I was born in Germany and my life has been wonderfully complex, like a multi-coloured rainbow.
At 18 years old, my biggest dream was to go to America to finally gain freedom. Unfortunately, I was diagnosed as 70 % disabled and was not able to go. It was discovered that I had severe epilepsy and due to several complications, medical professionals did not believe that I would lead a long life.
This enormous obstacle was my bittersweet blessing in disguise.
In Germany, if you are classified as disabled, you essentially become a pensioner who does not work but receives monthly funding for basic expenses. As an 18 year old with her whole life ahead of her, “pensioner” and “prisoner” seemed to be the same thing. Through no fault of my own, I found myself standing on the precipice of an important decision – a double-edged sword that I could not escape.
I had 2 options: sacrificing my freedom for “security” or throwing caution to the wind and embracing adventure. I decided to accept my apparent fate and began an apprenticeship in Germany as an industrial clerk, which was not exactly my dream job. I had to make a choice against my original dream of travelling. I embraced the situation at hand. I was not going submit to “victim" mode.
After 2.5 years, my health improved. I gained work experience and I obtained a degree. This gave me the confidence to finally go abroad with a new plan. After 6 months of working abroad in Tunisia, which was not my dream country either, I decided to study in the UK to learn English.
It turned out that the UK was my next step to freedom. This was confirmed when I stepped into the South African library. After laying eyes on Nelson Mandela’s picture for the first time, I suddenly felt rooted and focused – he touched my heart. I decided I had to travel to South Africa to discover why there was such a strong connection.
I sent out a single application was offered a traineeship in Cape Town. I followed my heart and when I arrived in Cape Town, I felt immediately at home. Looking into the eyes of the South African people I recognized what was missing in my life. I wanted nothing more than to be happy in the present moment and to smile even in bad circumstances. Finally, I felt the freedom and authenticity which was missing in my life in Europe and in the USA.
Unfortunately after 3 months, I had to head back to Germany due to Visa issues. I tried to find a job in Germany; with an apprenticeship, a bachelor’s degree and two languages I never expected to struggle so much! 256 applications later I still had nothing to show for it and felt completely miserable. I had only one thought in my mind: “I want to go back to SA!”
After 1 year of searching for a job, I thought to myself, “Why am I not doing what I have always done – making people happy?” I applied for one more job and 2 weeks later I started at Mercedes Benz. Again, Sychronicity! I worked at Mercedes Benz for 5 years. 12 hours a day, 6 days a week with only one dream in mind. I wanted to come home again, home to SA.
Every year, I visited SA to make sure it was still the place I wanted to be. To make doubly sure, I even travelled to Nicaragua and Mexico in an attempt to balance out my wishes. Finally, I realized that I needed to set a timeline. I decided that I would arrive back in South Africa before the start of 2010. On 31of December 2009, I boarded the plane.
Arriving in my dream country was not without challenges, the first of which was my VISA. My recruitment company told me I had to start in a call centre. Again, I thought I’d lost my freedom. Of course, the opposite was true. The VISA for the call centre was my entry to SA. It helped me to gain experience in the South African workforce and to understand how many things are different in SA compared to Germany.
The company that placed me finally hired me for their recruitment company. I was to set up the accounting department and to help them with a new recruitment approach. After 3, 5 years of placing people in their ideal work positions, I thought there must be still more to my life.
My desire is and always was the wish to make people happy. I decided to start my company GET IT TOGETHER, where would put my knowledge and experiences to good use.
Everything in life has at least 2 sides - you can see situations as being in your way or on your way. That’s basically your choice. I can tell you from my own experience that everything is “on the way”.