I was like any other average 20-something year old, having recently graduated from university and busy trying to navigate the working world. I took the ‘adulting’ role seriously, making sure to complete all the steps that so-called responsible adults take: I had a job, took out a mortgage, bought a house and a car, even got a gym membership. Ahh…the transformation was complete, I felt.
I can’t say I was necessarily happy, but neither would I say I was dissatisfied. Or so I thought anyway. Suddenly, my long-term relationship ended and shook me to the core. I felt unsure about everything and everyone. Life felt uncertain and the future seemed up in the air. What now?
Little did I know that it would be a real blessing in disguise. It took that major life event to force me to stop and re-evaluate my life, to really assess who I was, what I was doing and what I wanted out of life. After much reflection and self-evaluation, I concluded that I needed to make radical changes in my life, and fast. First up was my home. Thankfully, housing market prices had appreciated between when I had purchased my apartment and when life veered off course. Within no time, it was sold at a profit, and the shackles of mortgage payments fell off with a loud clunk.
That freedom allowed me to take a hard look at my employment and career goals. Why was I in this line of work? Was I lit up with passion about it? Did it inspire me? Did I see myself making a lifelong career out of it? It just didn’t stack up – I was doing it not for the joy it brought me but out of seeming necessity. Sure, I excelled at what I did, but being competent in something doesn’t always make it the perfect match for you. I knew I had to get out. But what next?
I came to the realisation that I effectively put my self-development on hold on account of someone else; I needed to take off the pause button I had unconsciously put on my growth. I contemplated what I was really interested in; not only what I thought I would be good at, but also what I would be happy doing. At first, I was completely blank. Then it dawned on me – I didn’t know what I wanted because I didn’t know myself. The answer this self-inspection yielded was that, firstly, I simply needed to take the time to get fully acquainted with myself as an individual.
The results of this reflection and this path of self-discovery were amazing. I got to love my own company and the feeling of just being. I learned so much about myself and, all of a sudden, it became clear what I needed to do. I needed to broaden my mind in more ways than one. As an island girl, I had taken many short trips overseas, but had never lived anywhere else. Throughout my childhood, my parents always spoke with great fondness of their time living abroad, before having our family. This was a theme that they were both so animated in speaking about and even many years after their experiences, they were able to describe in vivid detail. Their experiences seemed to have shaped the paths they took and greatly influenced their ways of thinking. I wanted that knowledge – I craved the experience of living in a different environment among people of different cultures and backgrounds. Then too, there was the matter of my postgraduate studies which I had always wanted to do, but always found reason to put off.
The fact was, life was passing me by; that had to change. After looking at all the options, I opted to study abroad, in the United Kingdom specifically. Was it a difficult decision to make to leave all I knew behind and go somewhere I had never before visited and where I knew no one? Yes, of course it was. But it imbued me with the sense of purpose and hope that had gone missing for a while. I was excited to embark on this new adventure, and I can honestly say, it was the best decision. I studied Marketing, a subject area of great interest to me and which I was keen on learning more about. I met people from all over the world, many of whom I have become good friends with. Best of all (this is going sound a bit cliché) I met and married the love of my life – he really is! We connect in a way I never knew was possible and we are so happy together.
So all in all, yes, my life has had its challenges (whose hasn’t?). But I’ve grown so much as a person and learned a whole lot of lessons. I believe one’s personal journey never truly ends and, as long as we live, we should be constantly acquiring more knowledge, developing as individuals, and, very importantly, striving to be compassionate and help others along the way.
And this, my friends, is why I have started this blog. I want to share with you the things I have learned as well as all the things I continue to learn each and every day, with the purpose of inspiring and motivating you to never be afraid of change and to be the best you possible.
If you’ve read this far, first of all, thank you! And also, I hope you will continue this journey with me by reading this blog and connecting with me via email subscriptions and social media.
Sending much love to you all.