Tough Decisions Ahead Road Sign

High school, for many of us, brings back memories. Some we may wish to remember and some we wish to forget. All in all, high school was and will always be a part of growing up. We went through ups and downs, we had our best friends who we thought would be there forever, and we had heart aches. Our biggest concern was our upcoming exam and our biggest dilemma was which university to apply for. It was a truly ambiguous and vital part of our lives.

Getting where I am today in my career had basically NOTHING to do with my high school decisions. How, how, and HOW do you expect a 17 year old to decide what they want to do for the rest of their life!!?? I would like to think that things happen for a reason and fate plays an important part in our lives so I am very grateful in where I stand today. Just to clue you in, my little group of besties were always discussing everything of no importance and nothing of significant importance. So when college applications were going out, no one spoke to the other about them because, well, they were important. I assumed I would have some input from my friends but when we got into the 12th grade I realized two were flying off to the U.S. and the third was flying off to Scotland. Hmm, this was the first time I realized that people planned their lives and I should start planning mine.

Aha moment.

I ended up going to the University of Bahrain because I thought studying in hell would prepare me for life and I was right. The mere registration process takes perseverance, patience, and strategic planning. We would walk around like headless chickens trying to get our papers signed, stamped, have seats added, just to go back and start all over again. Well, life in UOB was interesting, kinda like giving birth.

Two years into my bachelors degree, I am supposed to sign up for an internship in a company set up by someone-in-charge. I got an IT assistant position in a securities and investment company where the IT manager was a great mentor. The place was very laid back and professional and I finally got my first pay check. It was an amazing feeling and I thought to myself that I can now be independent and earn my own money. 💪 After the two month internship period, I got offered a job there and I was so excited. The only thing is that if I chose to accept the job I will have to change my studies into evening classes which means that I will graduate later.

At that time, graduating was a big deal and we rushed to register for more than 5 classes per sememster. You see, this was when we didn’t know that life has NOTHING to do with when you graduate, it’s the experience that makes a difference. I didn’t know what to do so I decided to discus it with my parents. I loved the work environment there but I got offered another job by my father. He offered to let me basically run his charity organization in my free time since I am willing to work. I had to decide and I was confused up to the day I was supposed to start work. I really didn’t know what to do, I had two options and couldn’t decide.

So that morning, I got into my car and drove. I reached an intersection, literally, and stopped at the red light. I had to make a decision. If I turn right, I would accept the job as an IT assistant and could later on become a broker and work with stocks and bonds. If I turn left, I would have to enter a new world of children with mental retardation, autism, Down’s syndrome, and cerebral palsy.

I stopped and thought.  This decision will shape me into the person I want to be.

Who do I want to be?

A year later, I was working hard in my office as a little boy popped his head in and gave me a big smile. Sayed Yousif, come here. I said. He walks in coyly and sits on one of the chairs like he does everyday during break time.  Best decision EVER.