I graduated on the 4th of March 2015. 1 day after my mother’s 50th birthday so as you can imagine, this was an incredibly eventful and emotional day for her. The cool thing about my life is that I was employed by the biggest bank in Africa before I had actually finished school. I say this is cool because in South Africa, the unemployment rate for black graduates is sitting on a boastful 19%, more than 12 % higher than the other race’s unemployment rates. so apart from it being cool, it’s a blessing and a great achievement in a graduate’s perspective.
A lot has changed since I started working, but even more has changed since the day I actually decided to start my blog. LoveSelfBeautiful emerged from a place where I felt smothered by the decisions I observed my female peers make in their lives. I was surrounded by individuals who were overcome by the “YOLO” mentality. Living for the moment and seeing tomorrow when it comes. No thoughts whatsoever about how they would like to see their future selves. It was a concern for me because my success is something I lose sleep over. It is my obsession. Most of this period before my undeclared hiatus in writing was spent on empowerment; using what theory I had collected and applying it by writing posts I felt helped me and could help others. I did the same with past experiences.
But now; I have entered the world I spent so many months preparing myself for. The world I knew nothing about personally, but a lot about through what I had been told and what I read. In this period I accommodated thoughts, strategies and ideals which I soon found had no place in the world I was entering. I would read and hear about the “what” that was happening but I never really bothered with the “how” or the “why”, which is imperative in planning what to do next.
The lens that I have had to adjust the greatest is the one I keep on my opponent. I’ve learnt that this lens needs to be variable because obstacles come in different shapes, genders and sizes, and are sometimes not so typical. As for that “1 in 3 women are in executive positions” statistic…that’s true. You know what else is true? More women than men are graduating. This doesn’t frustrate me as it used to because I now know and believe that the change is coming; I for one am that change.
I am now in the environment where all the women in my space, think like me! The ones I thought were a rare breed??? They are all around me. There are some unspoken words of acknowledgement and motivation that I receive when I meet these women. It’s like some sort of salvation ceremony where the baton of success is passed on to me when we exchange contacts. Something inside me tells me “You’re going to make it” at that invaluable moment.
I was aware of people’s ability to draw inspiration from your small wins and achievements but what I had never considered was the reaction your acquaintances would give you when they discovered you have or are doing something that they were or are afraid to do; gracefully. Here I have found the importance of structuring your circle so that when a grenade goes off, there are minimal casualties.
Although I have barely scratched the surface of my destiny, I have gained insurmountable insight about myself. I believe I am at the peak of my self-awareness. I am in a selfish phase where I’m learning to make myself happy before anything else. If I want to watch How To Get Aay With Murder and The Fixer before I start studying or before I go to bed, and I really shouldn’t because it goes against my schedule; I just do it. Life is just too short to do anything with it but live it.
Two things I’ve learnt thus far and am actively applying:
1. Don’t apologise for the person you are
2. Be hard on yourself and once you’ve been hard on yourself, be good to yourself
I have done well thus far. Could I have done better? Maybe. But I have no regrets and given the chance, I would not have done anything differently. My life right now is as it should be. The lessons I have learnt, I apply and those I am oblivious to; their time has not come.
Lastly, thank you in advance for supporting me in this journey, I hope that you now understand the “phase” better and realise that we are not changing but rather; evolving.
**Special thanks to Makwete Mashigo and Shenè Iyir for giving me the motivation to write this piece. You both have these brilliant minds and beautiful souls that leave me in awe after every conversation.