“Stop being offended by other people’s success. Your path is waiting for you to embrace it. That’s where your riches are.”

She called me outside to have a chat. She gave me a piece of paper, I knew what it was before I read it because I have seen that paper before, this time though she had a smile on her face when she gave it to me. I refused to take it from her. She insisted  by putting it in my hand and forcing me to read it. I took the folded paper and opened it.  It was her resignation letter.

I couldn’t believe it. When she brought up the subject during our conversations, I thought it was something she was going to do in the new year.

My stomach turned, I gave her a hug and held on to her for a little while. This is the person that has been around me for the past 8 years.

I remembered the first day I met her. The office door bell rang, I opened it  and  saw a young woman standing there wearing a black top and pants. She told me she had an appointment to see the General Manager. I asked her to wait while I confirmed the appointment.  I opened the door, seated her in the boardroom and offered her something to drink while she waited, which she declined. I closed the boardroom door  behind me , went to my office and described her to my colleague.

A few days later I was called into the GM’s office. She told me someone new was coming to work and asked if I could start preparing a desk for her. I organised the IT department to work on her computer while I worked on the basics. While I was busy preparing for her arrival I realised I was saying goodbye to one of my colleague and welcoming a new one into our circle .

When she arrived, our GM introduced her to us and showed her around the office. When they returned she asked me to talk to her about what we do and train her on the system we used. This took a week as she was a fast learner.

The beginning of our working relationship was not great. I thought she was the problem but I came to the realisation that I had a problem with her. I knew what the problem was. I had to admit I had envious feelings towards her. I realised I needed something to be wrong with her so that I could continue having negative feelings towards her.

As I think about that time I can admit that my actions were of a childish nature. I was wrong and when I started letting go of the envy I began to learn a lot about and from her.

She has become one of my closest friend and confidante.

What I have learned from this young lady is something I am grateful for and will treasure for the rest of my life.

Learning to dust yourself off when you are going through something in your life.

Over the years I have seen her go through some difficult times. For example, a few years ago she decided to approach someone about what she thought she deserved. She was afraid to speak to this person but decided to go ahead with it. After she had a meeting with them she felt good about it but a few days later she was called into another meeting and I heard her shout and leave because she felt her privacy  invaded. She took her phone and walked outside to make a call. She returned to her desk  and burst into tears. I felt helpless because I did not know what to say to comfort her. She was ready to leave. I took the letter from her and tore it. I advised her to think about what she was doing.  She agreed to go home and sleep on it. She came back the next day and told me she would never let the situation bring her down or distract her from what she was supposed to do.

Go after what you want

She has always known she deserves the best and I think that is why she went out there to get the new position she will be responsible for in the next couple of months. She was tired of complaining  so she decided to do something about it. Not only did she get out there, she also did some research about what she should do next. She prepared herself for this position and knew that by doing what she did, she would get the results she was hoping for.

Never being old to go back to school and learning something you are passionate about.

In the early years I learned that she was studying for a degree through correspondence. She wanted to better her skills. She encouraged me to do some research about  the field I was interested to go into and find out if the university was offering a degree on what I wanted to do. When I decided on the the degree of my choice, she helped me through the registration process. She is almost done with her degree. We  encourage each other when we are having difficulties in our studies.

Standing up for others when they cannot do it on their own

What I admire about this young woman is that she is not afraid to speak her mind. Not only for herself but for others as well. I remember the times she would speak up for someone who is unfairly treated. I remember how she would not allow anyone to be belittled in meetings. Whenever we were afraid to ask the management team a question, she would be the first one to offer to go ask the question for the entire team.

Never allowing anyone to determine where your future lies

She always knew all of us were capable of more than what we were doing. She would encourage us to step outside our comfort zone to better our lives. She said something that made me think about what lays in front of me ‘ Good things happen to you when you are afraid, but great things happen to you when you are not’

I knew I  had learnt a lot from her in the last 8 years I have been in her presence but I took her for granted. I did not appreciate the person and the lessons she had taught me.

Now that I know this, I will be spending the next few months showing her how much I appreciate her.

Until next time

K

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