A love letter to my NYC Fam

Greetings from chilly Johannesburg!! Lord, it has been so long since I wrote I wasn’t even sure how WordPress worked anymore.

As my time in Johannesburg quickly comes to an end, am making due on my promise to share more about my travel to New York and the beautiful people there that changed my life.

This is a love letter of the sorts, to show my appreciation that I couldn’t show in word and action.

Victoria aka “Mama Bear“, thank you for being just that, a mama Bear to all of us “young cubs”. For believing in us, inviting us to New York to represent your passion, for fighting the good fight on our behalf and for being the coolest boss ever! For picking us over others, being understanding and always present and supportive. We all love you very much.

Prateek, thank you for being YOU as well. For being dedicated and passionate about what you do, you were an example to each of us. We all love you very much and wish you all the best on your new journey.

Craig, thank you for chilled words of wisdom and tolerating my rants. You have been there every step of the way and have witnessed by growth. For the support and help, am truly grateful and will always remember your words of encouragement every step of my professional life.

To my new sisters that I hold dear in my heart;

Rand, you are amazing, sophisticated and extremely talented. Thank you for bringing everyone together, you’re kindness is heartwarming. You were like a big sister to me and gave me a new perspective on so many things. You have changed the status quo on so many things and have a positive approach towards everything. You taught me to be more confident and more outgoing.

Olivia, you are smart, hardworking and kind. Thank you for your organised mind, it challenged me a lot to be more responsible. You’re a joy to work with and your dedication to your responsibilities and honesty were such an example to me. You are always wearing a smile and have taught me to want more in my professional career (whichever I choose..eventually) and to be dedicated.

Sakhile, you express your emotions proudly and that is something not many can do. Am thankful you came with me to Jo’burg, as am terrible at conversation, thank you for your bubbly personality and keeping the environment warm. Your passion towards what you care about has challenged me to search within and find out what am really passionate about and hold onto it.

Erika, you are knowledgeable, funny and such an implementer 🙂 Thank you for being very welcoming towards me and letting me tag along. Your independence, insanely cool computer skills, your dedication to what you do and very chill yet stern personality definitely taught me a lot about balancing my work / commitments and personality. Thank you for your jokes, they cracked us up.

Souzana, you are gorgeous(I insist you become a model), well poised with a strong heart. Thank you for your honesty, you don’t make excuses and don’t use what you are going through as one either. You have taught me to be responsible and work hard, no excuses! Thank you for your warm smile and generosity towards others, your maturity and character have had an impact on me.

Sandy, you are witty, dedicated and extremely passionate towards women and their rights. Your bold personality is beyond your beautiful petite figure. Thank you for showing me that when finds what they are passionate, one can become bold to express (figuratively and literally) that passion. You walk the talk with what you believe in and that is very inspiring.

Irem, you are natural born leader. You’re ability to balance between your personal and professional profile is one many never grasp (one I still struggle with). Your natural ability to quickly adjust to different situations is admirable. Thank you for your mature perspective and for being an example in many ways.

To Kobi and Jen (whom I felt an unexplained connection with), thank you for being you. For helping us to dig deep and encouraging us to be the best versions of ourselves and not to shy away from our greatness. I love you.

To Megha, DanielaAlia and Sana thank you for your dedication and passion towards us and the programme.

While many of them may never read this post, it feels good to reflect and hold onto what they mean to me and how they have changed my life. I have been in a vicious cycle for the last couple of months, working hard but also trying to figure out what my future may look like. There have been many sleepless nights, deadlines and times when I was sure I was going to lose my mind…literally.. But I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.

There has been a certain amount of growth that comes from living / working abroad by yourself, no family, new friends and having to figure out things again. The long nights of missing family but also having to force myself to close my eyes because I know I want to keep working on an international level.

Besides everything, am grateful for the people above and the friends from Johannesburg who I will write about another time.

Hugs and Hearts,

Esteri 🙂

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