Today I came face to face with how difficult it is to hear and accept good things about you. It is so much easier to focus on what isn’t working, rather than what is.
I ran my last training for the non-profit I have helped run for the past eight years of my life. Not only has it been the longest relationship (besides my iPhone) but it has been like a family to me. There were three of us, at the beginning, struggling to make ends meet, taking pay cuts to keep the organization afloat, and now, here I am, about to embark on my own business, a business I would never have dreamed of doing if it wasn’t for this place. I love these people with all my heart. It is a bittersweet farewell. For sure. I helped them grow from being a fledgling arts program in fifteen arts poor elementary schools to over fifty today.
After we finished the training, my assistant, who is taking over my job, asked everyone in the group to go around and say something they appreciated about me. I was shocked and horrified, initially. This is a stunt I pull for other people, not one that is pulled on me, very often. I have taught her well. She has taken the grasshopper from my hand.
Some of the people in the circle I have known the entire eight years- part of my job was cultivating relationships and community with our volunteers. These people feel like family.
Here are some of the results:
One thing I noticed, these people see me WAY differently than I see myself! They said things like; I knew who I was and that I was the most authentic person they had ever met! That I was supportive, loving, kind, all heart, enthusiastic (I knew that one) inspiring, some wanted to be me, and that I was proud, brave, and humble!
The second shocker was that they all acknowledged how I have built something. I BUILT SOMETHING that is strong and meaningful and growing without me! I am leaving behind a legacy of hard work, passion, and love for this work.
People admire me for taking the next step. leaving to start my own business, at a time when most people would want to stay and be comfortable. I was going against the norm. I was following my heart.
Goddamn, my heart felt so full. I cried in front of people. I never do that. I felt big and brave and true. And so much love for everyone in that room and the road we had trudged together, some of us for almost a decade.
I walked out of there wondering why I gave a fuck about Highland Park and his petty shit. Or my ex-husband and his ex-girlfriend. I am big. I am good. I am true. I am not second. I am first for my daughter, for myself. I want to model for her what being first looks and feels like. NO more fucking crumbs.
I immediately deleted the Dropbox folder Highland Park never joined.