So, I’m going to Pakistan. Yup. There it is in black and white. Fortunately for all of you, I have a friend who told me “don’t over-think it, just post”. She may also have been the one who told me not to over-think going to Pakistan and just go… but I digress.
In honesty, this was far from a small or light-hearted decision. I’ve been working in entrepreneurial environments my entire life. When I began volunteer mentoring for StartUp Cup, it was for the pure love of what I wished I could do every day. When I said as much, I was told by the founder, “Watch what you wish for…” And here I am. Going to Pakistan.
When I was first asked to join the international mentor training team, I was more than happy to say “yes” to all of the places coming up – Egypt, Malaysia, VietNam. As things progressed in Cairo and Pakistan became more of a reality, I was posed the question once again. Again, without hesitation, I said “yes”. Afterward, my pang of mommy guilt came rushing in… What am I doing? How can I leave them. What if…? What if…? What if…? And yet, I proceeded. Bad mommy stamp on my forehead and all.
This all happened near my birthday and my sweet sixteen year old daughter posted on my Facebook wall all the answer to the “What am I doing?” that I needed… “Happy birthday to the best, most caring mother a girl could have. I don’t even know where to begin… (many, many, kind and humbling words, and)… If I’ve learned one thing from you its probably ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world,’ and it amazes me how you’re able to do that every single day.” Maybe I was looking for a reason, or maybe the reason was always there. Either way, I knew that the path I was on was toward living up to what I’ve taught my children and that walking away from my work, my dream, from always trying to leave things better than we find them, was not my option.
Something else… a little thing called timing. You know the saying (be it Oprah or Margaret Thatcher), “Women can have it all. Just not all at one time”? Well, I could not even begin to think about this journey if the timing wasn’t right. At this point in my life, I am fortunate to have a supportive husband, a mini-me teenager that can drive, a responsible pre-teen and a happy 2nd grader who is stable to the point that he has lived in one house his entire life. This is NOT to say that all the elements have to be in place to follow your dreams. They’re simply what is working for me long enough to let go… and go.
Letting go… We’ll save that for another blog post. Mostly, because I haven’t done it yet. The family drives me to Tulsa tomorrow to fly out to Chicago, Abu Dhabi and Islamabad. I’ll let you how it goes!