The Heroine’s Journey of Jennifer Hallal

What is the best thing that I love about my work? When I was at school, I loved Art and Poetry, and I wanted to become an Architect so that I could build homes for the homeless. 

At the age of 15, the careers lady at school asked me what type of employment would I like to go into when I leave school? I said that I wanted to become an Architect. She said why don’t you become a cook. I said what has that got to do with Architecture? Well, she said you need at least ten A ‘Levels to go to University and study Architecture, but you only have general science, and you need physics, your maths is average, and you don’t have technical drawing and you only have O’Levels in Art. I was heartbroken. So, I went home and told my parents who decided to go to the school and see the headteacher and complain. And though that complain they sent me and two other girls to another school to learn technical drawing, but I could only complete one year as at sixteen everyone had to leave school and I needed to study for two years and take exams to get a grade and a job in an architectural firm as a Trainee Tracer. I decided to go to college and study Hairdressing and Beauty as that was the next career choice, I thought that I couldn’t become an Architect. I became a qualified Hairdresser at the age of 19 but up to this day I have never used that qualification, my heart was to become an Architect. After many years working in accounts and studying Business Information Management and bringing up my child on my own, I had the opportunity get a new job and after all these years I still wanted to get into Architecture but didn’t know how. Then one day while looking for work at the job centre, I saw a job for a Trainee Document Controller in an Engineering company at Heathrow Airport. I thought this was my chance, so I applied but I didn’t get the job that year but the next year on my daughter’s birthday they phoned me and asked me if I would like to go for an interview for the same job that I applied for? I said yes.  Fast forward today, for nearly 20 years I have been checking Architect’s technical drawings for Construction companies, Architectural firms and also Engineering companies as well and I love it. Being part of the creative process and seeing what the Architects are producing is my dream come true although I still have to build homes for the homeless but also in that same time period I have been cooking for the homeless, parishioners and priests in the Christmas and easter season. 

But my writing started 8 years ago.  One morning, I woke out of a dream where I was told to write a book. I dismissed it at first thinking that I knew nothing about writing a book, but the idea stuck with me, and I began looking into it.  I thought that I was doing the job that I loved but although I was checking other people’s creations in art, I wasn’t being creative myself.  But now I love to write when I can. I have the best of both worlds.  

What is my idea of happiness? To be fulfilled. It is waking up on a beautiful day and being grateful to be alive. It is putting money in a beggar’s cup on the way home and the beggar prayers for you and wishes you well and because of that you say to him, Thank you and smile. Cooking a meal and everyone has eaten it and enjoyed it and were thankful. Appreciating the little things in life like a bed to sleep on, somewhere to go that you can call home, silence, music, dancing, meeting friends for dinner, laughter, sunshine and rain, to be loved in return, self-love, doing something positive to make someone happy, doing the things you love and seeing a little child smile. 

What is my greatest fear? Is not seeing the LORD GOD in heaven. Not getting into heaven. 

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? At times I can be very shy and insecure. 

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? Right now, I work with some very talented Architects from all over the world. 

What is my greatest extravagance? A Desktop Computer and a flat screen TV. 

On what occasion would I lie? When telling the truth would actually hurt somebody.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Filing but I have gotten use to it now. 

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? When all the work is finished, and I have done my job correctly whether it be at home or at work. 

If I could, what would I change about myself?Lose weight, less shy more confident. 

What is my greatest achievement in work? Handing over a job to the Client. A fully functioning building and the Client says thank you and also finishing writing a book. 

Where would I most like to live? On planet earth. 

What is my most treasured possession? My children. 

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? London is very inspirational with a lot of different cultures. A lot of people from around the world with different ways of living. 

What books influenced my life and how? The Bible has told me about the Creator and Jesus Christ who died for us. The book is written by many men to bring us to the Truth. A book called Rich DAD, Poor DAD – A story about a son who had a biological dad who was highly educated and had a job, but he was Poor Dad and another man who was his Rich Dad who wasn’t highly qualified but knew how to run his own business successfully. 

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? The music that I listen to now praising the LORD GOD for my journey. 

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? The X-men. 

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? People who against all odds achieve their goal anyway. Whatever that goal might be. 

Which movie would i recommend seeing once in a lifetime? There are so many. A movie called The Green Mile.

What role play stories in my life and work? I think my story is unique and can only be told by me. I have not heard of any other story like mine. 

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ to me? We are the storytellers of our lives. 

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My family and friends. 

Which people or companies would I like to work with? A company or people that deal with humanitarian purposes. I am sure that there are companies and people who work in those fields, but I cannot think of them now. I worked for a charity voluntarily for many years, but my passion as always been for architect and building homes for people to live and work. 

What project am I looking forward to work on? My biography. I have started writing it but trying to finish write my second book, The Slave Masters Daughter. 

Where can you see me or my work? One of my books is already on Amazon but I have no other engagements to appear until after Christmas. And once I have finished writing my second book then I will organize an event to publicize my books in the new year.  

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? It means to me that you may have a dream, a goal, a desire to do something so strong that it never leaves you know matter how old you become. 

Which creative professionals should Peter invite to tell their story? I don’t know many creative professional writers, but I can only think of two; Rasheda Asanti Malcolm and Abasseno Uko. 

How can you contact me? My Email address is jen451@live.co.uk or via phone 07497178376. 

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