The year 2020 will doubtlessly be remembered for generations. Not only for the breakout of a global pandemic in itself, but for the drastic changes it has exposed us to. For months, the whole world has come to a halt because of COVID-19. Governments have required millions of citizens to stay at home to slow down the spread of the disease and to keep everyone safe. A challenging, unique experience for every single one of us, both personally and professionally. And the catalyst of unforeseen consequences for the global economy.
In the course of our lives, we all experience significant changes. The move to a new home or country, an illness, the loss of a relative or a friend, starting a new job, switching careers or becoming unemployed, changing your nutrition or shopping habits, ditching your car for a bike, becoming a parent, shifting your mindset or world view... We usually perceive changes as good or bad, we respond to them differently. Change can be scary, stressful, painful. It can be exciting, enriching, empowering, too.
I have a long-term relationship with change. In fact, it seems to have become the only constant in my life. As a young girl, I was well acquainted with change. I willingly moved schools several times, even moved to another city, leaving behind the familiar. My father would often take me and my siblings to travel across Cameroon, our home country. Not only for leisure, but also to learn more about the society we lived in, as Cameroon is a country rich of ethnicities, languages and natural resources. Back then, I considered myself an explorer. I still do.
As a teenager, I boarded an aircraft with Cologne, Germany as destination, without my parents. This was the first of many deeply formative experiences. My path led me from the west to the south of Germany, moving cities roughly every two years. Constantly looking for a new challenge, a new adventure, I moved to France, Spain, the United Kingdom and Ireland. My passion for languages, people and cultures has always been a major part in my life decisions. I want to immerse myself in foreign experiences. And how best to do it? Well, by going abroad. And I learned to push the boundaries of what one can achieve, for example by becoming fluent in one of the most dreaded foreign languages (German) in a few months' time or by adopting a sustainable lifestyle.
My career path too, was unorthodox. Beginning in localisation and technical translation, I later specialised in audiovisual translation. After a detour as sub-editor in the fashion industry, I thrived in community building and management in the co-living sector. How I became a risk analyst in social media, however, has left me with a question mark. It was an unexpected turn of events that I jokingly put down to the Law of Attraction. I realise only now how beneficial these experiences have been to my development, after years of suffering from my inability to fit in. In truth, what my journey has brought me is a world of possibilities.
I am now beginning a new journey with my dear friend and co-founder Bien King. At Let’s Reinvent, we inspire change and celebrate diversity. We are rooting for our members' success. We want to bring personal, cultural experiences together and we want all of us to elevate each other.
Change is inevitable and embracing it can help us see past our differences and realise that diversity has so much more to offer than culinary and touristic delights. Can we choose what change should mean for us? I believe we can. I choose to understand change as a lesson. An opportunity to grow, to learn and connect, to find a purpose, to appreciate ourselves, others and our environment a bit more.