Embracing the Unknown
If you ask anyone who knows me, they’ll tell you I’m a person who loves to plan and have things in order. I thrive on the concept of predictability and typically rely on those around me to provide a small dosage of spontaneity in my life. Without preparation, I’ll go through a process of questions that build up in my head, negative thoughts, and finally finish up with what may look like, to many, as a mini-panic attack. The thing is, the idea of the unknown has always stressed me out, and yet since being accepted into the Ethiopian Diaspora Fellowship, this has been the one constant thing I’ve encountered.
Here’s what my journey has looked like so far…
- I was waitlisted for my EDF acceptance
- My initial partner organization didn’t work out
- I interviewed for a new partner organization before training in L.A.
- My flight to Ethiopia was last one purchased (a few days before heading to training)
- A State of Emergency was issued in Ethiopia since I’ve been here
- Midway through the fellowship, due to some unforeseen circumstances outside of my control, I am now being placed at a new organization
“…my biggest challenge is facing the unknown, and that if I were to encounter it, I wasn’t sure how I would approach it.”
On one hand, it should make me feel somewhat better to know that this change is a result of company issues, and not a repercussion of something I personally did. On the other hand, it’s difficult not being as busy and watching the other four fellows go through their daily routines and being proactive. I’ve gone from feeling like I have a good amount of control in my life to knowing nothing. What’s going to happen next? How do I assess and approach this situation in a foreign environment? Could the country’s current state influence whether I return to the States or not? These are the kinds of questions I was asking myself every day. Then, Mariam reminded me that the first week of training I had said – my biggest challenge is facing the unknown, and that if I were to encounter it, I wasn’t sure how I would approach it.
So, what now?
It’s been an interesting journey through the unexpected. During this time (what I like to call the ‘free agent’ period), I had the chance to visit other partner organizations – International Leadership Academy of Ethiopia (ILAE) and St. Paul’s Hospital. Not only have my visits exposed me to the public sector in Ethiopia, but I’ve also gotten the opportunity to see Mariam and Kidist as professionals in their work environment. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being able to support them and seeing them thrive. I used the time to explore what I wanted do and am fortunate to be completing the second half of my fellowship at St. Paul’s Hospital, working on the restructuring of the Human Resources department.
“If the unexpected has taught me anything, it’s that everything will work out with patience, faith, and perseverance.”
Truth be told, I’m nervous to be given so much responsibility, but I’m excited to see the possibilities from this opportunity. If the unexpected has taught me anything, it’s that everything will work out with patience, faith, and perseverance. As Eli Khamarov once said, “The best things in life are unexpected, because there were no expectations”.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Ethiopian Diaspora Fellowship the organization and the leadership.