Do you remember the winds of Hurricane Ike? (I ask that as if you lived here, otherwise, please look at Houston's weather for, I don't know, maybe today and it's pretty much the same except today they call it windy for Springtime, and there's no rain involved). I mention the winds because every time I step outside my front door or answer the phone lately, a lot of what I experience is high winds, winds that have tossed all the calm in life into swirling bits of debris and large chunks of reminders that life is not in our control. There is cancer, for one -- no, wait, there's actually three people I know who have cancer in their life this week who just two weeks ago did not, or did not know they did -- and there's a car wreck and there's a lost soul and there's the pretentious danger in a naive whatever attitude. Oh and wait, there's the recession and mortgage scams... and I don't have a job and... wait... let's not let this little blog get blown away.
Where was I going with this, you might be asking. I'll answer that right now. Today I received a note from someone I used to work with, someone whose career with my former company was much briefer than mine and ended years ago but in that brief intersection was impact enough to years later create another intersection that has me feeling very good, and throwing the windows open even while I was bracing the door against the hurricane winds of the day. What this person said to me was this:
I was sorry to hear (read) that you were let go from [...]. I know that "life on a pause," as you put it, can be stressful but I am a firm believer that there is something better that awaits you! My [company name] experience helped me to realize all the things that I did/do want out of life and that I am not willing to sacrifice myself for less. You played a key role in helping me to realize my potential. You were the one that pushed on my behalf to get the position... [promotion into new role]. Though it did not work out for me there, the experience paved the way for my decision to go back to school to gain the knowledge that I lacked to be a successful business woman today. To be honest Alison, that is why I've wanted to contact you so many times, to say thank you! Thank you for believing in me at the time. I know it did not all work out for the best at [...] but in the end I am right where God wants me to be and I have found happiness.
What I thought when I read the note was who in the world does this person think they are writing to/about because that person clearly made a difference in the writer's life and I wanted to meet the kind of person who could elicit such appreciation. And then I realized that person was me. ME!! And the breeze blew through the open windows and I reflected that no matter what is going on in my life or the lives around me, I am a believer and a cheerleader and I am God's tool when it comes to making a difference. The thing I like most about myself is that I try to make a difference, that I take my ability to support and encourage and fight for what I believe in and I try to inspire the lives of others. What that person recalls was nothing more than me being who I am, and I won't take credit for that because who I am is a powerful tool given me from God.
The note brought me so much joy and excitement that honestly I can't wait to say my prayers and fall asleep tonight so that I can wake up in the morning and see what else I can do. It also reminded me that sometimes when things look dark and frightening, we should not fear. The hurricane winds, those are winds of change and we should hold on because there is a new dawn coming. I promise you that.
To the note writer, I say thank you for taking the time to let me know that I'd made a difference in your life because I do remember the time and I meant it, my belief in you, and I'm so very happy that it helped you find a path that led you to the happiness you now have.