Over 2 Years Later: What does it mean?

It's been two and a half years since I started this blog. A recent experience of running an Outgoing Preparation Seminar for new EPs to start their own internships has got me thinking about my own internship again.

Before I went to Ukraine I was a 21 year old taxi driver who was half way through his VPOGX term of AIESEC Saskatoon, and the only city I had been to outside of the prairies was Ottawa (except for a 5 hour stop in Toronto). I wasn't very confident, had never had a girlfriend, and had only recently started to have a social life.

I came back from that internship slightly more traveled, but more importantly I was more confident and had a greater appreciation that other people were what defined my happiness and my life experiences.

Since then I've been to three more countries (Russia, Singapore, and Egypt) and plan to go to many more (travel bug!). I've taken on more leadership roles as LCP of AIESEC Saskatoon, NST Team Leader for OGX, Conference faci for NC2013, and now in my current role as National VP of OGX. Similar to catching the travel bug, I now have the leadership bug. I'm sad to say that I haven't kept up with as much of my friends (from Ukraine and from Canada) that I would have liked, but I've also made lots of new friends and I find it a lot easier to meet people and socialize that I did 3 years ago.

So, how does my internship fit into the greater story of my life? If I had to describe the impact of my exchange in one word I would say: Empowered

I thought that I was leader before my internship. I thought that I was smart and driven and on a great path to success. I wasn't. I probably would have gone on to accomplish a few things, but I wasn't self-aware enough to know that I needed to push more. I was complacent, I would have settled for being 'pretty good'.

I can't stop now, I need to keep going. It's not that I feel more ambitious or more confident either. To say that would suggest that I want to keep driving further for the sake of accomplishing something or to become great. It's different than that. I need to keep making myself better and pushing further because anything less would be boring. It would be dull. My eyes have been opened to a world of colour and I can no longer settle for black and white.

That's the impact of my exchange. Good enough is no longer good enough. It's changed my expectations of the world and what I want to get out of life. It has changed my natural state of being. The impact of my exchange was not the change of who I was before and after my trip, it was the path that it set me down.


Roger Zhang said...

Hey Carson, what a touching blog! It is true that this experience empowering us and your story is amazing. Right now all AIESEC Canada's LC are working on transitionor their new AIESEC team. What will you say to the new VP OGXs?

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