Over the years, I have fostered a deep appreciation of the world and how geography influences differing cultures, physical processes and ultimately, the future of our planet. Geography is a subject that is crucial for students to understand; to learn how our world has developed, and ultimately to appreciate that they are the custodians of their own fragile inheritance.
In terms of the working environment, what I found in London was more professional than in Italy. At the same time, the corporate environment was very competitive, inhuman, cold, and unpredictable. After a while, my whole being crushed.
Transitioning from a career of service based on camaraderie and teamwork to one more self-oriented, requires a shift in mentality. In the military achieving a team objective can result in a life or death outcome, something that, does not usually apply to civilian life.
My first job was as a Bank Clerk in Lisbon. I still remember the branch manager being very surprised and wanting to talk to my mom once I told her that I wanted to quit. It was very kind of her to do that because she also had kids my age and didn’t want me to make a wrong decision that I would later regret. But it was nevertheless funny that she wanted to talk to the mom of a grown-up man.
I discovered that I could adapt quickly to new environments and could work with people from different backgrounds while communicating successfully with everyone. Being a multipotentialite allows me to perform a variety of roles throughout the day, and push my boundaries.
For me, what is also incredibly important, and it is also one of my biggest motivations is to set a good example for my children. I don’t want them to stay in a career that doesn’t suit them, just because it is well paid. I wanted to teach them to follow their dreams and to live a good life, full of meaning and accomplishment. The only way to teach them that is to do it myself.
I sense that we evolve over time and become interested in different things, so I feel it is natural and healthy to have new careers and new experiences in our lives. Otherwise we can get stuck and unhappy. Changing a career is not an easy process, but it has been a great journey for me.
It was while I was in the Falklands that I first experienced the stirrings of a vocation to religious life. I had only been in the WRNS for a couple of years before realising that it wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. As I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do, I decided to stay where I was until it became clearer. I still had a couple of years of soul searching before becoming a nun.
The dance luminary Jurgen Schneider, our master teacher and also a Ballet Master at American Ballet Theatre, told me I was a born teacher. I resented this because I wanted to perform first, then teach. I also thought many teachers I had seen were bitter ex-dancers or bitter dance lovers who never got to perform. I did not want o become like that!
Imagine running something in between a marathon and an obstacle race every day of the week, five days a week. It is a very demanding physical job that in time can affect your physical health.