Photo credit: my boyfriend (this day was VERY hot).
This newsletter is a little different… That’s because it’s November 22 as I write it.
November 22, 2005 was the day of my dad’s crossing heaven-side. Coincidentally, this year, the anniversary falls just a few days after speaking about crypto to students at the UBC Sauder School of Business. Which became symbolic to me.
Speaking about Crypto to Students
I was part of a panel that answered students questions around crypto. I may not have much technical knowledge, but I have experienced first-hand the rising and falling of nations.
Having lived in Venezuela, Syria and Egypt, I’ve lived through the saying “absolute power corrupts absolutely”.
I’ve witnessed the pain in a mother’s eyes, the stress in a father’s eyes, and the hopelessness in a child’s eyes. All because men crave an undying power to control people and money.
I shared those experiences with the students, why I believe bitcoin’s only getting started and why bitcoin doesn’t need influencers like Elon Musk. Plus a whole lot more I can’t remember…
When it was time for the 130 students to ask us question, not a single woman raised her hand. All questions were asked by young men already knowledgeable in this space.
So, I made it a point to speak to the young women during the networking hour that followed the Q&A. I asked them if they had any questions. One-by-one, they started making their way towards me, until suddenly I was surrounded by all the women who were too shy to ask the “dumb questions.”
I asked them to please, please, please learn about bitcoin (and crypto in general), to invest in crypto assets and consider working in the space. I told them I was here as a resource for them and shared my contact details.
They lit up as they felt, for the first time ever, an invitation to join the crypto revolution. An invitation that had previously been offered to them but which was plagued with a deep bro-culture, technical jargon, and a somewhat feisty attitude.
It’s no wonder young women who avoid all forms of rebellion and confrontation have never really felt like a sense of belonging in the space.
But… that is changing slowly.
Whatever You Do, Do It While Daring Greatly
If I’m honest, I was quite nervous to speak in front of 130 students plus faculty. But I knew I had to do it.
Growing up my dad always pushed me to try things. To try out for the swimming team, the jazz band, the higher level Chemistry class (although I promptly quit afterwards).
He did not care whether I thrived or failed. That was besides the point. He just needed me - and all his five children - to TRY things. To be unafraid and daring.
I suppose the habit of trying things, although at times shaking in terror, has stayed with me to this day.
As it turns out, trying is the reason I travelled to India for an outdoor adventure trip, the reason I volunteered in Swaziland and the reason I moved to Canada alone. Trying is also the reason I worked in the tech industry then moved to the Grizzly Bear Foundation only to land in the crypto industry afterwards.
By daring to try, I’ve met people, heard the most remarkable stories and connected the most inspiring dots.
You see, something great starts happening when you try things. You keep pushing the limit of your discomfort. You keep pushing the edges of pain. You get to be reborn into the better version of yourself… I believe reinventing yourself is a necessity if you are to live a life worth telling.
I would much rather be the person who lived 10,000 crazy lives in one lifetime than the person who had lived one perfect life once.
So, I try… despite the fear, the insecurity and the deep impostor syndrome that at times consumes me.
One Final Word
Perhaps my dad knew he would leave me early, even though he suddenly passed away.
Maybe in his deep subconscious he knew he was leaving behind a 15-year old girl in a country that was not her own.
It was also possible he understood that in order for me to make it in this world without him, I would have to walk through life by bumping into everything along the way.
He knew that I would need to fall, get back up, fall and get back up. But how could he teach me to not assume defeat?
He got me in the habit of trying. Trying despite the odds or the outcome. Perhaps, he knew that as long as I was trying things I was finding my way.
… Like all of us, we eventually do find our way.
Today, I am reminded that as long as I live I shall be of service to the most vulnerable among us. How could I not after everything I’ve experienced?
That’s why I will try as hard as I can to encourage more people - particularly women - to step into the freedom of bitcoin… even if it terrifies me, like speaking in front of a classroom.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again... who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” - Teddy Roosevelt