Letting my imagination lead the way

This Free to Spiel guest feature has been written by Emily, one of the founders of The Mindful Hour (@mindfulhourtherapy on Instagram). Emily discusses how she couldn’t wait to finish her degree, but when the time came she felt directionless – that is, until a certain conversation at her graduation ceremony. I really loved reading Emily’s feature (some of what she has written gave me GOOSEBUMPS), and I’m sure you will too!

“Exactly two years ago, I decided to take a big leap of faith”

Exactly two years ago, I decided to take a big leap of faith: I packed up my bags and moved away from home for the first time, to a brand new city.

This brings us right to today, where you’ll currently find me completing a masters degree in Counselling Psychology at the University of Toronto in the Great White North (aka Canada).

With that being said, I’m also working part-time as an intern therapist at a private clinic here in Toronto. Although you’ll find me going through the winds of life here in the 6ix, my roots are grounded in Montreal, Canada, the second largest French-speaking city in the world.

That’s the general gist of my formal spiel but really, most people just know me as the girl who’s always hungry. 

l left […] with my makeshift diploma, my head held high and nowhere to go, but with the world as my oyster

My turning point was when I was doing my undergraduate degree in Psychology and hating it. I couldn’t wait to be done and get out into the real world, a world where I wasn’t buried in brain physiology or stormed with Freud’s take on my deepest subconscious.

When I think back to that period of my life, all that comes to mind is lonely. I was surrounded by a supportive family and a loving partner but yet, I felt alone.

Out of my 3 years there, the most significant interaction I had was with the individual sitting next to me at my graduation ceremony, telling me about all her med school plans. I was genuinely happy for her and thought to myself “wow it must be really exciting to look forward to your own future“.

She seemed like she had it all figured out, so naturally I pretended like I did too. I went on and on about these potential academic plans and career goals I had in the field of psychology, all of which were fictional. I was a fraud, but at least no-one else knew that.

And then it hit me: why not me?

Why couldn’t I be the one who was genuinely excited for my future and all the places I would go, as Dr. Seuss once read to me? I couldn’t answer my own question because there was no answer – there was no reason why it couldn’t be like that for me too.

At the start of my convocation day, I was just another cattle from the herd of academia, craving her three seconds of fame as she’d be ushered across the stage before the next one was up. But at the end of that day, l left the convocation hall with my makeshift diploma, my head held high and nowhere to go, but with the world as my oyster.

And you, kind soul sitting next to me that day, I am eternally grateful, for you were my turning point.


“…discontent is the nagging of our imagination trying to tell us that something more is meant for us

So here I am today, after finding my way to the truth that was hidden somewhere in between the fine lines of the fictional life I had imagined for myself. When it comes to tips, let me try my best to get my point across without writing a novel. 

Each and every one of us is a new experiment, bringing into this world something that has never existed before.

As Glennon Doyle once put it: we spend some time feeling discontent, but this mere discontent is the nagging of our imagination trying to tell us that something more is meant for us.

Discontent is nothing but evidence that our imagination has yet to give up on us.

If we want to hear the voice of our imagination, then we have to speak the language it understands. Lucky for us, our native tongue is that of our imagination.

So forget your training, put aside the excuses for just a moment, and let your imagination lead the way.

Thank you Emily, for sharing your story! Readers can connect with the author via Instagram (@mindfulhourtherapy).

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