Love conquers all. It’s all you need to overcome the day-to-day. It’s the most powerful weapon. Love wins.
But what about when it doesn’t? What happens when love isn’t enough?
I love INDEV. I love the program, the people in it, the prospects associated with it. This program has stretched me into the kind of person that I want to be and that other people want to be around. But INDEV is hard. It’s a challenging program, because we don’t shy from the challenging stuff. I’ve been lucky so far in my classes; knowing that I love the end result makes the process worthwhile to me. I can get through it, because I love what I do. Except, I don’t love most of my classes right now. I find them uninspiring or even downright disappointing. I struggle to dedicate my time to studying and completing assignments, and my grades have been much lower than what I know I’m capable of because I’ve been depending so far on how much I love what I do. It’s been so easy for me to stay motivated and do well and the second it gets hard I’m at a loss.
And as I start earnestly preparing for placement, I’m starting to realize that loving what I do isn’t really cutting it.
Loving development isn’t enough. It’s not enough to move across the world and be passionate about helping other people because there will be a time when you can’t. There will be a time when you can’t change the system, when you’re forced to make a decision or not take an action and you already know the negative consequences.
Loving INDEV isn’t enough to change the world. That’s been the hardest thing I’ve had to learn this year: love isn’t always enough. I realized this when I was applying for my field placement. Loving ecotourism isn’t going to get me a job in that sector, I need employable skills and applicable knowledge. If I do get the job I’m hoping for, I’ll be moving to Sri Lanka for a job I’m not prepared for.
I learned quickly in this program that I won’t be able to singlehandedly change the world. That was the dream, and it’s a tough reality to come to terms with. And I question the ethics of me going on placement every single day. Is it right for me to plant temporary roots and attempt to influence lives just because I love “doing development”? Is the love of the field and the love for other people enough to justify my middle-class white Canadian self moving to a foreign country and claiming I have something to offer?
I don’t know what I’ll do when things get tough. It’s really really hard knowing that you can love something so much, but that love isn’t always going to be enough. It’s the unfair reality of the field I’ve chosen. Loving INDEV is what has made me succeed so far and I’ve learned a lot in my studies but I’m still unequipped. What happens when love falls short? I guess I’ll let you know when I’ve figured it out.