I looked around the room with nervousness. Did I really belong? Was this really happening? Would my worst fear be confirmed? I am unashamed to admit my self doubt. This was something that was bigger than me, and yes, I wondered more than once if I was really here. Looking around at all these amazing people, I could not help but think of what I could possibly bring to the table…
Here was a young lady who quit her job to start her own business. She was tired of the status quo, so she changed it. Barely breaking even, yet she knew she wanted this opportunity more than anything. Chatting with her help lifted my spirits. I was not crazy after all. And if I was, well I wasn’t alone. It was okay to dream the impossible!
I met a young geek who’s love for selfless giving was in abundance. This was not the first time I met her and I was not surprised thatshe had made it. She inspired greatness and a thirst to give back to the community, to right every wrong. She was a dreamer. The kind this world needs but has very little of. She is going to make the world a better place one dream at a time… Watch this space.
I met all the other fellows and all of them equally inspiring. Of course they had to be, why else would they be here. I only chose to highlight the women not because I think we run the world (and we do!) but because they reassured me of our common struggle. I am a women activist in my own standing. I have seen women silenced, put down and dis-empowered. And that is the greatest reason I advocate.
My favorite part of the orientation was listening to last years Alumni speak. I remember thinking very briefly, that I almost was part of that group. In retrospect I am glad that things turned out this way. Hearing of all the amazing changes, the open doors, the bigger dreams that were a result of this fellowship made me want to do a victory dance! I am usually very composed in public, so you can gauge my excitement levels in that moment. As a returnee to my country, I had made a promise to be apart of the change. Ghandi’s words have become somewhat of a cliche in this day and age but not to me. Like every other fellow in that room, I felt a sense of responsibility and ownership to the the country that bore me, to my community, to the future, our future.
As I pack and repack my bags… I can only imagine the journey waiting to be taken and the stories yet to be told in this path I have set out to trail.