The Slave Mill
Slave Mill by Damian Marley was a song that resonated -and still resonates- in my mind for the past couple of years.
My “slave mill” was the 9 to 5 job I was mentally attached to for the past 7 long years. I worked as a radio host as soon as I arrived in Sudan in August 2013 not because I had experience but because I spoke great English with a somewhat British Accent. The radio job I landed out of nowhere was my first job after deciding to separate from my ex-husband, the job itself didn’t pay great, but for me it represented freedom and new beginnings from the life I used to live when I was married. I was a divorcee, a single mom, and a radio host! In my mind that job was everything and I valued it more than any other job I received later at schools and various English institutes. For some reason, I was not able to keep any job other than my radio job and I was not able to commit to anything other than that specific position.
Throughout the years, I grew to love my job as the voice on the radio and I started falling in love with the reach I used to get from hosting various shows. I started as a host in the afternoon show, then I moved to the evening show, then I moved again to host both Morning and evening shows at the same time for about 2 years. After my experience and my ability to create my own content for different shows, I decided to concentrate only on the morning show and focus on the content delivered in the morning and that went well, very well! I started having interviews, created various series in collaboration with various organizations and institutes and I was loving every bit of my day.
I was also promoted to become the manager of radio hosts being the longest serving English Radio Host in the Country not only in the city which is a title I am very proud of as it reflects my commitment and ability to hold on to something that long.
I spent endless hours at the station as I felt I was building my baby not only a company I merely served at as a employee. I felt that this is my dream forgetting everything I once wanted to be as a young child. I thought I was born to become this prominent English Radio Host ignoring all the great skills I have, had and gained throughout the years. I was so busy in celebrating the milestones of the station under my time that I overlooked my own personal milestones that I once wanted to achieve. I was driven blindly by a focus that greatly benefited my employer but turned the other cheek when I dared to question myself subconsciously “Where are you going to be in 10 years time?”
I created my own Slave Mill that helped me survive from a pay cheque to another. I was not allowed to think beyond that pay cheque as that was considered ungratefulness.
Breaking the Shackles
It was thanks to the corona virus complete lock down that I started self-reflecting quite a lot on my career status, my personal life, my future, my dreams, the opportunities around me and everything. The idea of the Lock Down was extremely uncomfortable at the beginning and I had no clue what will I be doing without my 9 to 5 job, without the station that nurtured into becoming this great human being. I was scared of staying at home and facing everything I was once running away from. I was terrified by the build-up of responsibilities and my incapability of paying off all my debts. I was petrified of facing all of that, but I was most scared of is facing myself and being alone with my thoughts.
With all my fears and extreme lack of confidence, I was forced into lockdown because of this notorious disease. I was forced to face all my fears and me on top of all. The first period of the lockdown was filled with self-reflection, building my self-confidence, working on my self-belief and focused on making me sane, happy and loved not by anyone but myself. I spent hours meditating, doing Yoga, exercising and of course caring from myself.
Once I trusted, loved and cared for myself, the image I created of my slave mill started dissolving into nothingness in my mind. I didn’t have anything that attached me to my slave mill, I started realizing it was thanks to me and my efforts that I achieved everything so far, it was thanks to my creativity that I was able to build everything, it was thanks to my agility I was able to overcome all the challenges, it was thanks to my positive energy I was -and still am- able to learn from everything around me. I found out that all the previous achievements were accomplished by me because of my skills and experiences. I was the key in making money, I was the key in creating things out of thin air and I was the key to my own success.
It is still corona lock down here in Khartoum Sudan, I am making money independently working in many personal and impersonal projects in the comfort of my own room. I created a corner in my room where I do all of my work at and I am loving it!
My little corner is where all the creativity comes from and where I accomplish all my work. I realized during this period I always wanted to be independent, I love being my own boss, I adore managing my own projects, and most of all I love my own creativity process. I still love working in teams and making projects in a bigger scale, but what really ticks me is creating my own destiny, and walking down the path of my own career that I created and tailored only for me.