Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Follow your Dreams

Looking back I cannot help but wonder how people stay in one job for decades. When I first joined the foreign service 25 years ago my eyes were set on becoming an Ambassador, the highest civil service level for Foreign Service Officers. I shared an office with other FSOs some who looked the part of aspiring Ambassadors and others who were disheveled by years of serving time at the impoverished Headquarters as they prayed and hustled for their next international posting. I joined the game with gusto, prayed and hustled until I got lucky and landed my first posting to the United Nations Permanent Mission in New York. I still remember the excitement of receiving that posting letter in the 90s. Eighteen months later I was sitting in front of the Ambassador and his wife as they tried to convince me to stick with my career instead of returning back home to start a family with my husband of a few months. Their logical argument based on why I was lucky to be where I was, sounded like utter simplicity bordering on mediocrity compared to the determination I had to be with my sweetheart and bear us some little tots. And thus ended my dream of becoming an Ambassador as fast as possible.
Twenty years later I have worked as a contractor in the Ministry of Finance, started my own business and walked away from it, become a rabid activist who wrote consistently for a decade - not to mention squabbles on TV, Radio, Podiums, Rallies, 'street battles', nine years abroad, joined politics and lost two elections (before and after my self-styled exile,) and now am an international civil servant. In between that I scored two daughters in addition to a pre-existing son. Oh, and nearly all my Foreign Service cohort are Ambassadors somewhere. So I smiled when a friend I had not heard from in years asked 'Anne Mugisha life number what?' It struck me then that:

At 50 I know I have only this one life to live but there is no requirement to live it in a straitjacket guided by the rules of one career, chained by the goals of my earliest vision. Versatility has its risks and I may not be an Ambassador (yet,) but girl, do I have a story for you
feeling amazing.

No comments:

Post a Comment