Worth Living Ambassador Ashley Wunsch
Hello, my name is Ashley Wunsch and I am studying International Development and Globalization at the University of Ottawa. I always had a desire to change the world. Last year, I realized that changing the world isn’t only digging wells and building schools, but also taking care of yourself and your mental health, so I started to get involved with organizations surrounding mental health like Worth Living.
Everything Happens for a Reason
The past few months it seems like I’ve been riding a roller coaster. It’s been pretty rough (on my heart at least). I tend to apply to a lot of things and most times I do not get them. Now I am not writing this to look for pity or anything along those lines, simply because I learned something behind it all that I would like to share, and it is also very therapeutic. There have been plenty of times in the past few months where it felt like my world was crashing, but most importantly, I’m still here and I survived it. Yes, my heart was broken many times when I did not get what I applied for, but then other opportunities that I never considered showed up to take their place.
The first of many heartbreaks would have to be applying to be on my student association. I applied for the role I’ve been eyeing since my first day of school and at the end of the day I did not get it. This is not a bash against the individual who did in any way as I am genuinely happy for them and know they will do a great job. However, I also can’t pretend I was fine when I heard their name being called, as my heart shattered in a million pieces. Since starting university, I wanted to fill the hole in my heart where student government used to be. I loved high school and my time in student government made me who I am today. I wanted to continue down that path more than anything especially in a role that I am so passionate about. So of course, I tried out for the role and when I didn’t get it, I tried so hard to hold in the tears and it worked until I got home at least. Stepping into my room, I was a mess that cried for four hours straight. I couldn’t understand why things worked out the way they did. I knew as bad as it may hurt that when I wake up the next day it would all be okay as there was nothing I could do about it and the individual who won the spot would be fantastic at it. I reassured myself that everything would be okay and that I don’t need a label or a position on my student association to be worth something, that I am more than that position. For that reason, I eventually fell asleep.
The next day, an amazing opportunity hit me. I convinced myself that there was a reason I did not get my role because I wouldn’t have time to do both this new one and the one I applied to. I was asked to be the co-president of the club of the organization I hope to work for one day. It was so honouring and rewarding especially since I will only be in my second year of university. As many organizations have taught me, age doesn’t matter to have an impact on the world. I gladly accepted the role and felt like I was floating on a cloud. The heartbreak from the day before diminished almost completely. Until, well I decided to apply for another executive positon. Fast forward two weeks- I did not get that role either.
I was hesitant applying at first, as I do not want to be a part of my student association just to get the credit that I am on the executive or to tell people I am on the exec. I want to be on my student association because I love it with all my heart and want to be as involved and as involved as possible. However, after the third try (once last fall), I started to think that it isn’t for me. There are so many opportunities and I am not necessarily ‘giving up’ but honestly, I do not know how many times I can willingly allow my heart to break. Besides, back to my train of thought of before; I don’t NEED to be on the executive to have a say or to attend events or to be involved – labels do not define us. For that reason, who knows where I will be and if I will try out again in the fall or next spring, only time will tell.
Yet coincidentally, it seems that when negative aspects hit me, a positive one will follow the next day. I was then offered a job in my hometown. I was honoured to be thought of and to be asked. However, in the moment I applied for my dream job, so I told them I would need to wait and see on their response. Initially, I did not get the job, meaning I accepted two jobs at home. A week later however, I got an email saying I was asked for an interview at my dream job. I was torn, not wanting to hurt my employers at home, but if I did, I would be hurting myself and not going for my dream. For that reason, in the moment, I decided to keep things on the down low and take the interview. I was not going to not try but I also wasn’t going to cause a scene where there’s a chance I did not get the job at the same time. In the end, I did get the job. I was happier than ever; my dream job awaits me. Yet, now it was time to tell the two other employers. Luckily, they seemed to take it alright, for which I am grateful but it was a process of overthinking and over analyzing the situation.
Social media seems to be filled with the positives in our lives which I do not blame anyone as I tend to post my highlights as well. Yet, I am also trying to post the downsides and the lessons that come out of them. Life is filled with ups and downs and we can all share our experiences and learn from each other. I did not get either executive positions and that’s okay. Just because I failed once doesn’t mean I need to stay down in that low area, I can pick myself back up piece by piece and grow from the experience. Just because I failed to get a position doesn’t mean I am a failure. If anything, it shows that I am willing to try new things. Honestly, this post has taken me two weeks to write, trying to make it as perfect as possible and trying to show that I have no grudges against anyone and make sure nobody looks bad in it. Yet I am glad to be able to one, finish this post and two, say that everything happens for a reason. Yes, I did not get the student association roles but instead I got two positions with the organization of my dreams, putting me one step closer to working for them after my graduation and I couldn’t be happier.