When Everything Changed
"A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor". This rings true for everybody. But if the arrow wounds a little deeper, or the music makes your skin go bumpy, and the eyes swim at all which has passed, there is an intensity about you, which makes you vulnerable. The life of an empath is one of tumult and quiet strength.
This is my story. The youngest of four, and being the only child on my dad's side (my mum was married twice), isolation came naturally. And so I went about doing my own thing; the others would play outside. I'd prefer the safety of the gloom under-roof. The irony cannot be lost: always on the outside looking in... But, there was music, books, and imagination. A potent and happy combination! The day my mum closed the door on our house in Johannesburg for "a new life" elsewhere (I was 8), was the day a consciousness awoke, and the Imagined and Real have been in gentle a tug of war since.
Fast-forward 15 odd years and a school life of beautiful things: Shakespeare, art, essay writing, history (Teachers don't get enough credit); there was the dark side of being the "different" one: suffering in quiet desperation at the hands of bullies. In many ways, I have them to thank for a fiery determination which was kindled.
Day 1 of my career journey was as bold and organic as they come: walking up to the Lancome counter and proclaiming my desire to work there. I got the job. Ever since I've thrown myself into work. Oftentimes passion would override logic and I'd lose myself in it. I didn't mind: there were objectives to achieve!
There were highs and lows: with success came talk (a pet peeve), opinions, judgment. I'd rail against it. Pointless as it is our default state to speculate and judge. Luck has nothing to do with it: you make your own way.
Some years later a remarkable woman entered my life. Someone who saw in me what I didn't know was there. A manager who nurtured and loved. Finally, a mentor! Someone to believe in. I've followed her since: she has taught and given me more (even this moment to reflect...) than I suspect she realizes. People who love, fight. And there has been ample of that. In a sense, I welcome it, as it means we care. Ultimately there is an openness and trust I share with few others.
And so today I find myself channelling my love and passions (thank you, Dad, I love you!) exactly as I think they are meant to: I am blessed to share incredible products and brand stories, not only with a squadron of the younger mess but also touch customers and corporate execs alike. I am so grateful as it takes so little to make the world a kinder place. I've been granted a platform, and it is a place of beauty.
There is an invisible force at work, this I believe. But there is an equally strong power: the self, and the desire to make a difference. It was never going to be easy. Putting myself out there is the bravest thing I've done. I don't regret it.