13 years ago today I moved back to Sierra Leone after seven and a half years in London. I remember it like it was yesterday, arriving at Government Wharf on the ferry with my sister and cousins, feeling happy and nervous about being back.
2015 was an awesome year professionally as I finally decided to become self employed. I wasn't scared at all because I knew I had done all the ground work required for this moment. Even the state of the economy and Ebola were not going to make me panic. Things were going to work out...and they did.
A lot happened during the year personally and professionally and the ten most important things I learned are as follows:
Everything happens at the right time. Don't rush yourself if you don't feel ready. Don't question yourself. Follow your instinct and when the time is right, recognize the moment, grab it and make the most of it.
Giving up is so easy when you no longer feel like smoking. I smoked for 18 years of my life, struggled to quit for years but enjoyed it too much; woke up one day in May and decided I didn't want to do it anymore. I haven't smoked since and don't even crave it.
In Sierra Leone, you have to keep on forming new relationships. Meeting new people - learning from them, teaching them, hearing their stories, sharing yours etc. - keeps the boredom away and helps you grow.
Women are warming to the idea that we have to be united for Sierra Leone to develop. The men are definitely not going to do it.
Strangers, new acquaintances/friends will go out of their way to help you make a success of your new venture.
You're never too old to make friends, not just acquaintances, real friends.
People leave. You go through a grieving process and life goes on. Time heals, but on the days you remember it still hurts like hell. As long as there is love, old friendships will be rekindled. Fine, I'm cheating....I already knew this but I was reminded.
Skills development is my passion and I am good at it. It is what I call meaningful work and my raison d'être.
I love self employment. I work better at night than in the morning. I love being in control, making decisions and seeing things transform.
Healthy living is necessary, especially as you grow older. I am now making more of an effort.
For you and I, my wish is good health, happiness, love, in 2016 and beyond. May all our dreams come true. God bless.