A short while ago, I asked three loved ones to look back on their thirty-something lives and write what they saw. I’ll be including their writings as featured posts here in an attempt to encourage you dear reader. Ofttimes we think our situations are unique to us; and while that may be true with regards to specific incidents, the struggle to find ourselves in a broken world is shared universally.
Here goes the first one.
I’ve recently started reading the memoir by Michelle Obama called “Becoming”. It’s been interesting to read her humble beginnings and simple childhood ambitions considering where she is now and all that she has accomplished.
Naturally, this has made me reflect on my childhood ambitions and aspirations and measure them up to where I am now.
Brave Fledgling Dreams
A distant but vivid memory I still have up to today is having my dreams crushed by a well-meaning aunt when I was about 10 years old. I had told her that I wanted to come up with the cure for AIDS and she flippantly told me that that was never going to happen, AIDS was simply incurable.
I don’t think she doubted my abilities – though that’s what my juvenile self probably thought – her response just spoke more of her view of AIDS and its impact on the country (Zimbabwe) back then in 1995 and I didn’t fully comprehend it at the time.
I worked hard and played hard in my teens. I had notions of becoming an accountant, mainly because my older sister was studying to be one and, as her little follower, I thought that was my path too.
Eventually, I realised that sciences were my strength and I pursued them instead. The general presumption in my time was that if you studied Maths, Biology and Chemistry at GCE A-Level, you were going to be a doctor. So for a while I leaned into this idea, but near the end of high school I realised that medicine wasn’t for me. It didn’t tick my box of wanting to do something unique.
Therefore, I began looking at studying audiology and working with the deaf, which was something that had been on my heart for a long time, and still is. However, my parents had never even heard of audiology so they were not about to allow me to do that.
A degree in Applied Chemistry seemed like a good compromise which suited me just fine since chemistry is dynamic and is all about innovation and solving problems; so that is what I ended up studying.
My 20’s brought a freedom-independence combo that comes with leaving home for university, and subsequently working and living on one’s own.
Career-wise, I was thriving in my different jobs but I had a nagging dream and desire to do my own thing, which was frustrating because my jobs were so demanding on my time.
The highlight of my 20’s came at 27 when I fell pregnant with my daughter; suddenly and naturally my priorities shifted. I left my job and became a stay at home mum and budding entrepreneur. This job, I must say, has been much harder than any of my previous jobs, but it has been the most rewarding role I’ve ever had, albeit the least paid one.
Now at 32, I am three children richer and I manage my own time to do whatever I please. I’ve been able to input meaningfully into my children’s development and start various entrepreneurial pursuits as well.
This luxury has been afforded to me mainly thanks to my husband who works hard at his job which pays all the bills and allows me to do what I do.
The icing on the cake has been working with two girls who are hearing impaired whom I met years ago on my journey.
Future Looks Bright
Looking forward, I would like to see growth. To see my children grow. Not only physically but emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.
I would like to see my businesses grow. Not just financially but have a social impact.
To see my relationship with my husband and our shared dreams grow and come to pass as we builder a bigger and better life together.
Advice I would give to my teen self would be: don’t change a thing.
Everything I went through has helped shape the woman, wife, mother and entrepreneur I am today. Motherhood more than anything has taught me that most of the time we are just winging it.
My life has not been that type of life that went according to my plan, but it went according to God’s plan and thank God for that.