“Your dreams are valid”- My career journey

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“Your dreams are valid”- My career journey

I recently joined Toastmasters, and the following is a transcript (with a few variations) of my first speech. Enjoy and have a great week.

My name is Shola Ezeokoli. I am a doctor by day and a writer at all other times. I am also a wife, a mother, an blogger , and a marriage counsellor. I was asked to speak on the evolution of what has become my second career, my writing career. The story of my second career would not be complete without the story of the first one, as the two are intertwined.

I have written for as long as I can remember. As a child, I would pen short stories, poems, songs and rhymes. At the age of eleven, I wrote my first full story, a children’s adventure story. Unfortunately it was never published and was subsequently lost.

In my early college days, burning the midnight oil, I wrote as an escape from studying whenever I needed a mental break. When I started medical school, I was recruited for a Christian press by my friend Bukky, who had recently become its editor in chief. This gave my writing focus as I had to churn out article after article, week after week. “Write with a heart to bless”, she said. And I wrote. As a clinical student I joined the press club of my hall of residence. I wrote more, branching out into reporting of events and current affairs. In time I became Associate editor of both press organizations. I wrote, I edited, I proofread and I chose articles for publication. And on, and on it went.

After graduation, I left my beloved press organizations, and with no focus, I went into a hiatus. I drifted into occasional poetry writing as an escape from the stresses of life. In 2006,there was a failed attempt at becoming a blogger.

I started residency in 2007 in internal medicine. The world of post graduate medicine in the USA was interesting and demanding; a steep learning curve that was at times overwhelming. At a point in my life, going through some personal issues, I sought to get closer to God. This was the point where I felt inspired to write what eventually became my first book. I felt I had found a new lease on life, as night after night, I would come home and scribble away, sometimes falling asleep as I wrote…

Fast forward six years later, I now have 3 books on kindle and in print. Two years ago I became a blogger( a serious one, this time). Last month, I received the highest number of views on my blog, where I write about different aspects of living a balanced life, including relationships and marriage.

I learnt through all these experiences that your career does not have to be limited to your college major. Your life does not have to have only one track. What dreams are in your heart? When are you going to do something about them? Will you leave this world, never having enriched it with everything you have to offer?

I will now end with this quote from Lupita Nyongo- Whetever you come from, your dreams are valid.

Check out Shola’s amazon page

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