I received this Facebook message from a long-time supporter and lecturer at my alma mater Ngee Ann Polytechnic Robin Yee on 17 Nov. I studied Mass Communications (MCM) there 1993 through 1996:
“I’d like to nominate you for The Most Surprising Career Reinvention award to be given out during MCM25 on Nov 28.”
These are the award categories:
- All-Heart Prince (Biggest Contribution to Society),
- Marauder Mapmaker (Most well-connected)
- The Phoenix (Most Surprising Career Reinvention)
- The One Who Lived (Overcoming tremendous odds)
- The Seeker (Trailblazer/Innovator)
He asked two things from me:
- The highlights of what you’ve achieved with your career in Sexology, and
- How being in MCM has helped you and shaped your decision to go in this new direction
And this was my answer:
The highlights of what you’ve achieved with your career in Sexology
- Appointed sex expert for Men’s Health Singapore, and Men’s Health Malaysia around 2011
- Recognised as one of ‘Top 50 Inspiring Women under 40′ by Her World in July 2010
- Recognised as One of ‘Top 100 Inspiring Women’ by CozyCot in March 2011
- Published my book Love, Sex and Everything In-Between was published by Marshall Cavendish in Oct 2013
- Conducted more than 140 sexuality educational workshops (over five years)
- Spoke at numerous medical conferences in Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia
How being in MCM has helped you and shaped your decision to go in this new direction
I was bullied from my primary through secondary years, and it wasn’t until I was entered MCM that our differences were celebrated. Our varied interests, abilities and talents were encouraged. We were expected to seek out our own path, and follow our passions. In addition, MCM allowed me to view the world through different lenses – one of infinite possibilities. We take life by the horns, we take charge, and we make things happen.
MCM supported me in questioning the world, standing up for humanity and injustice, and shaping my beliefs that I can truly make a difference. I decided to be a sexologist because I wanted to combine my interest in sexuality, with all the skills I honed over the years, including the communication skills I acquired at MCM. I care about people, I stand for positive sexuality, and I believe I am making a difference with each life I touch.
I’ve been told there are strong contenders and I might not win. However I am very grateful for the opportunity to look back into my past, and where I have come from. I am grateful to MCM.
I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and was never told I was good at anything much. Coming from a neighbourhood school, the only thing I knew about myself at the ripe young age of 16 was that my English was better than my peers, and that wasn’t say much about who I am and what I was destined to be.
I am grateful for all that I have received in my life, and will be happy for all the winners regardless of who wins. In many ways, we are all winners, including you dear reader.
FYI. Noel Hidalgo, an archaeologist who has made some startling discoveries that will be covered in Time and National Geographic won in my category. Congrats to him! Well deserved!
Dr. Martha Tara Lee is Founder and Clinical Sexologist of Eros Coaching. She is a certified sexologist with a Doctorate in Human Sexuality. She provides sexuality and relationship coaching for individuals and couples, conducts sexual education workshops and speaks at public events. She is the author of the book Love, Sex and Everything In-Between, and the host of the weekly radio show Eros Evolution on OMTimes Radio. For more, visit www.ErosCoaching.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.