Friday, April 29, 2011

Changing your Rep. It's possible!

For the longest time I've had different views/feelings of my reputation. I would say that from the end of high school, through college, and beyond my reputation was that of a hardcore drinker's. I think that a lot of people knew me as the little girl that partied hard and usually blacked out...and was always down for drinking. When I made drinking related mistakes in college and was upset about my drinking habits, I figured the only way I could escape them was to move. I actually thought about transferring schools just to escape my reputation...however, my friends made me realize that unfortunately my rep would follow me if my behavior didn't change. Then, on other days when I was proud to be a skilled boozer and people were speaking positively of my ability to drink and party, I was happy with my reputation and embraced it. I accepted who I was and figured I would never change so I might as well enjoy it.

Well both of those thoughts were wrong.

I did change! I completely changed actually...accept that I am still the same person. I am still funny, weird, and social...just not drunk.

AND I did change my reputation! In the past week I have been informed of new reputations that I realized I've created for myself. The first one was from a faculty member at UMD who reached out to me for a position on her research team. She said she read my application and was impressed and wanted to work with me! BAM...reputation created! And her and I spoke about reputations and about how to create them when you are young and just beginning your career...and my hope is to be known in the public health community as an expert on American Indian health (at some point in my life!). Then today, a colleague came up and said that he heard I was quite the runner/racer. BAM...another reputation created! So yes these reputations are created in new environments, but I think that even if these individuals knew my past it wouldn't change the reputation that I've created for myself.

My point is...and always will be...that change is possible. You are never done growing and learning and shaping who you are and more importantly, who you want to be. And embracing a negative aspect of your life doesn't have to be the case. Embracing things that you cannot change is healthy and will lead to happiness...but changing things you don't want to embrace is smart. Don't settle.


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