Life advice by Ulrich Mabou

Ulrich Mabou

Ulrich Mabou

3 mins read

This picture was taken sometime in December 2017, from a hostel room in the outskirts of Stellenbosch, a town close to Cape Town in South Africa. I had just been evicted from my apartment because the lease agreement had expired at the end of November and I hadn’t made any arrangements for where to stay next. A few weeks before that, I had gotten the guts to say to a psychologist I was seeing that I was going to stop taking the antidepressants he had put me on, and try to recover from depression on my own because I din’t want to take them for the rest of my life. Around the same period, I met with my manager in a restaurant to give him back my work laptop and finalize the details of my ‘friendly’ termination of contract. Despite all the support from top management at the company I used to work for, I had decided that it was time for me to stop everything, take some time for myself, and figure out what to do next in my life.

There I was, not knowing what to do with my day or the rest of the month; not knowing where I was going to spend Christmas and New Year’s Eve; not knowing what I was going to do from January 2018; not knowing if I was ever going to be able to get myself together again.

Fast-forward to almost 22 months from then, here I am, sharing this with you. Still in Cape Town, but this time in an apartment where I have spent the last 2 months with my lovely cousins. I am actually visiting this time. I have spent the last year in Ghana (West Africa), and I am on my way to Kenya (East Africa) in a few days. I went to Ghana in August 2018 for a one year sponsored program where I learnt a lot about myself, entrepreneurship, technology, and most importantly amazing people and the world. It was  a difficult decision for me to pack up everything and leave for West Africa, because I din’t know what was lying ahead, I wasn’t sure I had completely recovered from my depression, I wasn’t sure if I was going to cope well with the intensive program. But I did! And I will never regret my decision. 

Here I am again, about to leave for Kenya: a new Country, a new set of incertitudes and adventures. I might have doubts,I might regret it one day,  I might love it, I might stay there longer than planned, I don’t know... But something I am certain of: I will surely meet amazing people, learn and grow, and hopefully inspire one or two people on my journey.

‘Don’t just seek to get out of your comfort zone from time to time, seek to constantly be in uncomfortable zones if you want to grow and know yourself better;’ that is my ONE piece of advice for you today.