The toughest job you'll ever love...
Updated: Apr 5, 2021
Motherhood? Sisterhood? Being a caregiver?
Before there was my dream of being a medical doctor (shout out to Dr. Jon Love, pediatric cardiologist, who in his early days allowed me to shadow him while at University of Maryland), I wanted to be a teacher. Thankful to Mrs. Ezell, my first grade teacher, who taught me the level of impact a teacher has on the life of their students. Honorary mention to Diana Perpich and Anne Marie O'keefe. These are professor who bought me reading glasses and participated in my wedding, respectively. They inspired me. Long before they inspired me, I had dreams of changing the world.
At age five and six, I couldn't quite articulate my strengths. My strengths lie in my compassion and the sheer joy I felt in helping others. I wanted to help others. I didn't know how to articulate that. Careers that seemed to fit the criteria earned my focus.
Deciding your purpose in life is no easy task. It took a while for me to realize that the overall calling on my life is to give my gifts away, whatever they may be. My purpose lies in sharing my strengths. I want the way in which I live my life to glorify God. And that was very hard to articulate as a first grader. I didn't know what I didn't know.
But as a twelfth grader, I was more educated. More aware. I was presented with more opportunities. I ended up applying to colleges and taking the SAT at the last minute simply because that wasn't what my heart desired.
I wanted to join the Peace Corps: "The toughest job you'll ever love."
I didn't know that there was something that existed where you could volunteer, help and build communities while being provided with your basic necessities (food, clothing, water, etc). I was convinced The Hood prepared me for many environments. I wanted to be a humanitarian. There's the word I was looking for. I wanted to be Robinhood, Bill Wilson, Mother Teresa ....perhaps that's a stretch, nevertheless, the sentiment of changing the world remains.
If only I had the courage to take the path least chosen. EVERYONE was against the Peace Corps. No one wanted me to go. There wasn't anyone who thought it was a good idea. And because of that, I did not have the courage or support to do it.
If only I had courage. I should've been okay with stepping out on a limb considering I had been standing alone on a limb for most of my life.
I could've had stability, while living my dream. I could've impacted the world in a very positive way.
My life would be very different had I chose that path. I would've established deep and meaningful relationships globally.
One can only dream....
Today, I choose to let go of the illusion that it coulda woulda shoulda been any different. For if it were, I may not have had my son. If it were, I may not have the relationships I have today.
All things have contributed to my advancement, even my decision making. Today, I cultivate the habit of being grateful vs. regretful. I give thanks continuously for the opportunity to give thanks continuously. Gratitude turns what we have into enough. I am so grateful for the ability to be a humanitarian within my own family, peer group, and community.
Sky is the limit and I'll soon expand to a broader scale. Until then, I want to stop telling myself I failed to achieve certain dreams. Most were never mine. I inherited them by way of mentor or through having no sense of direction of my own. I didn't have the courage to trust my own voice and intuition.
Today, I trust myself and my intuition.
And, if not for nothing, the biggest lesson I'll ever teach my son is that there is nothing more important than the trust you have for yourself. It builds confidence, helps you to garner self-love and helps you to look inward/be more accountable. Trust yourself and your decision making.
I'm grateful to have sponsored two Ghana mission trips in 2019 for two young ladies whom I love dearly.
Maybe the path to get there is detoured....eventually, you'll get there.
Trust your gut!