Over the years, I have been blessed with a wealth of experiences, both good and not so good. In the latter, I do strive to find the opportunity to rise above the odds. Even so, crucial to my growth as an individual is getting to know who I really am.
There have been times when I’ve tempted to define myself totally as whatever I am doing at the time—writing, working in crisis management, care giving, being a wife and living as an expat and so on. While these roles have certainly helped to shape who I have become and continue to evolve into, it is holding fast to my Christian roots and values that have kept my head above water, particularly during the worst of times.
A few years ago, I asked a highly successful acquaintance how was it possible that she could work tirelessly and still have a fantastic personal life, family life? She reiterated the importance of aligning values with work, with decision making, with life, so to speak.
Spot on! And one thing that I value highly is living by example. In branding this is known as doing what you say and saying what you do. As such when I wrote, The Barrenness, with the question of becoming a mother or not at the centre, I was hit with many negative questions being child-free. Weren’t women who didn’t have children jaded, hard at the core, unfulfilled, missing out on something and so on?
My answer rejected any negative notions and focused on finding happiness in your own space, whether a mother or not. Believing this thoroughly I, along with other women, have carved out what I believe is a better experience for us and for generations to come, rejecting the stereotypes that were heaped upon generations before us.
Fast forward to UIO podcast, it came about as a result of trying to live by example too, set-up to help teenage girls navigate the transition from being a girl to a woman. For years now, I have observed a narrowing gap, threatening their teen years. And I wanted to do something to serve them.
In a recent sermon, a vicar said, ‘a good example is the most valuable gift you can give.’ This resonates with me throughout my life, whether personal or professional. And it certainly makes sense for UIO.
Giving the gift of example equals the opportunity to serve, whether through writing a novel, a blog or producing a podcast. Make no mistake about it, I love almost every inch of my work and the key to seeing it through, even when the road gets rough, is to remember that this power of good example is beautifully aligned with my values, the engine of my life.
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