Write your blooming story!
Let me tell you a story about the power of a handbag to help shape a dream into reality. Well, maybe it’s about a little more than the handbag; just maybe.
Last year my BFF Esther told me about a job she thought I would like. There was only one drawback: she assumed it was full-time and since I had resigned my full-time job to pursue my “passion projects” she rightfully assumed it wouldn’t be a fit. A couple of days later my other BFF Chaday shared the same job with me after someone shared it with her. Chaday had more info that the job was a consultancy and was not full time. Now this job had my interest all the way piqued!
So I surmised it was fully MINE and so I started to process of applying. But wait, I haven’t told you yet what the job is. After coming to the realization that all my products and services pretty much had the theme of wellness running through them I decided that professionally I am a Wellness consultant. Then in August 2018, the United Nations decides that they need a Consultant Stress Counselor! So of course your girl properly set about applying for the work. Now the UN has a fairly rigorous process of e-tendering. I had 2 days to log on. Can I tell you that the hard part turned out not to be the prepping of the docs but the actual uploading of the docs to their platform?
I didn’t complete the process in time.
I felt dejected.
But I moved on to the next thing.
Let me now introduce you to the handbag in question. My Aunt in Scotland sent me a birthday gift in 2018. It was a beautiful, classy, leather handbag. When I set about to apply for the UN job I officially declared this bag “My UN handbag.” Enter my two queen sisters Dionne & Kaysha. Even after I missed the submission I still called the bag by her lawful, government-issued name. Being the visionaries they are, they never missed an opportunity to properly address the bag in this same way. Very rarely was it “Kam, here is your bag.” It was often “Kam, look in your UN handbag if you see my earphones for me.” Shared delusions can work for your good! LOL
In November Esther sent me a pic of the same position re-opened!! Listen! This was all I needed. I dusted off my UN bag and this time submitted my application well before the deadline. Hello excellence!
And then there was silence. And I refused to be crippled by it. I fully took up my telephone and called unto the UN office in Jamaica to find out the status of [My] job. And then I heard I was shortlisted. Woi! And then I heard I was being invited to interview. Let’s pause here for a minute to discuss how to push through an interview when your brain literally takes a break on you.
It was a telephone interview. They asked me questions which I understood to be English. However on a few of the questions my mind said “Girl, all the best with that one. I’m a be over here watching you.” My poker face (poker voice?) training from School Challenge Quiz kicked in and I said the next word and then the next. I remember the exact moment in the interview when I had to give myself an inaudible pep talk. I knew that I needed to act as if I was already successful and stand fully in that knowledge or I wouldn’t succeed. I knew it. And so I finished strong.
After I replayed the interview in my mind and zoomed in too much on the ‘bad answers,’ I got up from my desk at home. Something fell from my notebook of dreams. I bent to pick it up and saw that it was a magazine clipping I had saved to complete my visionboard. The singular word on the clipping was “MINE.” Ok, message received!
On March 21, my Mother’s birthday and 7 months after I first applied, I signed what I declare will be the first of many contracts with the UN. And now my besties and I don’t have to giggle when we mention the UN handbag. Should I rename her now? Victoria McWhinner?
I reflect on a childhood dream to be a traveling paediatrician working to save the disenfranchised children of the world. That paediatrician dream died a beautiful death to give birth to another thing; a thing maybe even more beautiful because it is steeped in purpose. I celebrate new beginnings and destiny detours. I celebrate a Maestro who is masterful in writing beauty into my life. I celebrate my own leveling up in confidence and excellence and fearlessness.
I couldn’t end without highlighting the take-away lessons:
Kamala P. McWhinney is God's Idea. I am academic, I am creative,I am dreamer. My name is Hindu for Lotus. Given the beautiful symbolism of the Lotus Flower I have embraced it as a metaphor for my evolving, my surviving and my thriving.