My career looks different to what I'd imagined

Written , Work , Social justice

If you asked me a couple of years ago where I see myself in five years, I would have never imagined my current reality. Five years ago, fresh out of university, a degree in hand and dreams in my pocket, I would have never imagined myself so proud to say: I am running my own NGO, Girls With Wiings, an organisation that sows hope and restores the dignity of homeless and underprivileged women. By providing access to basic sanitary products and services, Girls With Wiings is tackling the issue of dignity head on.

I never imagined I would take this path

You study and work hard to be the best version of yourself that you can imagine: smart, successful, ambitious, someone who establishes themselves as a brand amongst their peers and colleagues and leaves their mark on the world. At no point did I imagine that at 25 my life, passion, drive and sense of purpose would direct me down the path of community development and building, and uplifting the poor.

In fact, it was wrestling with the idea of my next change in the corporate world and making decisions about my career that made me all the more certain and convinced that it is in the field, on the streets and helping the poor, where my passion lies.

I am truly learning, appreciating and embracing the process of “adulting”

Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, I love the challenges that the corporate world, with all its complexities and dynamics, brings. I love being able to look at a problem, grapple with it and solve it. I like the frustration of being stuck and how that motivates me to want more, to dream more and to do more. In fact, it was everything that the corporate world had to offer me, to teach me, to open my eyes to, which pushed me to want to do more. That pushed me to use the same problem-solving drive, energy and relentlessness, to tackle head on one of the most common, yet less talked about issues in our communities – menstrual health. It is in this space where I am truly learning, appreciating and embracing the process of “adulting”

This is adulting

You never quite know when you are an adult. Yes, your age is a hint, and so are the many phases of life that pass you by: the teens, first year in varsity, first job, marriage, maybe kids. But you never really know if you are an adult until you are faced with those moments in life that require you to adult. Adulting is that space: it is helping people that can’t help themselves, it is having to carry your own load and the load of others. It’s not having a way out because you actually cannot quit, it is dreaming of the world you want to see and inspiring others to see it too. It is here where I am all grown up. I am adulting, this is adulting.

Leaving a legacy

I haven’t wasted my life. I have found all of those things: being smart, successful, trying to climb the corporate ladder, establishing myself as my own brand amongst my peers and colleagues and leaving my mark in the world. At 27 I am still here, I am still adulting and getting good at it. I have started something that is beyond me and I am working for something that will better this generation and the one after me.

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