Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Decisions and the fear of change

It's been a while.

Five months ago, I made a decision to change career paths (quite a drastic change in my case). I was scared. Apart from obvious fears such as telling my parents that I wanted a change, I was experiencing some hidden fears as well. I was scared to admit to myself that the path I was on was taking me to a place where I'd be unhappy. Scared to admit to myself that my heart truly belonged somewhere else, and almost ashamed that I didn't make the right decision to begin with - after all, it's supposed to be MY dream right? How could I not know?!

Well, all it takes (in my case) is a 4 hour long coffee date with a friend to find myself opening up and finally sitting up tall, and proud to make that huge decision to essentially drop what I was doing to dive head first into something very new.

What made it harder to take this step was the fact that the career choice I had first made was still very fulfilling in its own way. That makes it harder to leave something that you're happy doing everyday - but the point where you start to have this idea in the back of your head, that you could be pursuing something you've always wanted to, but somehow strayed away, is the point that you have to really take a moment, and THINK. And don't be scared to THINK about it. I was, and that's what delayed me in making this awesome decision. I finally made it and I have NO regrets with where life took me before this. That's because it all happened for a reason. I've never been happier to be in school (as hard as it is) because this time around, I LOVE what I'm doing. This time, it's MY decision.

The lessons learned - life is going to confuse you. You're not alone in it. Find someone you can talk to &talk to them. Don't be afraid to let go. Don't be afraid of change. Don't be afraid to speak about your dreams, no matter how stupid you think they are. It's through life's experiences that you'll figure out what you like doing, what makes you happy, what gets you energized, and what things you're passionate about. You'll find that within a year, you can change as a person. You will look back and think about how amazing it is & how you didn't even see it coming. Everyday, things change without us realizing it. It's only when we have to bring about a big change in our lives that we go into panic-mode. Just remember, there's always someone there to support you. Changes can bring about some really rough times. Just keep in mind that end result, and keep yourself motivated. Surround yourself with positive people. The people who dream with you are the best one's I find.

Some of us know what we want to be from a young age, and grow up following all the right steps to get themselves there. Some of us just get confused along the way... and that's OKAY! Eventually, you find yourself doing what just feels right in every way :)

EXHIBIT A - My life's career goals (Try not to laugh)

Grade 8 (Olympic Track Athlete) --->
---> Grade 11 (Software Engineer) --->
OAC (Athletic Therapist for an Olympic Team) --->
---> 1st year Kinesiology (Want to be a Dentist)
---> 2nd Year Kinesiology (Want to be a Physiotherapist) --->
---> 3rd Year Kinesiology (no Physiotherapy, confused)
---> 4th Year Kinesiology (still confused) --->
---> Graduated, went to Kenya (pursue International Development) --->
---> After graduation (entered the teaching field specializing in Special Needs)
---> Confusion sets in again, (still interested in Dentistry)
---> Back at school doing Dental Hygiene (VERY HAPPY - will possibly go on to become a dentist) :)

That's me!

Peace n' Love,

Friday, January 11, 2008


People sometimes say that the truth hurts. Well, they're right. However, the hurt isn't what you should be focusing on. It's the lessons learned, and the strength you've gained from the knowledge of that truth that you should really focus on. More importantly, the respect a friend had for you to be honest...and consequently, the growing respect you have for them is worth dwelling on.
I'm happy to say that there are people out there who value honesty and understand the care needed in delivering some truths.
We have all gone through those times saying "I wish I never know",or "It's better not knowing", or "What you don't know can't hurt you.", etc. However, you learn that there is POWER in KNOWING. Knowing gives you choices - you can choose how you want to react, how you want to behave, how you will deal. You're able to value what you have. It gives you opportunities to be a better person, and take on new persepectives... opportunities you MAY not have gotten if you weren't placed in such a position.
My message to you is, embrace all truth, find it's positives, come out strong, smile.
Thank God for all you honest people :)

Peace n' Love,

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I was listening to the radio a few hours ago and caught myself completely engaged in some words spoken on this show. So I did some research and found the excerpt I was looking for. These are three writings by Unknown Authors about Belief. Everyone should read them and see what you can take from them.

Beliefs–Author Unknown.

“I believe –that we don’t have to change friends if we understand that friends change.
I believe–that no matter how good a friend is they’re going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.
I believe–that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.
I believe–that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartaches for life.
I believe–that it’s taken me a long time to become the person I want to be.
I believe–that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.
I believe–that we are responsible for what we do–no matter how we feel.
I believe–that either you control your attitude or it controls you.
I believe–that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.
I believe–that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing, and have the best time.
I believe–that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you’re down, will be the ones to help you get back up.
I believe–that sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.
I believe–that it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.
I believe–that no matter how bad your heart is broken, the world doesn’t stop for your grief.
I believe–that you shouldn’t be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.
I believe–that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don’t even know you.
I believe–that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.
I believe–that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.”

