Today marks the day that I officially resigned from my company after eight years of service. My impending departure is going to be bittersweet. I have gained an invaluable skill set, met some great people that have I have ultimately become close friends with, and I have been afforded many things because of this job such as a house and a Master’s degree. However, I reached a turning point in my life about 2-3 years ago. At this point, I realized that I had to get back to the core of what it was that I really wanted out of life and how I wanted to direct my steps in the years to come.
I will admit, I had a hard time and I still have a hard time articulating what it is that I want to be when I grow up. At one point I wanted to be a scientist, artist, and waitress. My parents and family indulged the first two as I had science and art kits and one of my masterpieces is currently hanging in my parent’s foyer. Perhaps when I’m dead my art will be appreciated, but as of now I haven’t been able to live off my art.
So what is the career path for me?
I recently found two personal statements I wrote (one from high school and one from college). The personal statement from high school ended with my desire to make a “change in the minds of the oppressed and the oppressor”. From my college essay, I wrote about being inspired by Gwyneth Paltrow’s role in the movie “A Perfect Murder” where she was translator for the U.N. She spoke French, English of course, and ARABIC. Having studied Arabic in undergrad, this movie put into context what I wanted to do – work for a government agency “doing international law or finance”.
Some days, I feel like I took a huge detour from what I thought I wanted to do. But then I remind myself that we are never too old to ask ourselves that question we are asked over and over again as a child. No matter what point you are in life, if you have determination, patience, are willing to sacrifice and step out on faith, your dreams and passions will be closer than you ever imagined. As I reflect about my experiences to date and my upcoming adventures, I realize that my steps have been ordered for me and I’m just starting the next chapter in the book of my life.
What are the next steps?
In September, I will be leaving for London to study at the University of London (Goldsmiths College) for a 1 year program in Postcolonial Culture and Global Studies. From there, who knows? My goal remains as it has over 10 years ago: to work for either a government or non governmental agency combining my liberal arts/language background with my finance background to make a tangible impact on the world around me.
Frequently asked questions
1)What are you going to do with your house? I don’t know – but if you know anyone looking to rent in North East Philadelphia please e-mail me as soon as possible
2)Where are you going to live once you get over there? I don’t know, but I can tell you it won’t be a dorm and again if you know someone who is renting space let me know
3)Are you going to return to your job? No. Unless my current company unveils a microfinance arm or some philanthropic venture that includes working in developing countries, I probably will not return. Furthermore, I am not too keen on returning to Pennsylvania other than to visit.
4)Why London? London is truly a gateway to the rest of the world just as NY is a gateway in the Western Hemisphere. Within a few hours I can be in Africa, other parts of Europe, and Asia.
5)Why study out of the country? I truly believe that you really get a better sense of who you are once you have traveled and have seen how other people live. I took my first plane ride when I was 16 to St. Thomas and I stayed there for 2 months. This time was extremely profound because I really became self aware as I viewed myself through another culture’s eyes. I also believe it was through my interactions with people there that I truly began to love for the first time. Americans are often criticized as being self-absorbed and I agree at times. I think this experience will continue to humble me as I learn about a new culture.
6)Are you going for a guy? Ha. Lol. No. At one point a guy was in the equation and he would have been a quick train ride away considering he lived in Belgium. But he is no longer and I’m moving to London with a fresh slate open to any possibilities (Males only! So again if you know anyone let a sista know)
7)You already have a Masters don’t you and why not a PHD? Yes I do, but this is in something completely different. I didn’t think I would get accepted into a PHD program in a completely new field and I really wasn’t ready to commit to that level of study yet.
8)Will I come back with an accent? Probably. I lived in Georgia for six months and came back talking about I’m fixing and fitting to do XYZ, called everyone shorty, and I said mamma instead of Mom. When I stayed in St. Thomas for two months, I picked up the habit of kissing my teeth, saying ting instead of thing and tree instead of three every now and then. So rest assured, I will be saying lift instead of elevator, tube instead of train, and sign off with Cheers faithfully
Although 10 is a nice, round, and even number, I’m way too tired to continue. So until next time Cheers!