We’ve almost reached the end of our HERstory blog posts! Today’s post is written by Kendra. Kendra was my supervisor when I worked with Katimavik, and it’s really difficult to describe her, but I’m going to try. Everyone who meets her loves her instantly. She’s got an amazing amount of positive energy. She always tries to see the best in every situation. I’m sure that things make her angry, but I’ve never seen that side of her. Whenever I face a challenging situation, or I’m mad, or upset, my first instinct is to think “What would Kendra do? How would she react?” And I try to channel Kendra’s positivity into my reactions.
1. If someone wrote a biography about you, what would the title be?
One Woman’s Quest for Everyday Adventures
2. Where are you from? How has where you’re from shaped your life?
I am from Hampton, New Brunswick- the home of John Peters Humphrey, one of the principal drafters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I grew up with teachers who valued this human rights heritage. These teachers introduced us, their students, to concepts of oppression, diversity, and marginalisation. They taught us to be both passionate and compassionate and they encouraged us to engage in our communities. Today, I facilitate youth leadership programs that encourage community participation and learning through service.
3. Where do you live? How has where you live shaped your life?
I live in Charlottetown, PEI. This is a province full of individuals who, like my grandfather who lived here all his life, appreciate every little thing. They see blessings in everyday occurrences. This is the kind of person I want to be. This is the kind of life I want to live.
4. What is your greatest achievement?
This summer I hiked for one month in Vermont. This was not the ideal hike for a person that didn’t do any training and who was not physically ready. I was completely unprepared. But I did it. And I kept doing it. My body hated me for a while, but it came around in the end. This was my greatest achievement to date. To make a commitment that I knew would really hurt. And it did. And it was the best thing I could have done for myself at the time.
5. What is your greatest regret? Or what is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is that I will not learn to lean on others. I worry that I will become too independent. I worry that I will not ask for help. I worry that I will think that I do not need help. I worry that this will prevent me from having real, rich, reciprocal relationships with others.
6. What would you tell a young girl who is struggling with something like her identity, bullying, not fitting in, etc.?
Many people do not know who they are or what their passion could possibly be. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to find answers to these questions, just keep moving forward. Find something that appeals to you and do it. Do it unashamedly. In participating in something that interests you, you will build the person you want to be and you will attract the kind of people you want as part of your community.
7. What’s next?
What’s next, you ask? Well, these days, I am focusing on short term planning only. I think that we need to do that sometimes. We need to think in terms of five days and maybe five weeks, but not five months or five years. We need to take a break from long-term plans.
So, for me, the next five days will bring a trip to my local butcher, a snowshoeing adventure with a friend, and a hot chocolate at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday. Doing these little everyday things and appreciating them for what they are and what they bring to my life makes me feel rich. Very rich indeed.