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Simone Goodluck – A woman on the go

Simone Goodluck – A woman on the go

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•l Q. Is this what you envisaged you’d be doing when you were growing up?

• A. Actually no. When I was younger, I changed so many careers. At one time I wanted to be a criminal lawyer, but then I had a conscience issue with those things, so that changed. Then at one point I wanted to be a linguist, that changed, and then when I went to college I actually picked journalism because I had liked writing, so I actually thought I would have done something within that field. Even if it was not journalism, at least something where I would still use the skill. So to say that I saw myself doing insurance, I would say no, I didn’t, I really did not see it. But I started it, and I have not regretted it. I enjoy it, so I wouldn’t say I regret getting into insurance.{{more}}

• Q. What is the most enjoyable aspect of your job?

•l A. I think I enjoy the fact that at the end of the day, I was able to help someone understand a little bit about what I am doing and how it helps them. Because insurance is not exactly something that people warm up to. So if you can at least explain things and make them understand that this is how it is and help them in their understanding and help them see that it is not all about what their perception is, you are not trying to force your view on them, but you are just trying to explain to them how it works. We have a lot of challenges where that is concerned and when you get people actually understanding and say, yeah, I see where you are coming from, it makes it easier, as the insurance industry has a stigma, of it being a dishonest thing, a rip-off industry. You try to clear that up as much as possible. I am not defending it because I am in it, but because I have a little more information, I would say it is not. So I try to show people that is not how it is, and I try to help them along and show them where insurance will help them out, and when they understand that, then that is fine for me.

• Q. Do you ever feel unfulfilled not having yet had the opportunity to practice your journalism?

• A. Sometimes, but you know that I have this dream that one of these days I will write a novel or start writing short stories. Ever so often I develop little plots here and there, like you write them out and you sketch out your characters, but I never really had the time to develop them because there are so many other things going on; family, work, sometimes all of these things vie for your time, so that gets pushed back more and more. But it’s one thing that I hold on to, I know that I would do it, even if I start out with short stories instead of a novel. Something rich with Caribbean life, it’s something I want to do.

• Q. What challenges you most in life?

• A. This is my philosophy. Life is like the taste buds on your tongue. You have the sour, the bitter, the sweet, and I am like, you have all that in life, and I don’t really take any thing as too much. To me, an up and a down are all a part of life. I just put everything as “this is life”. I don’t let anything really overwhelm me. I don’t have that kind of personality. I might be overwhelmed here at the job if the paper work is really like a mountain, and then you have to be balancing all these other little issues going on in the work environment, sometimes it becomes overwhelming in that sense, but in terms of anything that goes on in life, like any little drama, event, activity, anything that takes place, any of your experiences, your memories, I just trump everything up to life. I am just like, it’s all a part of it.

So I don’t really let anything challenge me. All I want to do is to be honest to myself, to be honest in the things that I do, even in my dealings with people, in just about everything. Because I think that is where you get a lot of the break downs, after that, because if you are not true to yourself or honest about the things you do, that is where you start finding difficulties because you don’t know how to deal with situations that arise. I just basically try to be honest about the things I do.

• Q. Where do you get your inspiration?

• A. First of all, I would say, Dakota (her son). When I was a little younger, like ten years ago, there are a lot of things I did, that I don’t do now. A lot of the times, I look at the fact that I have a child, and I think that is a lot of inspiration, because you are basically trying your best, because you know you have somebody out there you have to look after, feed, clothe, the person looks up to you, and you are really basically trying to be at a certain level so that you don’t disappoint this little impressionable individual. When things get rough, I sometimes remember some little cute thing he did, or some little thing he said that made me laugh, a lot of the times, I can remember some little joke here, or some little smart thing, and I laugh. So I would say a lot of the times, he brings me out of any rough spots I have.

• Q. Who has had the most positive influence on your life?

