People put a lot of emphasis on finding their passions or discovering their dream job. It's a great place to start, but it's probably the easiest thing to sort out. We know what we like to do.
The difficult part if taking what we like and making it work -- 'Starting over' when we've already been successful in our career, overcoming our ignorance and fears, and handling the questions and criticisms of others.
You're not crazy. At least not to me. I'm here to share my journey and what I'm learning in the process of my own transition.
I was a dancer my whole life, but I didn't know it until I was an adult.
Raised in a strict Nigerian household, I was encouraged to pursue excellence in academics. I followed what I thought was my destined path to medical school. It was at Harvard my freshmen year that I stumbled upon campus hip hop dance company. The decision to sign up to dance has had the greatest impact on my life since. I discovered my voice, made life-long friends, and found a way to inspire others.
From that moment, I balanced my interests in academia with my passion for movement. Upon graduating, I worked in HIV/AIDS research. Through this experience, I discovered a desire to study community health and forego medical school. Instead I completed his graduate work in Public Health at Columbia and began working in Pulmonary Medicine at Columbia Medical Center. But something was missing from my day-to-day career at the hospital. There was security in the 9-to-5 life, but seeking my own security wasn't fulfilling. I couldn't stay here.
At the same time, I began to make a name for myself within the streetdance community, traveling the world to compete, teach, and grow. I organized special workshops and events in collaboration with pioneers in the hip hop dance culture. It was through a joint effort with to document hip hop dance history in 2015 that I became aware of Everybody Dance Now!, a non-profit using hip hop dance to impact underserved communities. When an opening for a new Executive Director became available the following year, I knew the right door had opened.
I had no clue what to expect in making a huge career shift. There were still so many questions unanswered and areas that I wasn't qualified to lead. Despite that I knew I needed to make the move. And I wanted to share my journey with those also looking to or in the midst of chasing their passions.
I'm not a thought leader or expert. I'm a fellow wanderer, figuring out how to live in alignment with what i believe in order to make a difference around me. I'm hoping my blunders, insights, and successes can fuel you to keep on your path as well.