Believe–Author Unknown

“I believe that all life is connected
I believe that human consciousness is not confined to the physical being
I believe that beauty is life displaying the essence of its true being.
I believe that love is the act that tries to bring beauty into being
I believe that love is the glue and the bridge.
I believe that real heroes in life are battlers and the givers, and those that are both are extra special
I believe in the worth of little things–in smiles, in hugs, in laughs, in ’well done!’ ‘You’re good,’ ‘Thanks’
I believe that when I have enjoyed myself, I should tell those who have made it so
I believe in the joy in a sparkling eye
I believe that the whole is much bigger than the sum of the parts
I believe in being one’s own best friend
I believe in facing each day anew and leaving behind the troubles and mistakes of yesterday
I believe that one of the best things I can do for others is to show them I believe in them
I believe all women are treasures
I believe in helping people up
I believe that the worth of my life will depend on how I have loved and laughed, cared and shared and not on the length of my years or the balance in my account
I believe that no matter what my circumstances, I can succeed, for success is how I face life
I believe that if I do not give my best, I cheat only myself
I believe that fortune favors me much more when I have a goal
I believe in balance and harmony, that at some time during the day it is important to rest and be still and enjoy the moment
I believe everyone is somebody and somebody is everyone.”

Writing by an Unknown Author

"I wish for you…
Comfort on difficult days, Smiles when sadness intrudes, Rainbows to follow the clouds, Laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, Gentle hugs when spirits sag, Friendships to brighten your being, Beauty for your eyes to see, Confidence for when you doubt, Faith, so that you can believe, Courage to know yourself, Patience to accept the truth…”

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

People in my life

Today's one of those days that has reminded me of a harsh reality - that our world has SOME truly ignorant and disrespectful people. However, it also brings to mind the blessings of true friendship. I am grateful more than ever before for having been introduced to each person in my life. Every relationship built - whether it be briefly shaking hands with someone and sharing a smile, or chatting for 3 hours over coffee about heartfelt issues - has meaning and purpose. Every person who has entered my life has helped me, inspired me, changed me, and taught me.

It's times like today, when my ears, eyes, and mind are exposed to how cruel the world can be, that I can look at the people around me and be thankful that my true friends would never intentionally disrespect a fellow human being...a fellow brother or sister. It helps to renew that hope that with great friends and people like them still alive in this world - we CAN and WILL change it for the better. This world we live in, we live in together, it's EVERYBODY'S home, for now. Why not just treat everyone you meet with the same respect you'd like in return?

With our lives taking on such busy schedules, we forget to thank those important people for stepping in and just being themselves - their AMAZING selves! The friendship you give someone is a true gift and can mean the world to them and you would never know how much good you've done. So here's a huge shout-out to EVERYONE who's entered my life...whether it was a brief encounter, or an extended journey - Thank you! I truly appreciate all the advice, the support, the reality checks, the pep-talks, the shoulders to lean on, the jokes that make my stomach and cheeks hurt, the ideas, the experiences, the prayers... NEVER STOP! You've made me stronger and wiser. Thank you.

A special thank you to some incredible, awe-inspiring, extraordinary, fabulous, far-out, adventurous, and spectacular people that have recently entered my life and consequently lifted me up to enjoy life with them. I like to call them my "HOMIES" - you know who you are. This group of people who've given me so much more that I would have dreamed for friendship to be, truly beleive in unconditional love. The generosity, the care, the smiles, the laughs, the inclusiveness, the honesty, the uniqueness of every individual, their talents, their strengths, their weaknesses, their wise words, their not-so wise words... ALL of that, packed together in a group of people who I hope I can inspire and help, as much as they have touched me.
Thank you.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I want...

The people I consider safe are my Mom, my Dad, and Royston - my family. I know that my safety and happiness is exteremly important to them. I cannot begin to express in words how thankful I am to them for the support they have given me throughout my life. If I could have dinner with two people dead or alive, they would be J.B Lobo (my mom's father), and Mary D'Souza (my dad's mother). Two incredible people who I did not get to spend much time with and whose wisdom and knowledge I'd like to witness for myself. Royston (my brother) is my go-to guy here on earth. Jesus is my hero.

[The above is an exercise I was asked to do before my trip to Kenya - I believe that questions similar to the ones above are important to think about when you decide to begin a journey of self-exploration. It's sort of a starting point. You look inside yourself and ask yourself "Who am I?". You look at the people closest to you and identify them. Ask yourself WHY you picked them? Think about the people you'd like to learn from. WHY them? Who is that person you ALWAYS turn to for help, or to share that funny story with, or to talk about an issue dear to your heart? Who is your hero? How do you define what constitutes a 'hero'? Everyone's going to have a different definition]

My goal is to go on another trip like the one to Kenya, every year - but to a different place each time.

