the process, it is worth it. This year, consider how you might use your unique talents to create a kinder world. We all have a purpose in life. And, while you’re at it, you will likely cultivate some wonderful friendships. In fact, I know you will. ~

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