The agonising pain as the stone hit my face, tearing my eye and leaving it blind for life. That wasn’t supposed to happen to a 5 year old, but it did.
Insecurity, anyone? It isn’t funny when I’m looking at a child and he looks over his shoulder, thinking I’m looking at someone else. Even less fun when a client does the same thing in a meeting. But I’ve learned to ignore it.
The private letter I wrote to my mother, telling her I was running away, without ever having the intention to do it. Ignored. Trashed. 8 year olds are not always heard as clearly as they wish.
Your boss is not a mind reader. Make sure your message is c.l.e.a.r.l.y.u.n.d.e.r.s.t.o.o.d
The defiance at challenging the boy at school who had the audacity to tease me for wearing glasses. One glare from me was all it took. No words required.
That bully in the office? He is worth standing up to. Take the formal route and keep it professional. Stick to facts. And if it doesn’t work, get out. It’s what I did.
The unjustified injustice as I took yet another day off school to care for my ailing mother. “This is the reason why we have children. You look much older than your 11 years. Start acting like it”.
Not everything you do will be fun. But you knew that already, right? I hate waking up at 5am to take a flight that means I spend a day in a city, back-to-back meetings, and return in the evening without having seen the sights. But it does mean I don’t have to spend every day at the same desk. And I love that.
The battle when I had to ask for permission from my parents to apply to a university. The answer was no. But I applied anyway. And got in. Don’t stop me now.
Play by the rules to push the boundaries. Play nice with the boss to get the fun projects. But mean it.
Not the typical student. “Are you going out tonight?” “Erm, no. I’m going home”. “Good little Muslim girl” he sniggered. They didn’t know about how much time I didn’t have left to spend with my Dad.
This fitting in thing? Make it work for you. Some businesses actively look for more women for the Board. Some beg for ethnic minorities. Use it.
The heavy-hearted relief when he died.
Shit happens. For a reason. The reason can take some time to reveal itself. The next time I lose my job and it feels unjust ? Remember – shit happens for a reason.
“Women don’t have a job. Marriage and children for you, my girl.” Hmm… been there, done that. The t-shirt didn’t fit.
Not every business will share the same values as you. Find one that does. The fit will feel natural.
The firestarting freedom of buying a house and decorating it from top to bottom. By myself. I can do anything. Imagine what it’s like having me on your side.
It’s real. Tangible. Methodical. I’m good at it. I have a job where I use the Skills I. Am. Good. At.
The aching loneliness as I sat in my expensive apartment without a penny to my name, having moved to London for a future. Is this what growing up is supposed to look like?
I gave the client the wrong advice because I didn’t check my facts. I wasted people’s time in a meeting as I didn’t have a clear agenda. Take responsibility. Don’t repeat the same thing – once is an experience, twice is a mistake.
The wide-eyed amazement as I reflect on how I’ve lived in two major cities and have been blessed enough to build my community around me as I’ve moved.
Now is not a constant. What were you doing years ago that you thought would never stop? What will you be doing in years to come that will make the anguish of today appear meaningless, worthless, insubstantial?
The euphoria felt at seeing friends in a new city – real friends – gathered to celebrate my birthday.
I like people. My energy comes from other people. So I need a job where I am surrounded by people.
How much your baggage are you taking into the office? Consciously or otherwise?