Long, long ago, way back when the Fellows Program wasn’t supposed to be a real thing, I found it, and made it my thing.
I was in Jim Thorpe, PA with my Husband for my birthday weekend getting ready to hike our favorite place, Glen Onoko falls, and saw that there was a small festival going on around the train tracks. I immediately plastered myself to the window shouting “Look, a Fair! It’s Jim Thorpe’s Birthday too! Let’s stop!” This might be a major indicator as to why the first brave piece I was ever gifted was Whimsy, but the jury is still out on that. While walking among the vendors there was everything from soaps, to wrought iron sculptures, gauzy fairy wings and suddenly at the very end, sandals.
I have never been as intrinsically drawn to a booth before in my life, but as I made my way in seeing the tiny TV showing pictures of these energetic and smiling women from Africa I started to share in their excitement! Gena, who was running the booth, was warm, kind, and had the familiar feeling of distant family that could put anyone at ease. I left with gorgeous ribbons, sandals on their way to my home, and so much enthusiasm and purpose. A few short weeks later, she sent me an email. It was asking me to join her in becoming a Sseko Fellow too because she had been given permission to grow a team. I didn’t hesitate.
This is where you’re reading and saying “Okay, that’s USUALLY how people find a job with Direct Sales company” but I wouldn’t be writing about all of this if anything about me or my life was normal, I promise. A few weeks after I became a Fellow, my Husband and I were able to visit his sister on the Big Island of Hawaii. After approximately 36 hours, he turned to me and said: “I want to live here.” Honestly, maybe he needs to wear a piece of Whimsy too.
But we did it.
Somehow, through a lot of pain, and struggle and insanity, we moved to the Big Island. Our time there was short, we were able to float along for about 9 months, but then it was time to retreat back to a more familiar place. We had to let go of our paradise, and in the rebuilding of our lives I also had to let go of being a Fellow. I had fallen into inactivity, and eventually was *retired*. Being a stay at home mom, with almost no local friends, on a literal island, that had really strong vendor laws because of tourism, crushed me and therefore my business. We returned to PA depressed, beaten, and with a lot of stress to start our entire adulthood over. My Season in Life, as my incredibly wise Mentor calls them, had changed. I had to shift gears from enjoying a great surplus of happiness and enjoyment and knuckle down to rebuild what we had lost in our gamble of moving a quarter of the way across the world.
About a year passed, I purchased a few Sseko pieces here and there, staring longingly at the website, missing all the women who I had become so close with, and feeling so proud of all the company’s growth. All while I quietly becoming a part of a daily routine I didn’t want and never asked for. We found a house that we turned into a home, and my son started school, and after a while we were finally able to say we felt okay again. That’s when I got the messages.
“Sierra, it’s time for you to come back.”
“Sierra I KNOW you are ready for this.”
“Sierra, YOU BELONG HERE.”
My Mentor Gena had been watching and waiting in the wings the whole time, and she couldn’t have made herself any more loud or clear, and I’ve never felt so blessed to have someone watching over me in that way.
I don’t know how other companies work, but I can pretty confidently say that when you’re on a company-wide Video call with the co-founder and her right-wing woman, they don’t usually sing and dance when your mentor declares that you’ve come back to the fellowship.
I don’t know many people who can say that they feel loved by the company they work for, but I can. I can say that I am supported, loved, cared for, considered a Wonder Woman, and more. I am now known as the Girl who came back, a Wonder Woman of whimsy, and I am unapologetically a Sseko Fellow.