By Rose Odengo
24 DECEMBER 2016
For many years, any time I heard of any forum that involved women, I avoided it like the plague. Why? It felt like a high school popularity contest mostly fixated on nit picking appearances and tearing each other down.
I had worked with Renee to build The LEAP Network brand but it was one thing to create the brand and another to experience it. I attended the first networking session grumpy and groggy, I detest early mornings. But you know what, it was all worth it. Every single bit of it. It felt great being in a room with women from such vast fields, ages and races. It was refreshing. I felt rejuvenated and validated. For the first time in my adult life, I genuinely felt I belong.
It is the beginning of a new realization and more so the challenge to live by what was initially a cool tagline for The LEAP Network…”No excuses... TAKE THE LEAP!” It was cool when I discussed it with Renee over coffee. Now realizing that I have to live it makes it a game changer. It now sounds revolutionary. It now has become a rally call to me and to others.
I have no idea what the journey will be, it does make me nervous, but I am glad that I now have a mentor and other women to walk with me on this journey.
I had a discussion with Renee last week, as I begin this journey, and she asked me to do something interesting. She asked me to choose a word, just one word for the year. As soon as she asked me to do that, that one word came to my mind. That word was ‘Belief’.
I Google searched the various meanings of the word:
Dictionary.com: “something believed; an opinion or conviction:”
Merriam-webster.com: “a feeling of being sure that someone or something exists or that something is true”
Those two definitions stood out for me as I began to seek what ‘Belief’ meant. It meant belief in me, my abilities, in my neighbors, it meant reconciliation as well. By believing in people as a whole and not shelving human contact with others because of past betrayal, I am now free. By simply choosing that word and unveiling its meaning in my life, I am now finding clarity. I am working on a mood board which will reinforce a powerful visualization that will continue to guide me on this LEAP to a fulfilling life ahead.
And the best part of this all, I wrote about. My belief in myself as a writer and a storyteller has allowed me to trust you - the reader of this post - with this personal story and journey. This is an amazing step. I will be sharing more of my journey with you.