Writing this blog from a table in my local Starbucks in Dun Laoghaire, I cannot help but remember how many Vanilla Matcha Tea cups ago I could only dream of what I have today. On June 4th I started my long-awaited career as Programme Coordinator with IDI, which stands for International Development Ireland. Why long-awaited? A year has passed since meeting a person who referred me to the company, to putting my signature on every page of the employment contract. Oh, the signing of the contract somehow turned into a special occasion in itself.
The last page of the contract made me face myself and my fears once again. How? Well, it asked for the details of my emergency contacts. I would have given these details in a blink of an eye but one thing made me pause for a good few minutes. This thing was my relationship to the person whose details I am providing. Stating ‘housemate’ to describe my relationship with Lauren was easy (Hey, roomie!). Stating ‘boyfriend’ to describe my relationship with a guy with whom I have been going out for more than a year now was… challenging. Somehow the matters of the heart were always secondary in my life and I was even ashamed of being in love or having any interest in the opposite sex. My first love and the follow-up heartbreak occurred at the same time as my dad left our family, so naturally I turned into an overprotected girl with my mum as the main guardian of my heart. It was the two of us against the world and well… its men.
Fearful but hopeful, I typed the word ‘boyfriend’ and submitted the contract to my new employer. This action would have had no real effect, if it was not for Ayush asking to read the contract the next day. Reading the contract? Sure. I gave him the contract having completely forgotten about this last page with the details of my emergency contacts.
- You wrote my name? – asked Ayush.
- Ah…of course I did, – I replied.
- Boyfriend!? – he asked in a high-pitched voice with a giant smile on his face.
- Well…yes…why not!? – replied I while trying to hide behind his back in an attempt to cover my burning cheeks from his eyes. I felt like a teenager, a very silly but happy 13-year old.
During one of the last conversations with my MBA Mentor, I mentioned the ‘whole life’ concept that I will try and pursue post-MBA. I remember this because it was like an epiphany at that moment: realising that I can have it all, the career, the love, the life that I want for myself. You see after living with no weekends and working 14 hours a day for 12 consecutive months juggling lectures, assignments, multiple team projects and a few part-time jobs, I could not help but feeling myself like a Super- or Wonder-Woman. J
Empowered and inspired, I decided to live my life and most importantly, to enjoy it. Enjoy it even if it means waiting for people and things. Yes or Later – remember? That one day when Ayush came to Ignite with me, we learned that there is no ‘No’ answer. That knowledge helped me hang in there for a bit more and not to give up when I felt like giving up. Landing a job in a foreign country even with an MBA is not easy and in fact it might be more difficult. The expectations are high and the patience is in limited supply. But having faith replace fear and knowing that God will answer my prayers with either ‘Yes’ or ‘Later’ helped me keep my faith and hope even in the most hopeless times during this past year.
Let me finish this blog on patience with my small personal prayer that people might find helpful: Please God, give me patience to accept what should be accepted, strength to change what can be changed and wisdom to tell one from another.