by Nada Hamad AlGhurair
  • 2 minute read
  • July 12, 2021
Gen-Z Emirati: Finding Nada

It’s tough to be an introvert in a world that equates success and ambition with extroversion. When I was a child, I had a small face and big round eyes, features that I inherited from my family. These big eyes noticed every small detail, but I rarely vocalized it. I used to stay quiet most of the time at school, but I wouldn’t stop talking at home. My mother noticed my reluctance to engage in public interactions, so she surrounded me with cousins and friends, sent me to summer schools to learn French, and encouraged me to pursue internships to get me out of my comfort zone.

As I turned 16, I decided to study abroad – much to my own and my family’s surprise. I spent ample time studying the nuances of my behaviors and habits, discovering who I am so that I could build upon my strengths. Feeling comfortable and confident in my own skin was a challenge, especially as I had adopted a few traits genetically and culturally that were hard to shrug off.

The road to self-discovery hasn’t been easy, but I’m grateful to have ventured on it. It has built my confidence and encouraged me to think independently, especially when studying law, which I knew requires living an overly articulate life, having seen my mother’s practice as a lawyer. It helped me face my fears and perceive the world in a new light, pushing me to realize my dreams and seize every opportunity.

Today, a regular day at the office involves lots of quiet, regenerative time, navigating daily interactions and commitments that I learn from every day. For me, the journey of self-exploration isn’t over – I see myself evolving into a more interesting version of myself – someone who views the world without preconceived notions and inclinations.

As you’re treading this exploratory path, close your eyes and imagine your ideal self. Ask yourself what you want from life, where you see yourself in five years, and contemplate your highs and lows. The realizations and answers to these questions will guide you towards your true calling. It’s also crucial to explore new avenues and the road less traveled, so that you know what piques your interest the most.

Be kind to yourself and approach everything with an open mind and an unshackled spirit. There’s only one of you, you’re unique, and you owe it to yourself to be true to who you are. Happy self-discovery.

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