Malaika Awori likes to climb mountains, literally and figuratively. Literally, there was the trek up Kenya’s Mount Longonot in her childhood, a guided hike that she admits was “not all that difficult.” Her blog, Potential Doctor, however, chronicles a different kind of uphill journey—her trek up the mountain of medical knowledge to her longtime goal of being a doctor.
In either case, it’s often what we see from the top that makes it all worth it. While she hasn’t reached the summit of her medical mountain yet, Malaika recalls the view from the top of Longonot. After working her way up a seemingly dry, barren mountainside, the swirling mist that had accompanied the group all the way up soon cleared, and she found herself peering straight down into the lush, tree-filled interior of the dormant volcano. “It was like a hidden paradise waiting to be discovered by those willing to push through the mist,” she says.
Perhaps that is what inspires most of us to press on with the novels and essays and articles and blogs we’re writing—because we know that even though sometimes we can barely see what’s just ahead, a great reward is ours once we get to the top.
But far from being your typical writer-slash-biochemist, Malaika enjoys other pursuits, like composing music on the piano, crocheting, reading, and calligraphy. And presumably cooking—on her blog you’ll find new recipes posted regularly, tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, as well as anecdotes and experiences from her own childhood, which she also relates through the eyes of the two children she and her husband are raising in Québec, Canada.
You’re probably dying to know how Malaika went from timid blogger to confident wordsmith, and what inspired her along the way. And you’re in luck! She explains it below, and also shares a beautiful photo she took in Kenya.
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Malaika’s two cents:
I used to be shy about writing publicly. Even posting a status update on Facebook was once intimidating. But the more I wrote, the more I wanted to write, and blogging has become a great creative outlet for me to practice my writing skills, and to inspire others, too. My blogging initially started out as a tool to share my journey to medical school, particularly since I’m a mother of two and in my 30s, hence a somewhat unusual thing to start doing later in life. I was sure there must be others out there contemplating doing something new and exciting with their lives, but were perhaps unsure where to begin or were fearful of taking a big leap out of their comfort zone. I’m inspired to write to people like this to tell them it’s never too late to pursue a long held dream. It will take work, sacrifice, and perseverance, but the world is there for the taking if we will only take that leap and believe we can succeed. My writing has evolved to include other topics as inspired by my rambunctious children and those around me. What it comes down to is that I get inspiration from people and I am here to inspire in return.
As you continue to write, just remember these other words of wisdom from Malaika: “You have something to offer the world. We may not always feel ready but we can do it if we just gather up our courage and fly.”
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