Search
  • Sana Z

Meet Angelica

Updated: Sep 5, 2018

"NEVER DO (OR NOT DO) ANYTHING BASED ON FEAR OR WHAT OTHER PEOPLE WILL THINK"


LIFE ON YOUR OWN TERMS

I started my career in the banking sector in London. But after two years, I left a high-flying job because it wasn't doing it for me. I then started working in the UN, mainly in the area of programme and evaluation. For a couple of years, my husband and I were able to get jobs in the same places, both in the field and at headquarters. After my first child was born I went on extended leave. I turned down a couple of great opportunities to be able to spend more time with my children. Eventually I left the UN altogether. For the past 10 years, I have been a freelancer doing evaluations. I work from home (my base is where my family is) and I go on short missions to complete the evaluations. My life is not perfect but I have a lot of flexibility to do what I love. I still get involved in development projects, travel to remote areas and have hands-on experience, but I also get to go to school functions and help with homework. I have the freedom to organize my life in a way that honors my priorities and values.


Living life on your own terms is being honest about what is important to you, regardless of society’s expectations.



ROOTS AND SEEDS

My family is Peruvian but I grew up in Spain. I also lived in the US, Chile, Italy, London, Colombia, Kenya, Cambodia, the Netherlands, and now Panama.


WHAT YOUR FOUR YEAR OLD SELF WOULD TELL YOU TODAY

I did not see that coming!


SUPERPOWERS

I'm an introvert, which allows me to work from home as I actually thrive from spending long stretches of time alone. My Independence and a need for constant change and novelty feeds on this short-term project system. Also, I am kind of “weird” and I'm proud of it. This helps me to not conform to social norms or expectations.


ENOUGH IS ENOUGH MOMENT

When I was working in the banking sector in London, I got sick a lot, it was my body talking to me, I was miserable. It was very hard to leave a well-paid and recognized job, but I quit not knowing what was ahead of me.


Later on, I also had a wake-up call when my daughter said one day: “mummies stay home and daddies go to work”. It was an aha-moment for me. I didn’t want my kids growing up thinking there was a set structure depending on gender. I realized that I wanted to go back to work, not only for myself but also for my kids, but I wanted to do it on my terms.


MOST EXCITING HIGH

The first time I took a job as an independent evaluator. My kids were very young and I was terrified to leave them. I was also terrified that someone had paid me to fly across the world to do something I’d never done before. However, once there it all went well and I really enjoyed it!


The day following my return, I was playing in the park with my kids in Holland feeling really rejuvenated and thought: wow, 24hrs ago I was in Sudan! I loved the contrast. I always joke about the fact that I change identities like “Superman” did in his phonebooth. I go into the airplane as a mum and exit as an aid worker.


MOST CHALLENGING LOW

I’ve gotten really sick a couple of times while on mission, and sometimes those illnesses have stayed with me for months until doctors could work out what was wrong. It’s made me realize that the lifestyle I have chosen can be tough on the body. In addition to tropical disease you have to deal with jetlag and lots of travel, it can be quite exhausting!



BEST PIECE OF ADVICE

Never do (or not do) anything based on fear or what other people will think.


WORST PIECE OF ADVICE

“Just try it” I ended up spending two years in a job that I didn’t really like. Sometimes trying something new is good. Sometimes you run the risk of getting caught up and inertia can lead you down the wrong path.


BOOK OR PEOPLE THAT HAD AN IMPACT ON YOUR LIFE

My two main role models are my mother, who was a stay-at-home mum, and my father, who was very successful in his career. I am career-focused like my dad and give a lot of importance to being a good mother, like my mum. It's not always easy to live up to these expectations :)


BIGGEST LEAP OF FAITH

My biggest leap of faith was turning down a stable and secure job with the UN to become a freelancer. As a freelancer there's always the fear of not finding the next job, so I have to keep reminding myself that sometimes I have to say no in order to balance work and family and stay true to my vision. I have to believe I can say no and will still be able to get work.


FEAR OR BELIEF YOU LET GO OF

The belief that you can have it all. I am aware of the imperfection of my choices, but I accept that any other path I would have chosen would have requested that I compromise or sacrifice something.


IF GIVEN A CHANCE WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY

I’m fully aware that my life isn’t perfect, but I’m not sure I’d do anything different.


RESILIENCE TIP

You need to find your “tribe”, people who know you and feed the real you. I wouldn’t have had the courage to do what I did, if I weren't surrounded by people who supported me, including my husband. You also need people willing to tell you the hard truth when it's necessary.


HARDEST PART ABOUT BEING A PERSON WHO LIVES ON THEIR OWN TERMS

When I see people who went up the ladder, I think to myself: that could have been me. A part of me would like to have that social recognition, but we can't have it all.


WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO LESS/MORE?

I need to exercise more! As a freelancer, you do have flexibility, and yet, since I work from home, if I am not physical on purpose, I can easily end up not moving much.


WHAT'S NEXT

For the time being I plan to carry on with what I am doing. This may change in the future, I may go back to full time work or end up doing something completely different, but for now I am happy where I am. I do plan on carving out more time for my hobbies, writing and photography. I want to go back to those passions, creativity feeds creativity.


WORDS OF WISDOM

I let go of the belief that you can have it all.


Never do (or not do) anything based on fear or what other people will think.

You have to be willing to be different to come up with anything original (I’m pretty sure I read that somewhere though).


WHERE TO FIND HER

www.AngelicaConsulting.com

www.onMotherhoodAndSanity.blogspot.com

www.angelica.carbonmade.com

Instagram: angelica_arbulu

https://www.facebook.com/OnSanity-171254406258393/




© 2018 by Sana Z. All Rights reserved.