When Tiffany Gooch changed career paths from neuroscience to political science, her Mother was confused.
“Well technically it was still a science,” she laughed.
Gooch has enjoyed her fast paced work-life, working as a media contributor, a political strategist and volunteer, a strategic and crisis communications consultant and executive, and in varied public sector roles over the course of her career. The tempo of the media machine is enough to overwhelm anyone. If your job is dependent on keeping atop this machine however, it can be an easy way to get a migraine.
In her current phase in life, she is constantly looking for ways to reset and slow down the pace. She sees the Covid-19 pandemic and the movement for Black lives as opportunities to clear out old ways of thinking and create better paths.
“We have a chance to build something better than what existed… to lift and shift rather than immediately trying to put things back to the way they were before… I want children and want things to be better for them.”
In this moment Gooch says she’s “really trying to find out what wellness and sustainability can look like.” Her motto is currently the Desmond Tutu quote “Be an oasis of peace”.
This time has caused her to consider and reconsider elements of her life that she holds dear, while making room for new agenda items she hopes to prioritize.
She starts her day off slow and private in an effort to protect whatever peace she has access to during these early times.
“I start my day with three pages of stream of consciousness writing…this lets me set the pace of my day and lead my own thoughts,” she said.
The shift into prioritizing her own wellness and self-care is something that many people are awakening to during this pandemic. People are questioning what really counts, who and what is important, and sustaining life both as a human soul with needs, and a human body with bills. Gooch expressed excitement for the opportunity to create paths that allow her to live a life that takes care of both of those priorities.
For Gooch this can look like “constantly writing, reading, and standing in my truth, even when this approach challenges the institutions I lead in,” she said.
“I’ve done a lot of intentional reading of black women writers, trying to remember how difficult it has always been for black women to speak their truth and build their own platform to do so.”
She feels a sense of duty to remain honest and determined in hopes of honouring the wishes of the women across her life experience that she labels The GodMothers.
She looks to these women who have come before her, and in who’s steps she can follow with confidence. Women like Mary Ann Shad and similarly influential Black women to lead her forward toward her best life.
She thinks back in admiration of her Great-Grandmother, one of the many women to inform her approach to work, and a woman who lived to be 112.
“At just 33, I’ve got a long way to go,” she laughed.
“My family has been in Canada for five generations…I realize that my work today and in the future is built on their shoulders.”