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Pascale – I have my plan A, now what’s my plan B?

Post number 4 from kickaction.ca’s HERstory blogging carnival! I met Pascale a few years ago, when we were both training for a CIDA internship. My internship in Mali was a bit hit and miss, but I think that her time in Bolivia was great!

1. If someone wrote a biography about you, what would the title be?

I have my plan A, now what’s my plan B?

2. Where are you from? How has where you’re from shaped your life?
Saint-Alfred, en Beauce, Québec
3. Where do you live? How has where you live shaped your life?
Right now, I live in Québec city, but it’s temporary. I’m here for an internship. I’ve lived half my life in the countryside, which has made me quiet, introverted and close to nature. The other half of my life, I have spend moving every 8 moths or so. During my studies, I spent all my summers away from Quénec. My trips have made me more confident  and less ‘by the book’ than I would have been otherwise. South America, especially, taught me that stress does not make you happy. Also, the friendships that I developed with people that I have met throughout my travels have taught me to accept myself for who I am, and to be comfortable with myself.
4. What is your greatest achievement?
I’m proud of being financially independent from my parents, and to have been since university. It has given me a lot more freedom.
5. What is your greatest regret? Or what is your greatest fear?
I try not to have any regrets. When I make a decision, it is normally very thought out and I make sure to look at the good parts of it, without thinking about what I’m missing out on. However, I would have love to have been more of an extrovert. In high school, I was more reserved, and watched my friends do things without me. But that’s int the past, and I don’t want to look back with regret.
I’m scared of everything! I’m scared of being loney, of being useless, of putting myself out there, of becoming dependant on someone, of being rejected, etc. There is always a little something holding me back.

6. What would you tell a young girl who is struggling with something like her identity, bullying, not fitting in, etc.?
I would tell her to be strong. I know that it’s not easy, but she has to hold on. There are beautiful things in her future. She should find someone she trusts and talk to them. This person will be there for them and might be able to make things appear less scary. Don’t put pressure on youtself to be perfect – those who don’t accept her as she is do not deserve her time. She must be patient and gentle with herself. It takes time to find who you are, and she might need some time to explore that.

She does not deserve this bullying, and it is not her fault. I want her to remember that people who are different are usually the most interesting, those who have the best stories to tell and who are not scared to go off the beaten path. At the end of the day, these people have a strength that other don’t. She has more to offer than she’ll ever know. Her situation is not permanent, and she is not alone in this struggle.

7. What’s next?

I want to finish my masters, take a bike trip in the meantime, and find a job as I’m finishing school. Ideally, I would love to find a one or two year contract in another country. A husband and children are definitely something I want, but I’m not there yet. After all – what are the odds of meeting someone who will want to travel with me? Once my need to move around is under control, everything should fall it to place, or so my mum says! Hah!

I am enjoying the fact that I don’t have any real responsibilities or dependents, and I am using this time to explore all the opportunities that I have. Everything will happen in due time.