There are moments where we crystallize in our lives… moments where one moment you were one person and the next moment you are someone completely different. They don’t have to be significant moments, they can happen anywhere, but the shift comes like a jolt.
Carol was a classmate of mine in college. We were a small class, so everyone was friendly, even though some, like Carol, may have found my joie de vivre a bit excessive. But this is not about a lasting friendship, this story is about an Angel named Carol.
I drifted from college to university, not really sure what I wanted to do, but certain that it was not what I studied in college. But when I hit university I met people who made me think, and who liked hearing what I was thinking… I was quite happy to muck about in academia for a few years on my journey in life and after three years, had made some good friends, but really hadn’t settled on a path.
At the same time, my friend Darren had started working at an AIDS organization in Ottawa. It was before antiretroviral therapies were available and people still got very sick and died during the mid-90’s, yet the hysteria had passed… He volunteered on a board, and became active with the Aboriginal Network just getting started up.
I remember sitting in the coffee shop on campus with Carol, having a visit, as I told her about Darren and his work and I idly said “I wish I could do work like he is doing…” and Carol just said, “So, why don’t you?” And at that moment a light came shining through the clouds. I woke up to the possibility that I could do what I wished for. I became a different person after that.
Within the year, I was accepting my diploma and working in the world of HIV and AIDS. For years I did not let go of that power of the wish granted. I did things I wanted to do and I was supported in this environment. I worked with the people who were and are most affected by HIV, but also have issues with racism, social stigma, poverty, mental health, inadequate housing, substance use and so much more. And they were the most welcoming and supportive group of people that I ever knew.
I don’t really know how or why, but eventually everything changed. The issues became more fragmented, rather than working together, we were competing for funding. Ultimately my values were no longer aligned with the communities where I worked. So I disappeared from that movement.
Life is a wonderful journey, and I regret not one moment of it, the wisher is still alive in me today, and this expression of myself is the fulfillment of my latest wish.
To share the wonders of nature and to meet others on a similar journey. For although our paths may only cross for a brief time, there is no telling what light may shine on us together. Ultimately my wish is to help you connect to your inner strength, into your moments of clarity and shine with you on this journey we call life.