‘I’ve never been this busy before’. It’s a thought that has occurred to me occasionally since this semester has begun. Each time it comes to me, I take a moment to savor the feeling, to let it marinate. It feels…different. I have an honors thesis (not to mention related requirements) to grapple with, a number of high level classes to take, and now an excellent internship opportunity. As with any change in life, there is a giddying amount of uncertainty involved- will I be able to handle everything adequately?
When I applied to the CGS I had a very specific mental image of what I would be doing. I envisioned a role not unlike a research assistantship position, where most of my engagements would involve technical-level writing around some of the center’s thematic focuses. It was clarified during the job interview that I would not be doing much of that-my first two activities have been hanging up posters around town, and cutting beaks for a children’s arts and crafts project.
I wouldn’t have it any other way, really. The internship represents an opportunity to find out more about myself. I have thrived in the African (Nigerian) workplace; at my previous internship (where I worked for 2 consecutive summers and a gap year) it was not unusual for me to represent the organization at local and international conferences. Working with CGS is a considerable step outside of my comfort zone, and conventional wisdom indicates that such places are where the magic happens in life.
At this point, a bit of context to make the moment more magical is in order. Time and time again while working and at school, I have been struck by the fact that African human capital has not received nearly enough of the investment it needs to create a lasting, positive change. I had mulled this thought over and over; eventually the notion of giving up the career I thought I wanted (the ‘safe’ one) for one focused on equipping future generations became less a hope and more a highlight in my life plan. In the same breath, a fortuitous string of events created an obligation for me to fill in a spot at my church’s Sunday school (let’s just say not many young adults do that). Fast forward to me cutting out paper beaks at a place where I thought I’d be looking up academic journals, and it begins to look like my plans are being validated somehow.
So when thoughts about being busy come, I know they are thoughts of amazement rather than complaint. These might well be the baby steps (forgive the pun) to a legacy that I can be proud of.