A very Rude Awakening

June 22nd 2012
Published: June 22nd 2012
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So here I am, 24 years old, homeowner and married to my high school sweetheart. I’ve been doing property administration for 6 years now. I started my newest job in February 2012, after a week trip my husband and I took to Dubai. It was a new office opening up in London. In the interview they sold it to me well as: “the office is located in a very cute little village type area, people are friendly, great atmosphere…”. However when I got here, I was quickly reassured that what they meant was: “The office is located in the armpit of London, the people are nosey and there’s a mental institution about 5 minutes north of here”.

Dear Marylebone,

I am leaving you for Latimer Road. It’s not you, it’s me. I am afraid of change and yet moved by it and once my company was taken over, I feared the worst and jumped ship before I had a chance to appreciate you. My bad.

Sincere apologies, (please take me back)

Shavonne McLeod.

But it was too late. I had started my new job in fear for my safety and hating a few of my colleagues who were even lazier than the last bunch.

One day I was the new office on my own when a lady came in asking for details on a few sales properties. I apologised to her and explained that I’m not in sales, I am an administrator but I would do my best to help her as much as I could. Her response: “Oh ok so all you know how to do is type e-mails, answer phones and work the fax machine”.

“Oh no she didn’t! Shavonne say something....Anything!!!!....Tell her you’re so much more than that!! Aren’t you? Do you know how to do anything else? Have you ever done anything worth arguing with her for?....ah, you’ve wasted your life. Brava!” (clap, clap, clap)

Instead I sheepishly laughed and stupidly agreed with her. And that was it. That was the moment when I felt the craving for the travel drug rise from the pit of my stomach to my hair follicles. I picture it like a game of Tetras. Piece by piece being built up, my rational forcing it back to a low point, moulding and stabilizing the person I think I should be. Then finally letting the pieces pile back up again, until I am forced to hold my hands up, admit defeat and quit playing games.


24th June 2012

It can take a while to find your voice.
Ok Shavonne, it sounds to me like you are in transition, you are at a cross roads. My belief is that you end up where you need to be and each decision you've made up to now has been the right one. I feel like you are experiencing some regret and my suggestion to you is don't spend the energy on that! Life is an experience and the experiences you have made up to now make you who you are. Don't wonder about why you didn't travel sooner.....be thankful you have decided to do it now. I'm 55 and have traveled for years but didn't take a real proper trip until I was 51. You are young compared to that. I did as my momma wanted. I went to school, got a good eduction, got a good job and saved money for my retirement. Yes, I wish I had done extensive travel sooner but the point is I am doing it now. My retirement is secure and I am out having the time of my life. We leave August 10th for another around the world trip. Hopefully, you will follow us and find some magical places that you will incorporate into your trip. Don't regret where you are. All those typing, organizing and faxing skills are going to come in very handy on the road. Those are skills that are needed in every country and many people do not have them. It will help you to keep your trip on the track that you want it on.
3rd July 2012

Thank you for this! :-) xx
25th June 2012

''...ah, you’ve wasted your life...''
There is no way you have wasted your life. The only thing I had done with my life by 24 to be proud of was travel. The rest involved things like dropping out of university, breaking relationships... You seem to have got everything right, at such a young age. I only started getting some of this stuff right, when I was more than 26 years old. :)

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