Sunday, December 13, 2009

Graduate to Greatness

About two years ago I got a call from an old sorority sister who wanted to chat about some things that were going on in her life. During the conversation she said that something I had said to her a couple of years prior had really stuck with her and she thanked me for it. Fast forward to our meetup this spring... there was a lot going on with her (not really pertinent to the story so not sharing) but we got into a very frank conversation about where she was in life. And after listening to her vent for a while, I just couldn't help myself and had to set my compassion aside and just tell her how ridiculous she was being.

Here is the thing I have noticed with people (especially my friends with kids), they just forget how amazing they are. And I'm not just talking how cute their hair is, but I mean how deep down awesome they are as people and brilliant they are intellectually. I have identified two issues: working moms feel so run down doing everything they don't feel they do anything "good enough" so they beat themselves up. Stay-at-home moms are so accustomed to doing for everyone and rarely getting an attaboy, they forget they have minds and the little creatures in their homes wouldn't be who they are without their wondrous parenting.

Back to my friend: She was so numb to her greatness that when I started talking about it bluntly with her, she was overwhelmed. And before she could even absorb it, I (only because of limited time and b/c I knew she needed a swift kick) challenged her to do something about becoming who she was meant to be and stop whining. Month and months go by so you can imagine my delight when I read this Facebook exchange:

Her: just finished first semester of grad school...
Me: Yippeee! SO proud of You!
Her: Joy you were my inspiration to start...Thank you

Point of this story is that sometimes we need friends that tell it like it is and we need to be brave enough to ask, absorb and get in action. (BTW: I am good at giving, but I also value the friends of mine who do this for me in my times of need too.) And also, we never know when someone is going to take our words to heart; so try and speak truthfully, directly, and constructively. My friend is going to be an amazing contribution to the teaching community when she is finished with schooling, and because of one lunch (and of course all her hard work) those students lives will be touched immeasurably.

If I may say so myself, I am pretty proud of the greatness I cajoled out of her :)

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