Seven Months: Everything Before & After

Change… that funny, weird, crazy, unexpected thing that creeps up on you when you least expect it. Sounds like a cliche, doesn’t it? Perhaps. But the last seven months of my life have been filled with so many ups and downs that I can only describe it as being a whirlwind of reality that shook me to my very core and crushed that blissfully glistening soul I had nurtured over years of wondrous adventures.

The truth

After two and half years of teaching in China, I made the very hard decision to leave a life that I so dearly grew to love and come home. My intention? To go back to the weird and wonderful world of Darwin and get back into science – another passion of mine. Unfortunately in South Africa, that’s easier said than done and you’re more likely to take any old job you’re offered rather than get the actual job you want. Hence the reason I ran away to China in the first place.

What dear reader? You didn’t know?

Yes. I ran away to China because I was escaping a life where I had to accept what I was given rather than open my eyes to the passions I knew my heart wanted to full. I stayed in China for as long as I did because, like all great adventures, I found other passions I never knew I had.

Those first few months back home were torturous. While I was in the process of applying for jobs, I took on some freelance science writing posts and as fate would have it, I met the editor of a Canadian based publishing house and so began the creation of what would be my first book. Truth be told when he offered me the contract to write an actual book, I thought it was some kind of joke… but I went along with it anyway because like always, I craved something new to work on.

One of the things I’ve slowly been learning in the corporate world is that it’s okay to monopolize on your contacts and as luck would have it, a few months later I found myself sitting in a boardroom with two brilliant doctors who, by the kindness of their heart took the time to ask where I wanted to go with the qualifications I had. After much discussions and guidance on their part, I left, continued writing my draft manuscript and told myself that whatever was meant to be, would be.

Funny thing about the universe though is that what you put out there, you will get back. I had just been putting so much out there that I lost track. It seemed somewhere along the way, the universe had heard me and had already put into motion what was perhaps really meant to be.

Fast forward a few months and I was still struggling to readjust to the normalcy of what most would call a stable life. I needed to leave again. I contacted my old manager at Disney and they were more than happy to take me back… and with a promotion. It must be a sign from the universe I silently told myself but as fate would rather have it, just as I boarded the plane, I received an email from the Doctor offering me a regulatory internship within their company.

It was there that it all began.

Funny how one small step can change everything in a split second.

It was like a whirlwind of something that had sent my life in a completely different direction from which I had ever imagined it could take. From moving back to Beijing, I went to, now, moving to Cape Town. From teaching English and working at The Walt Disney Company, traveling and blogging… I jumped to a corporate life within the regulatory field in the health care sector.

And I fell in the most beautiful kind of love.

I also lost that love.

It’s been close to seven months since all of it came crashing down and to be honest with you, dear reader, I barely even thought I could come back to this platform of sharing what’s in my heart. In fact, I’m still not even sure I feel strong enough too… or want too. Somewhere inside it feels like a part of me has died but at the same time it still feels like that light could never really go out. No matter how hard I fall.

Right now

Fast forward to February 2019 and here I sit in front of a computer I hid from for over half a year. It’s 23.06 pm and I’ve been preparing all evening for an early morning meeting with the Board of Directors. It sounds intimidating but somehow, I’m not that intimidated anymore. I’ve completed my internship and I now run the Research and Development Department. I also recently published, um… eight books. I’m still getting used to saying that. It’s kind of weird saying that out loud.

My heart, you ask? Actually, I don’t know.

The change from a hopeless wanderer who fell in love with her best friend to corporate individual and science author who lost her best friend burnt me out in more ways than one. I never thought… no, scratch that… I don’t think I’ll ever be the same again. But that’s another story for another day. Tonight it’s about me and you, dear reader.

Right now at this almost midnight hour, there seems to be a spark in me burning brightly that I guess never really died. Life changes. People change. Realities change. But I guess, you kind of change with it. Oh I’ve spent many a night struggling with what this change means for me going forward and any plans I may or may not have had. I’ve struggled even more with what it means for my career and my relationship with you, reader.  All of which can apparently come crashing down in the blink of a 10 second phone call. For now though, I’ve made peace with my inner demons. It’s funny how when your world suddenly comes crashing down the first place you run too is home, where no matter how broken your heart is, you will learn it can always be healed. Even if only with sparkly washi tape.

Oh what an adventure it’s been.

The journey from here can only be a wondrous one filled with new passions and new experiences of a corporate world that, I guess, really isn’t so bad. A few more adventures perhaps, but in a more adult-like fashion. A new take on this blog exploring what it means to have a wandering soul and a somewhat grounded career and really how it is possible to find that middle ground between where you should be, where you want to be and where the universe says it all is meant to be.

Much love my dear readers. You’ll finally be hearing more from me.

Shal. xx

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I'm Shalinee - a Geminian scientist who loves to travel, write, draw and eat chocolate. I've visited over twenty countries, published a Environmental Science encyclopaedia and somewhere along the way started a science communication company to help students and corporates translate that hard-to-read data generated in a lab. Other than that, I'm just searching for the magic still hidden in the world.

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