• Sam Chizanga

The year of forgiveness

I’ve worked a lot of jobs, and all of them, save for one, were not emotionally or financially gratifying, and they didn’t contribute to the career-path I envisioned for myself. I consider myself driven, multi-faceted and creative, and these jobs left me feeling constantly annoyed, mostly by myself, for not understanding how to unlock my full potential.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m thankful for the days where I spent my time schlepping buckets full of jellybeans, and messing up the produce codes at the grocery store. Each time I pass these former workplaces, I think about how aimless and powerless I felt, and it reminds me that I’m capable of shifting my circumstances.

I didn’t grow up poor. In fact, until I was 10, I had the proverbial “golden spoon” firmly secured between my teeth. When that came to an end, a series of subsequent ups and downs led to a life of teenage delinquency, young adult mediocrity, and eventually my adult - but far from mature - self.

It wasn’t until recently that I really noticed how much farther I had to go to self-actualize. Corporate America Canada broke me. I worked retail, I worked in kitchens. I hadn’t experienced what it was like to work at a startup - mature or otherwise. The concept of politics, and navigating them was, and still is, totally unfamiliar to me. Where some kids had the luck of learning how to navigate this kind of landscape earlier in their lives, whether it was through family or by heading off to university - I was walking in blind. I was too headstrong, too full of ambition and brimming with online infoprenuerial advice to realize that all this, plus having God on my side couldn’t make up for the experience that I was missing.

This year, I made the decision to take my life in the direction it needs to be. Past experiences aside, I’ve chosen to focus on the old adage coined by TBIC* Grace Hopper, who said: “Ask for forgiveness, not permission.”

For • give: to cease to feel resentment against (an offender)

What does that mean? It means that in situations where your great idea for the greater good can be hampered by red tape, interpersonal politics, or at worst, complete disapproval by those in charge, sometimes (read: most times) it’s better to try, and have to apologize if it goes to hell, than it is to waste time getting permission and not be given the chance to try. This is the apex of getting shit done. People are inherently forgiving, but they’re not always as eager to make space for you at the table.

I’m trying to be held accountable to the decision I’ve made for myself. I want to be better, I want to be the do-er that I know I can be. I want to track my progress and use each experience as a learning opportunity. At the end of this series, I want this blog to detail how I’ve grown, in what ways I haven’t, and act as an anthology of me. It’d be cool if you want to follow my journey as I evolve as a career-focused woman eschewing permission, asking for forgiveness and starting to do.

* Top bitch in charge.

Edited by Nicole Boulet

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