• A. I will not give credit to one person. I would say, both parents. That’s honest because the way we were raised by my father and my mother, well, my mother did more of the raising part, they both made a conscious effort to have us be individuals in the way we think and in the way we go about our lives. I mean, to me they worked very hard, they have strong personalities, they have good characters, they knew what was right and what was wrong, and they brought us up in that mind. They are considered successful, but before they became successful, there were lots of steps they took. They sacrificed, they didn’t jump the gun, they didn’t decide to take a big leap, and then say, “oh, I wonder if this leap makes sense,” and I look at that. Because even when it comes to houses, these days I see people building houses at 23, and then by the time they are 30, they lose the house. And I am like, my father and my mother lived in a rental house until they were thirty-something, before they bought one, they took steps, they didn’t like take a big mouthful of food and eat it, then decide oh, this is too much, they took enough at a time. So I look at them in that light, as being good influences for me. They brought us up to have respect, my mother went out of her way to make sure that we knew how to be cultured and all that stuff.

I would say they are the biggest influences in my life.

• Q. What do you do to relax?

• A. Most of the time, if

I really want some down time is go to Bequia and spend some time down there even if it’s a weekend or a week. That to me is relaxation.

• Q. How do you spend your weekends?

• A. Some weekends are easy, others are very busy. Some weekends I’ll be still doing work. I might be doing some insurance work, or work for the other businesses I am involved in. Some weekends, I take it easy where I do nothing at all, probably just go over by Suzanne, and just relax, sit down there and talk and chat and laze about in your bed for a little bit. Watch some TV or read a book or something like that. Some weekends are like that, and some are just a continuation of what the week was.

• Q. Where would you normally be on a Saturday night?

• A. Either at a friend’s house, or if not, at home. Nothing great.

• Q. What is your favourite type of food?

• A. I enjoy Thai food and Chinese food. I love my West Indian food, but I grew up with that, for something different, it’s Thai or Chinese.

• Q. If you were given the power to change one thing in the country or the world, what would it be?

• A. (Laughs)… that question, (laughs again)… you didn’t say people. People should really treat people the way they would like to be treated.

One thing I would really change is to make people become more environmentally conscious. Very, very much so. I think we take a lot of things for granted. I am not Miss Greenpeace, but a lot of it goes right back down to the soil, and I think we take a lot of things for granted. I mean, we chop down trees every minute, we mess up the whole environment, we do anything we feel like and for some reason we think the environment is supposed to be forgiving to us, and treat us in a better way. I think we don’t have any respect for the environment, and when you walk around, (you hear), “Oh the Government wouldn’t clean the drain,” well, the Government is supposed to clean the drain, but you can clean the drain too. Just take the time to do something. Clean up your backyard. Don’t chop down all the trees, don’t throw the garbage all over the place. I think that is one thing we are lacking in. Don’t go and take all the fish out of the sea, and then when we have nothing to eat we say well, something wrong. Well, something must be wrong, we are over fishing. I think that is one thing I would like to change. The environment. I don’t think people are conscious about how much it relates to the food supply and that if they do something now, it will affect them later down the road. I don’t think they understand that part.

• Q. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 – 10 years?

• A. Well, I will tell you, I have this philosophy. I am working my first 50, I am not working the second, if I make it to the second. And I really am sticking to that. I

am basically working towards that. I really believe I will not be working my second 50. It is something I say over and over, and I reinforce it all the time. I am not working my second 50. I am not doing like people who did not work the first 50 and have to do the second. If I make it to the second 50, I should be resting. So, in 10 years time I hope to be somewhere where I am getting closer to that goal, where I can see it being realized at the point it is supposed to take effect.

I hope at that point I have already started a novel, or something, because I would really like to do that. I already started doing up my plot the other day for another one. I think our characters are just as vibrant as those you hear Terry McMillan write about, I often say, St. Vincent is like a circus, there are so many activities, so many shows going on in this place. I say we have a wonderful society, pure plot line and story line here. Nothing better than to draw from this environment.

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