Procrastinating will not get you anywhere
For the majority of women living in a developing country, including mine, the older a single woman gets, the more her family and society pressure her to get married and start a family. In some societies, girls are betrothed to be married when they're a mere child, some are forced into arranged marriages, others can be deemed 'un-marriable' or it is assumed that something is wrong with a woman if she hasn't been able to find a husband at a fairly young age. The degree of the ways women are pressured to 'do their duty' and nurture a family varies from society to society and from individual to individual. And although I frown on such gender based biases and pressure, I was a little shocked to find myself falling victim to such pressure despite my strong feminist nature. Of course my family is concerned that I'm too career driven and that I'll forget to get married and have children, but I was surprised to find myself getting some what depressed on this issue as my 28th birthday was approaching.
Anyway, this story is not about how I feel pressured to get married but about what led me to the World Pulse online community and encouraged me to apply to Voices of Our Future, and that was my realization that I was annoying myself with procrastination. I do want to get married one day and have kids, but there is many other things I would like to do and as my 28th birthday was approaching, I found myself in deep thought as to what I really wanted in life and how I should go about getting it.
One of my biggest passions is peacebuilding through the active participation of youth and the promotion of youth citizenship. My initiatives to reach these ends depend heavily on the Internet. Taking advantage of the outreach made possible by the internet, and Web 2.0 in particular, fits into my personal vision but I only know this through personal experience. In other words, I have never received any semi-professional training or read a book on how to best take advantage of Web 2.0 to network among young peacebuilders to bring about peace, particularly within my sub-region the Horn of Africa.
Another one of my biggest passions is writing, but as my 28th birthday was approaching, I found myself annoyed with my constant procrastination in realizing this dream. I'm always writing, whether it's a report or protocol agreement or an email, but I'm never investing my time to write for pleasure. I had to make a birthday resolution to keep on writing to develop myself into the writer I aspire to be, but like most birthday resolutions that I've made in the past (including writing in a journal every day), I find it very hard to keep them. That's when I discovered World Pulse.
I was intrigued by the vision and values of WorldPulse, and it's goal to use Web 2.0 to bring solutions to the global women's empowerment movement. I've used the terms active youth and women citizenship many times, but I've never heard of citizen journalism. I've participated in social networking and email lists before, but I have yet to fully realize the opportunities provided by new media in peacebuilding and women's empowerment. So coming across World Pulse and Voices of Our Future, I felt inspired to apply because I could immediately see how being part of such an online community would not only empower me more in my peacebuilding initiatives but also get me to stop procrastinating with my dreams. What's more is that I know that the World Pulse experience is not one that leaves me standing alone. I've already met and been encouraged by women that I've never actually met in real life before, but are still very supportive of me. Not only is World Pulse an incentive for me to stop procrastinating, but it is also a community that supports me to go for my dreams.