Following in the footsteps

My childhood was peppered with events, communication and travel. It is my father’s profession and it has become mine – out of my own choice I hasten to add. From the first moment I was given a small responsibility at a conference in Africa, the adrenalin of production filled my being, the rush of effective communication flooded my soul and I knew that one day, when I was grown up, I would follow in my father’s footsteps.

Through events and communication, I have an inroad to making an impact. There are so many channels that this career path can be funnelled into and I love the variety and potential it holds. The opportunities it presents are numerous and the idealist in me hopes that one day, I can use it to make a real difference in the world.

So it was with great joy that I got a chance to work with my father again this past week. He was running an event and needed a couple of extra hands on the night with production and hosting. The event was effortless, relaxing, slick and perfectly executed – a testament to his decades of experience in the sector. But it also served as  a reminder to me of all that he has taught me over the years. From small nuggets of practical advice (always hold the wire down when you pull gaffa up) to more technical instruction about AV equipment, I was finally useful to him in my own right. All that he has passed onto me has become part of my knowledge and it was so wonderful to be able to work with him as a professional not just as his daughter.

I know that I am not my father and I don’t aspire to be. I don’t have his experience yet and we both have our own ways of working. But following in his footsteps doesn’t mean I have to be a mini-him. He didn’t want to recreate his own dreams in me, he just walked with me to discover my own way of doing things and gave me some great advice along the way.

I’m proud to share the same profession as my father. His footsteps are worth treading in.

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Never stop looking for what’s not there

The last few weeks and months have changed me a lot. When I look back on my personality just a few years ago, I see such a stark contrast to who I am today that it quite amazes me. Most of the changes are good, some are neither good nor bad, simply different. I am very aware that I am in a time of learning, trusting, watching, listening, waiting and hoping. That combination brings my introversion to the fore and leaves no option other than to introduce space for flexibility in order to make the most of this time of change because however hard you try, life doesn’t keep to deadlines.

I find it so easy to forget the things I learn so I’m indulging myself by recording a few things that I would love to have known a few years ago.

  • Take life at its own pace, don’t force it to conform to your timings. A life lived according to the schedule of the world will only ever be rushed, unfulfilling and unappreciated. Flexibility gives you permission to enjoy life in the moment without concerning yourself with the paths of others.
  • If the milk runs out, buy some more. Tomorrow will have bigger things to worry about than whether your planned amount of groceries lasts out the week. 
  • Take one day at a time, life can change in an instant.
  • Just aim to be the best you that you can be. No envy, no competition, just you. You will be loved for it.
  • Love with all your heart. Whether or not you are loved in return, to love another makes life worth living and serving friends and family is such a source of joy. The time will come when another person’s love for you will be your strength so in the highs, be their strength. Lean on them. Put pride aside and enjoy all that love truly means.
  • “Never stop looking for what’s not there.” This fantastic quote from the film ‘Once More’ starring Morgan Freeman is so insightful. Dream. Think big. Hope. See light in the darkness. It doesn’t have to be in front of you; it may be years away, it may be tomorrow but never stop looking for it. 

I’m still learning. I hope I always will. For me, this season is so full of new insights into life that I want to capture what I can, if only to read it again in a few years and remind myself that the world is so much bigger than I give it credit for.