“When I was younger I didn’t get the opportunities that my children have today, that is why I always support them to do the things they love, whatever they want to do, whatever they want to become, go out and do it.”

These were the words used by Qatari artist and writer Jameela Al Shuraim when she describes how she supports her daughters dreams. What she didn’t mention until the end of our conversation was that she herself had recently started following her own dreams.

She said she only began to focus on her writing and art when she retired from her job as a teacher. She speaks about her work with such passion, all the kids she helped, all the articles she writes to discuss issues in society, and all the creativity she brings to the world through her artwork.

She reminded me of three things, first is the power of support, the way she supports her kids is remarkable, the only thing she ever questions is their love and passion for the work they are doing.

This support gives her kids the confidence to do things that might not fit into the culture or society they grew up in however they do it anyway because they know that they had a powerful figure that is cheering them every step of the way. In return her kids are the biggest supporters of her new found journey and the work she loves, what goes around really does come around, you receive the energy you give to the world.

Second is that it’s never too late to do something you love, all you need to do is focus, be passionate and be willing to learn and you are already on your way to achieving your goals and dreams. She said that she feels like a student again, which I believe is the only way to consistently grow in our lives.

Lastly is the difference and impact doing work you love can have on your life. Whenever she talked about her students, her writing, or her artwork, her face would light up and she would speak with this permanent smile. It was truly wonderful to see someone who knew they were living a life of meaning and purpose, who knew they were doing the things they were put on this earth to do.

I love learning from people who are ready and willing to share their journey, it’s a reminder that we all pretty much want the same things in life, to find love, to live with meaning and to have an impact on this world. I also learn that anything is possible if we believe in ourselves, I remember to keep smiling, to not worry so much and that we are fine being who we are, that one way or another everything is going to be alright