I was up late last night reflecting and would like to share experiences of the two ladies in my life I cannot do without. Their experiences have taught me some life lessons which might be relevant to you too.
One of my sisters was put in a corner last year where she had the option of resigning or asking in the 'nicest possible way' to be retained. This was a job that drained the life out of her. She hardly had a life outside work as she worked crazy hours. There was generally no job security as she worked under someone who was quite impulsive. As an outsider, this was my observation.
She walked away from the job and has not been happier.
For the first few months, I watched Ogba go through different cycles of emotions; anger, uncertainty, fear and finally, reconciliation with herself. She just wanted to rest and get a sense of herself back. Then her job search started...we assumed it would not take long but in total, it took six months for her to figure out what her next step would be.
One of her dreams has always been to cook. We seem to love cooking in my house but she has been certain for the longest time that she wanted to do this for a living at some point.
She was hoping to work for some years, save up enough money, go to a culinary school in New York...etc. She had all them big plans, but that was not to be...She had been unemployed for six months and had had all the time to reconnect with self, clean up, think and she was ready.
In my mind when she started talking about cooking, I asked her to identify some chefs in Abuja whose cooking she liked and ask to volunteer with them so she could learn. She knew that that would not be the way to go as her reasoning was that these people paid for their studies and would not be willing to give out their knowledge for free. Her point was valid! My parents also agreed with her. She identified a chef she wanted to learn from, talked with him and immediately started classes. It's been two weeks and I see how much passion and time she invests.
I seem to be more excited sometimes and I am already bothering her about week 6 when she will have to make a three course meal for potential clients to taste and judge. I have inserted myself on her list as one of the clients! She knows I will bring her many :-)
My other sister did something similar years ago. She has always had an interest in fashion and make-up, so she wanted to learn professional make-up. She announced her intention and found someone she wanted to learn from. She started classes and was so committed to it.
My dad has always been an early bird...so as usual, he woke up early one morning and found his daughter working hard at finishing an assignment. He was so impressed that from his next trip, he got her her first text book on make-up.
He even helped pick her company name when she was going to register the company.
Odachi moved from Abuja to Lagos and focused on her business for two years. Of course she had hurdles but she is resilient and does not quit easily. She eventually decided to go and get a masters in Business Management, which she is currently doing.
Last night I was up late thinking of how far they both have come and it got me thinking...
Life does not always go the way we expect. Sometimes, life hits with unexpected twists and turns but we have the choice to choose what we make out of every situation. The approach and attitude with which we face life makes all the difference. I like to say that life is 40% what happens and 60% how we respond. Going around feeling sorry, expecting a pity party or dwelling on how nothing has worked right, can easily be the message that stays in the subconscious and inform the way one behaves. On the other hand, if what happens is seen as just another hurdle to cross, life will go on despite it.
We all do not want the same thing, we all cannot be the same. There is nothing like finding what you love and are good at, honing your skills and doing it. You can only remain where you are unhappy for so long. Eventually, it will take its toll on you - physically, mentally and otherwise.
I see how both of my sisters are happy in their chosen fields, how they strive to get better and how they give their best. We are fortunate to have all the support from family to thrive, which makes it so much easier. What I have learned from their drive is invaluable and they continue to inspire me. There is no school on how to approach life or the lessons to draw from it, we learn everyday.
What sort of life lessons have you learnt from people around you?