I want to travel to India, East Asia, South America, Europe, Australia, and more of Africa.

I want to work with children with special needs. The looks on their faces when they succeed at something is PRICELESS...however big or small their task is.

I want to expose my friends and family to my goals and the issues I care about.

I want to live more actively as a Christian. My trip to Kenya definately helps me start, but I want to bring it home with me everyday, and take it to work with me everyday.

I want to complain less, and work harder

I want to capture and remember every smile I made happen

I want to absorb as much of our planet's beauty and share it with others

Reflect upon who you are, who you want to be, commit yourself to something and have faith that you alone can make it happen. Nothing's better than saying, "I DID IT!"

Peace n' Love,
- Falon

Final Words on the African Experience

This trip has taken me on a journey which has allowed me to tap into emotions on a new level. The joy and happiness I've experienced during my stay at Salabwek is a different, and more satisfying feeling than anything I've ever felt. I truly understand the power of a smile after receiving countless numbers of genuine smiles from the community.

My eyes that I have struggled to capture truth with in the past, have now seen true beauty in the African landscapes as well as in each child's face; true gratefulness in each welcome received from the community; true love shared between my group as visitors and each community member as we worked alongside in partnership toward the same goal.

I have been extremely humbled by my experience in Kenya, and I would encourage everyone to take risks like I did, to explore your world, experience it, and share it with others.

Peace n' Love,
- Falon

A lil' bit of Africa - Part 3

Here the final part of my journal entries while in Kenya

June 2, 2007 (In Salabwek)
Sitting here on top of this small mountain we've hiked up to. The view is sensational. The breeze is so fresh & clean. It puts you in a whole different world of your own. I find myself falling in love with this country more each day. There is something special about being amidst God's natural gifts that are untouched and uncorrupted by humans, that gives me a sense of joy and hope that our world still has a chance at preserving its beauty.

A prayer seems so fitting right now. The silence is sometihng I am going to miss.

This opportunity to reflect on changes I want and need to make in my life is great. I can think so much more clearly. I want to take risks and speak about what I feel. I want the world to know that I love them, that I will make a difference, that I will leave it slightly if not a lot better after I leave it. I make this promise today, right here, to take it upon myself to be the change I want to see in the world.

June 3, 2007 (Maasai Mara)
Safari! Wake up was at 5am - NOT COOL! Missed my spot on the lorry and ended up in the jeep. I hate the jeep for the bumps, but we definately ended up having a better view of all the animals because we could drive up closer. We saw a lot of gazelles, impala, wilderbeest, 4 elephants, buffalo, 2 jackals, hippos. Our lion hunts were SO exciting and bumpy! We never found lions but it was really cool being so close - a rush! Bush pee-stops were hilarious - especially being worried that a lion was going to show up. One of the odd hi-lights was losing Raj (the travelling elephant) for 10 minutes. I definately wanted to breakdown and cry (was 2 seconds from doing so). Ming looked like she was going to cry too. We almost stopped the jeep in the middle of the savannah in Kenya to turn back around and look for Raj - a lil' marble elephant. AN IMPORTANT ELEPHANT! Raj was found by Alan in the jeep - PHEW!

So the last 2 hours of my 14 hour day in that jeep was the worst. A migraine hit and I checked out for that night. Worst feeling that whole trip. Everyone was so helpful, and loving.

June 4, 2007 (In Salabwek)
No migraine this morning! WOOHOO! Our very last build session was sweet! Pushed my last wheelbarrow in Africa (for now). Pouring out that sand onto that mound was... a feeling I can't put into words. Laying that last brick on that school... again, I can't find the words. It something deep inside me, it brings a smile to my face, even a tear. It is SUCH a hard task to walk away from that build site. Everyone clapped, we got our last picture taken as we walked away from the site with our shovels thrown over our shoulders.

Prepping for closing ceremonies went smoothly. I can't beleive we decided on singing "We Will Rock You".

Closing ceremonies was even MORE emotional that opening. The tears just never stopped with anyone. With so little that each family of Salabwek has, they invited EACH one of us individually BY NAME to dance with them and they presented us with a Maasai bracelet of our own. The generosity is incredible. I'll never forget these people. The school teachers also gave us a bracelet each. After our performance (which we ROCKED!), there were some really touching speeches. Pastor Wilson spoke about the children not being able to recover after we leave, and I was more worried about us having separation anxiety.

The Team N. America vs. Team Kenya football game started at 4pm. I played forward the whole game until I got smacked in the face with a goal kick that deflected off some Grade 8 Kenyan's foot! Knocked out... don't remember getting off the field...out of commission the rest of the day. Was woken up in the middle of the night in case of a concussion. Everything's cool!


That's the END of my Kenya journal entries!