The Short Bit
Week: 5 to 11 April.
Activities: Networking my ass off (sorry…connecting with people and companies); making lists (otherwise known as task avoidance) & spending lovely time with lovely friends.
Highlight: Arranging a voluntary position with Foundation Mamawatoto http://www.mamawatoto.org/what-we-do/ .
Song of the day: New Shoes – Paolo Nutini
Mood: Nervous, excited, embracing change
Learning: Opportunities are there for the taking, but only YOU can make them happen.
The Long Bit
Three weeks on from Peru and I’m finally starting to figure it out. Feeling unsettled has been unsettling, but I’ve realised that is the whole point of it; sitting still is no longer an option and all the nervous energy is spurring me on to make decisions and start a new journey.
Given time to reflect, the experience left me with a lot more than I could have imagined. I discovered a love of writing and through it found the courage to share a piece of myself, which I sometimes keep hidden (my thoughts and feelings) for fear of being judged. Note: if I’ve had a few beers, I will tell you anything you want to know :).
Now, there’s no stopping me and I’m actively pursuingother blogging opportunities outside of ‘Through my eyes’ and researching ways to make it happen. So watch this space, and hopefully some others, if you’re not sick of the sound of me.
I’ve also realised I’m a recovering ‘destination addict’, looking for happiness to miraculously present itself to me in various forms, rather than drawing my own map and driving to meet it (I know I can’t drive people, but please let me use it as a metaphor, I’m being creative). No more! I have too many ideas and too much energy to sit and wait and I’m firing on all cylinders. Opportunities do not create themselves apparently, and it has only taken me until 38 years old to realise it.
My final learning is more a consolidation of the fact that I really want to work with people. I want to improve lives and empower others. A grand vision, but even small steps can make a big impact and I’ve taken my first (just yesterday), by joining Mamawatoto as a voluntary project proposal writer. Mamawatoo is an organisation covering a whole range of issues in Africa and Europe including the rehabilitation of street kids, human rights, multi-cultural awareness, health, and reduction of psychological abuse and domestic violence. The CEO is an inspiring lady from Uganda and her personal motto of ‘together we can’, rings really true for me. Take a look at http://www.mamawatoto.org/what-we-do/ I’m super happy to now be part of that ‘WE’.
My projects will focus on Africa. The first (exciting and daunting in equal measure) will be to expand an existing Ugandan agricultural project on creating sustainable farms. It’s been a huge success, providing empowerment and a stable income for those involved, which has then been converted into opportunities for others with profit being reinvested in funding other ‘start-up farms’. My task, is to create a plan around how to expand this to other areas with future potential to lobby for funding with the EU (can you see why I’m scared-excited now:)). So anyone who has tips on soil management let me know as I don’t think watering my 1 house plant qualifies me as an expert!
Additionally, to feed my writing cravings, I’ll be working on a newsletter for the organisation. AND somewhere in between all of this I will finish my Masters dissertation!
So, things are moving because I am moving them. The right attitude and a bit of courage go a long way and taking a few risks has so far been less scary than I thought.