What happens when you Invest In Yourself? It’s different for everyone, but I guarantee you, you will be surprised. You may find yourself faced with an opportunity for growth that will scare the wits out of you; you may wonder if the new adventure is the right path or not; and you may find that you are being tested to take a leap of faith and just believe in yourself.
I had been striving for three years to complete my GreenMBA and finally carve out some precious time for myself to do what I loved: Art and Writing. I was still struggling with my higher purpose — when was I going to figure that out. At the age of 57, I had seven years of college under my belt, plenty of corporate and entrepreneural experience, a whopping school loan coming up in six months, and I STILL didn’t know what I wanted to do when I grew up!
I rarely went to seminars and talks at the college. Who has time when you are in your third year of an MBA program, have a family, and running a business. I saw the flyer for the upcoming talk in October and felt if this person was coming all the way from England to do a presentation at Dominican, the least I can do is show up and learn what he had to say.
The only man who could uproot me from my Marin lifestyle is Aonghus Gordon. He captured the audience with his charming English accent sharing story after story of the work they were doing at Ruskin Mill Trust in England with Special Needs children, single women with children, soldiers returning from Afghanistan, and more.
Gordon had me literally sitting on the edge of my seat. I was shaking at my very core! All my schooling, my eight years working in Special Education for the San Francisco Unified School District, and my husband’s and my current work with TOPSoccer (a soccer program dedicated to children with special needs) all came to a pinnacle revealing my higher purpose.
I knew it was going to be hard to be away from my tight-knit family for four months; I knew there would be sacrafices; but I knew I had to go — my whole family knew this was my calling. I accepted the four-month assignment in England working with the Management Team at Ruskin Mill Trust in Nailsworth to learn, develop strategies to expand globally, and help with fundraising.
I had the privilege of traveling and working with another GreenMBA colleague, whose name is also Barbara, so we are known as the Barbara’s or Barbara & Barbara. The British find it amusingly funny, and we are having a good time introducing ourselves to others. Definitely, we are making an unforgetable impression. (Photo: Ruskin Mill Trust Corporate Offices, Nailsworth, UK – 2012)
This amazing opportunity and adventure of a lifetime was captured in my blog: BB in England from January to May, 2012. If you have the opportunity to travel and work abroad, I highly recommend keeping a personal journal and blogging for others that will be following in your footsteps.
Barbara Bonardi (written February 2012/published May 2013)