The HR Juggler

Day 42: Home And Away

Posted on: January 11, 2013

42 v2

Today’s post is written by Stella Matimba, who I have very much enjoyed getting to know better on Twitter over the past few weeks. You can find and follow her @stellamatimba – in the meantime, enjoy reading her reflections and resolutions.


The year 2012 for me, is part of an ongoing journey which started about three years ago when I made the decision to go into further education. There was no real thought process which led me to making this decision. I sort of stumbled upon the idea, it sounded good and I went for it. Perhaps I am not giving credit to what some of us might call ‘pre-ordained’, ‘divine intervention’,’ nothing just happens’ ideology. Because, you see, prior to starting Uni, I had successfully run a cleaning business in Scotland. When the recession hit, at the start of 2008, I shut shop, for reasons I thought were justified at the time (fuel price increase being one of them). No sooner had I finished, than a new addition to the family came along (I had always wanted a big family and the biological clock was not waiting for me). So, this new bundle of joy, who is now three, came five months before I decided to embark on this challenging, but life changing mission. There were already two teenagers in the house, who at this time were just entering their teenage years with raging hormones. Was I crazy to go into full-time education? But, I did just that.

Roll on to 2012 and with me reflecting, I can see, there have been plenty of highlights, notably three major ones. 1) I made a trip back home with my kids to meet their grandparents and the rest of their extended family for the first time. The look on my family’s and children’s’ faces was priceless. It also gave me the chance to exorcise the demons which had haunted me for years, because in the time I was away from home, several of my relatives, and most importantly my grandparents, passed away so I was able to visit their final resting places. No words can express the elation, excitement, and the surreal feeling of setting foot on home soil for me. I well up with tears even now when I think how wonderful that holiday was. You see, it doesn’t matter where you come from, UK or TimbukTu, there is no place like home. You can be removed physically from where you live, adopt customs and practices of other nations, but your spirit can never allow you to forget where you really come from, 2) I graduated in November with a distinction in Business Studies, and 3) because of my previous business and other work experience, I was accepted on to an MBA programme, which takes me on to another phase of my life ending in 2013.

I am so proud of what I have achieved; because I did it against all the odds. Raising three kids and being in full-time education is no mean feat, but we underestimate our strength at times, and that was the biggest lesson for me in 2012.
I look forward to 2013 and all it has to offer. I have a new business idea, and if I listen to what people say, I will not do it, because I don’t have the technical skills or expertise in the field. But I am willing to set aside other people’s opinions to achieve my dream and build a future which is bright and prosperous. One of my Twitter friends, @ManagersDiary, posted this recently, “Leaders are visionaries with a poorly developed sense of fear and no concept of the odds against them.” ~Robert Jarvik. I resolve to also use the education I have received in the last few years, to make my new business more successful than the last one. There is a graduation coming up at the end of 2013, provided all coursework and exams are passed, plus of course the dissertation, but if I look back to what I have achieved so far, surely I can achieve that too?

Alison, thank you for allowing me to share my experiences on this platform. I have never at the end of the year, put pen to paper to actually reflect on my year. You may have just started me on a new tradition!

Happy 2013 to you all.

2 Responses to "Day 42: Home And Away"

Keep on stumbling – it does work some of the time! 🙂

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