“Hi Toastmaster Abhilasha, this is Priya. I am sorry, but I do not think I can come to the Club Evaluation Contest Today, please forward this message to everyone,” I said as I hung up my phone. 

On 17th September 2019, KU-SOM Toastmasters Club was having its Club Evaluation Contest, and I was one of the contestants. Up until a day prior, I was excited at the prospect of getting to participate in a contest, especially after being in Toastmasters for some months. I was nervous as I had never been to any Toastmasters’ contest before that. I woke up on the same thought on a Tuesday morning, only to get a call from one of my colleagues telling me that we had five meetings to attend throughout the day and not even one could be missed. 

I had just joined my first professional job in September, and I wanted to ace in it as much as I could- it is, I always joke, my Virgo nature. Missing the meetings would have pushed me and my work back many steps, which I did not want. So despite wanting to participate in the Evaluation contest, I had to make the dreadful call and tell the contest chair that I would be backing out.

With a solemn face as I went on about my day, I got another call and this time from my supervisor asking me and all the employees to come to the office immediately. For others unfortunately and for me fortunately, there had been instructions from the central to halt all the meetings for the span of a day or two because of some immediate and impacting changes in the policies of work for our department. As a result, in the period of a few minutes, all my meetings got cancelled. 

By the time the office meeting had ended, it was five o’clock in the evening. The contest was not starting for the next forty minutes, so I had ample of time- that was if I could make it through the traffic to reach the meeting on time. I called the contest chair right away and told her that I was coming. And in half an hour, I was at KU-SOM premises. 

Life, sometimes, works in mysterious ways. Whenever things go against our wishes, we tend to consider it bad luck. But so that it happens, at times those “wrong” things help set the right path ahead. At first, when I heard about the change in policies for my work, I was agitated because it meant that my meetings would be prolonged. But because of this same reason, I got to participate in the Club Evaluation Contest, which opened many doors for me. I went ahead to win the Area Evaluation Contest and also the Division Evaluation Contest. It was a dream come true for me. My networks expanded, my opportunities numbered, and my happiness crossed limits. To add on to that, for the first time in my life, I felt that I had achieved an accolade that resonated with my passion, and my dream. This incident, in the end, taught me two things: one- sometimes you have to take that quick decision because it can change the course of your life. And, two, don’t question an obstacle or setback in life because those things sometimes work in miraculous ways to take you to wonderful places. 

Priya Chapagain, Associate VP Membership, KU-SOM Toastmasters

Published in Inkspire Issue 3. Click here for the full newsletter

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