And that leads me to today's post.
Two years ago I spent some time in the Philippines. What an amazing unspoilt place, with beautiful and warm people - it was love at first sight. One night I was walking along a crowded street in Manila, when I heard a baby crying. Sometime ago, long before I decided to change minds, I changed nappies (I was a nanny) and I recognised this cry as one to take notice of - and yet no body was.
Eventually I saw this baby. She was no older than two years old and was sitting on some steps. Despite being covered in dirt, she was beautiful, but her face was full of sadness, her big eyes brimming with tears, her bottom lip quivering. Most alarmingly, she was alone.
The street was so busy, I was swept along and even then, had to rush to keep up with my companion. We found a bar not far from these steps, and I sat there, fiddling with my drink, distracted by the image of that baby girl.
Sometimes I think it was in that moment I realised how trivia my problems were, and how my life purpose wasn't being met in the work I was doing at the time. Yes, I taught people how to speak English, and I had some amazing students who tell me now how I made a difference to them...but it wasn't enough.
I was told not to go back to find that little girl, that the parents would be close by, hoping a stranger would stop and give her money. I wanted to give her a baby wipe and some food... so I did go back, but she had gone. That image stayed with me for some time, I painted it, wrote stories about it, and eventually, made the decision to make a difference in my work, for women, and by default, for their children.