Life is a matter of choices, and every choice that you make makes you! A decade back, I yearn for an international position with United Nations, just to explore the world. As a kid, I used to read a lot of travel stories and one of my uncles was my best companion in reading and exploring the world through books. We used to discuss a lot about different cultures, different traditions and different types of people in the world. Back in the 90s, we rarely had the opportunity to interact with multi-ethnic communities, because ours was a typical Sri lankan Tamil locality. But, during holidays we used to visit famous tourist spots in the country, and meet a lot of tourists coming from different parts of the world. It was my childhood routine to voluntarily meet with those tourists, be friend with them, and ask for a photograph with them. Some foreigners would share their postal addresses, and a few would even respond to my pen pal request to connect. It was my hobby..... One day, when I was around 12 years of age, I had a fall and was taken to the near by hospital by my uncle. While we were waiting at the hospital counter, I saw 2 land cruiser type vehicles, and a big lorry. Those flag waiving cars were honking and turning towards our direction. All the three vehicles were white in colour, and they had "red cross' logo painted on front & doors. Amazed at this unfamiliar cited vehicles, I ran towards the hospital front door forgetting my wound & the pain associated with that. Less I knew what I saw that day in that hospital, would change my life and become my identity. There were 2-3 foreigners, including a white lady, a black man and another Chinese looking guy along with a couple of Sri Lankans guys got out from those cars, and they walk passed me towards the hospital corridor. They directly went into the doctors room. In fact, we all were waiting in a long queue for more than 1 hr to see the same doctor, but these guys didn't have to wait it seemed. The doctor got up and greeted them by shaking hands with them. He then took the visitors to the chief doctor's room. The child in me was wandering here an there to understand what was going on.... 20 minutes later, the team came out, along with chief doctor and a few other staff. All went down to the parking area. I saw someone unloading many boxes (also wrapped in white bags with red cross logo) from that huge lorry and someone else was noting down the inventories in a diary. Again, it was astonishing to see all their dresses, note books, accessories like their bags, umbrellas etc..etc... had the same red cross logo in white background. That visibility had an impact in my life. That moment, I promised to myself "one day I will become like them!! As our turn was nearing to see the doctor, my uncle came out in search of me. Seeing the amazement in my face, he had started talking all about International Red cross society and how it works in Sri Lanka & all over the world during wars and crisis on our way back to home. It was an interesting experience in my life. It triggered my thought process further, and I started asking so many questions about everything I witnessed at that hospital that day. Like, why there were multi-ethnic people working under one team? Why they were so special that they didn't have to wait in the queue like us? Why did they offer so many boxes of gifts to the hospital? From where they receive money to do this much charity? Thankfully, my uncle was a living encyclopedia. He had answers to all my questions that day. Knowing my interest, my uncle had made me read a lot of news paper articles and TV documentaries about international agencies such as Red cross, United Nations, African Union, ASIAN, CEYNOR, NETO etc..etc... and each piece of news was a delight to my reading. Slowly, my amazement for "red-cross" has been shifted towards "blue caps" as I read/watch more and more about United Nations and their operations in the world. After the demise of my uncle, there was no one in my family who understood my passion. They simply brushed off my ambitious talks, but encouraged me to be realistic in life. I was forced to complete my MBA, and then looked for a banking career which was most popular career in our family (we are full of bankers). In fact, I started my first job in a bank, but what changed my destiny was a history. It all happened like an accident, but travelling down the memory lane I can very well connect to my childhood passion and ambition towards this kind of profession. As RUMI says, what you seek is, seeking you!!! Getting short-listed for UN international professional roster itself a success. A rare opportunity!!! But handling this kind of demanding professional career with a regular family, requires more commitment and a greater support system. Even though I had been on a UN international professional roster for a decade, it has been a roller coaster ride to continue to navigate this professional career as a woman, especially with young kids and other responsibilities. As per the requirements, somehow I have managed the first phase of "non-family/hardship duty challenge" quite successfully by working in Middle East & African regions in the past decade and obtained the "UN blue passport". This is a dream come true moment for me!!! Today, I am presented with more opportunities in Family duty stations. All these opportunities were the fruits of my hard work only. Now that, I think a lot and chose the best duty station considering the future of my kids and other family members wisely. And I believe my family would stand by me as a rock, as always to sail through this phase as well. To all the youngsters who are reading this message.... Believe in yourself. One day you will be wherever you want to be. Hard work is the key. To all the parents who are reading this message.... Please support your children. Especially your daughters. There are times when a woman becomes totally helpless. Stand by her, assure her. My mom stood by me as a rock, and that helped me to move mountains. Life is a matter of choices.... What you seek is seeking you!