I was going back through old career files last week and came across my supervisor’s feedback from my three month deployment in the Central African Republic in 2014. The feedback was positive, but that period seems such a long time ago (is 18 months really such a long time?). It pushed me to reflect on that period – it seems like such a discreet chapter of life, unlinked to anywhere else. I developed good new friendships with work colleagues, but these almost all but ceased when I left. I was able to develop a good reputation within the office, but now I no longer work for the same organisation or the same people. So it feels like whatever I achieved there is now closed and has no relationship with what I do now. Isn’t it strange to build something and then start from scratch a few months later? Anything you did to establish relationships, institutional knowledge or a reputation remains in a closed box marked ‘CAR’. All you take with you are some experiences, some skills, and the knowledge that you can through a test.
Maybe it’s a bit like life. You work so hard for certain goals and ideals that seem very much part of the world you live in, and then when you move on, you realise that from another perspective what’s important seems very much different.