I do not consider myself successful, but I am aware that others may. I am a community reproductive and sexual health registrar in the NHS, co-director of charity the Reproductive Justice Initiative (formerly Decolonising Contraception) and the author of my first book Racism, Medicine and Why We Need to Decolonise Healthcare.
Often, when I am introduced to new people they exclaim, ‘Wow, you have achieved and are doing so much!’ Whilst hearing these words can be flattering, I often feel compelled to say “Maybe, but I wouldn’t be here without my incredible support base.” When you see a person who is ‘successful’ or meets your idea of success; they are being upheld by a community of equally strong, amazing people who uplift that person and allow them to shine. This is why I say success is like an iceberg.
Icebergs are pieces of freshwater ice that have usually broken off a glacier and float in open water; they can be different sizes and move at vastly different rates. Whilst, you see the glorious tip of an iceberg gracefully floating in the water, you rarely see the vast support network that keeps the iceberg afloat. The tip of the iceberg is visible but not the strong base beneath the surface.