Two days before my 8th birthday in 1994, I walked outside behind my old building where I lived. It was dusk and when I looked on the sandy ground, I saw my bare feet covered in dust making them appear like they belong to a ghost who somehow forgot to trim their nails. I could see through my worn-out skirt as the light made shadows on the ground where I stood. I could hear my hungry belly as it rumbled fighting to complete for attention with my mind rushing with the usual thoughts: ‘I will make it out, I just need to continue studying and working really hard’. At one point I looked up the sky as I thought I saw some sparks or lights. I am sure it was just a plane passing by or a comet, but my mind refused to believe that it was just the ordinary. I decided that the light I saw was my star that just got born for me. There I was in split-second believing that I have found my omen and that I was blessed to ‘succeed out of poverty’. I marked the ground where I stood and promised to come back to greet my star each time I reached a milestone in life. And just like that I believed I am here to make a difference in the world and that thought pursued me for the next 28 years. It still does today. Although I am far away from the ground where I marked to stand and celebrate my achievements with my special star, I believe it follows me as I see a reflection of a special spark in my eyes when I win. I hope one day my shine will brighten up someone else’s sky too, and bring about their special star to inspire them to seek the ‘extraordinary’ in the ordinary.
- Olivera Jankovska, 2020