Who am I?
Hi my name is Nabahwaya Courten, ‘Nani’ for short. It’s hard to deduce my heritage from my name, but I am of Nigerian decent. My maternal grandmother was Egyptian and I was named after her, so I have an Arabic first name. I’m married to a man from the Caribbean, hence the English last name. How do I describe myself??? I could say, I am an engineer, a scientist with a strong interest in understanding humanity. I love applying engineering and scientific principles to solve actual people problems, and that is my day job.
But, where did my wellness journey begin?
I had come to a point in my life that I had actually accomplished all that I had set out to till that point. My plan was to study Computer Engineering, attend an Ivy League University and work for a multinational company with the possibility of moving back home. I now had my Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering from UMBC, had completed my Computer Science Master’s at Columbia University and was now at Microsoft in Redmond, that had an office in Lagos, Nigeria, my home town… Instead of being elated and happy, I felt totally lost. I had been living out a script that I crafted from when I was 13. I was exactly where I said I wanted to be at that point in my life. From this point on, I would have to create a new script, I would have to determine what the next stage of my life would look like. I didn’t have much in my past to draw from except for “get married” , “have kids”, and “the sky is the limit”. What was next???
From that point on, I started failing, especially in my career. Initially, it actually cracked me up because I had never failed in any real sense in my life before. I didn’t like my role in the company and I started trying to make myself love it and excel in it, after all, that was where I said I wanted to be. I got mentors, read books, spoke to people, worked harder, but nothing took. The harder I tried, the worse things got. At that time, I started questioning what happiness meant to me and was wondering why I wasn’t happy in my current life, a life that was admirable. I started abandoning some long-standing principles that had led me to where I was (not intentionally) and started observing the consequences of that. Things kept spiraling down, my career, my peace of mind, my body.
Until one year, 2010, I decided I will work on my fitness, but most importantly, I will have an open mind. In that year I went from being confused and unsettled to finding meaning and focus, from a boring existence to a more adventurous and unveiling life, from being unhealthy to being super healthy, from just me thinking my career needed to change to praying to God to get me out of my job by hook or by crook, getting pregnant, having to move to another city to join my husband, consequently quitting my job :), hurray… That year started me on a journey that I have come to know as my wellness journey. Of cause, I had a whole new set of challenges once I moved and the baby was born. But like I said, it’s been a journey and continues to be a journey to health, balance, well-being, happiness, harmony and spirituality. This is a journey that I would like to share with you…
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