I have lived a more solitary unassuming life, I think mostly due to being a single parent with a non-existent support system (for the last decade or so). Not overly conducive to socializing with other adults and just plain ol' having fun. I also operated during my thirties and early forties mostly from financial fear. Paralyzing in many, many ways.
I’m coming around now, and I don’t mean to sound pitiful, because I’m not, but I do have to deliberately adjust even the simplest of thought processes about myself now.
I am also one of those people who believes that everyone I meet is sent my way for a reason. Some are merely floaters and flashes, but some are teachers and even friends of varying durations.
And then there are the blessings.
Part of the day, I share office space with one of the most genuine and most kind women I have met in a long time. She is just a joy, and so refreshing after a long stretch of projects around a pretty depressing lot.
But lengthy conversation with a female five feet from me is new and sometimes uncomfortable. I often struggle in my contribution. I fight for the right words and anecdotes to share. Age? Maybe. But I think it mostly comes from being rusty. And years of being disrespectful to myself. I find myself weighing everything I say not wanting to come across as though I have or am anything as a result of anything I have done. I have operated for so long on the philosophy of only Luck.
When discussing a consultant in the office I have worked with in the past and keep running into, we talked about our mutual admiration for her ambition. She is starting a new business and having some recent fantastic successes with it.
ME: “It’s nice to see how well she’s doing and how much she’s loving it.”
KIND GAL: “It’s funny that you two keep running into each other.”
ME: “I know! We have to figure out why. I’m thinking she has something to teach me, because it certainly isn’t the other way around.”
Pulling her chair close to mine to get my full attention, speaking directly into my eyes, KIND GAL: “KAREN. You are smart. You are interesting and fun and funny. You have done so well in your career. You are a beautiful person. You have raised a good human being all by yourself. There is wisdom in that alone. You have more to offer than most people do. You have to respect that as much as the people who know you do.”
Being maladjusted to support like that, especially from someone I’ve known such a short time (although some discussions have lasted longer than I should admit here), I had to secretly go to the bathroom to cry. I can’t tell you the last time someone has spoken so highly of me.
To my face anyway. Right? Heh heh.