Today a piece of my history came and planted her grown-up behind firmly on my couch.
We didn’t part on the best of terms so I was delighted to hear from her last week. Not that there was ever any friction because she’s always been one of my favourite people, but because we parted ways at a time when I had to close down my business. For years, I’ve been carrying a huge amount of guilt because she was one of my most loyal supporters and I let her down.
Fast forward 5 years and there she was today, a beautiful young adult with the world at her fingertips telling me about her life and the part I played in it. After so many years, I finally got to see myself through her eyes and was I stunned!
She didn’t see a woman who did everything wrong. She didn’t see a woman whose life had fallen to pieces. And she didn’t see a woman who left her jobless and penniless. Instead, she saw in me someone who had inspired her. Someone who had taught her to be bold; to be true to herself; and to take risks even when it sometimes meant losing.
She wanted to meet with me because she was pursuing her dreams and had started her own business. While I listened to her speak animatedly about her passions, it suddenly dawned on me that I did something right those many years ago: While stumbling towards my own empowerment, I played a part in empowering someone else.
Since the 2011 disaster, I maintained my “entrepreneur” status but I steered clear of any projects that would require staff reporting to me. Up until today, I had seen myself as someone who wasn’t really good at managing people and I didn’t think I was a particularly good leader.
Talk about taking a giant step back and looking at the bigger picture! During the years when I thought I was being weak, my ability to show my weaknesses was actually my biggest strength. Despite my trials, I became someone someone else looked up to. Through my imperfections, I became the perfect leader.
Today she was my teacher. As if she was a messenger from God, she served as a gentle reminder that I should let go of the doubt and step up to be the person she believes me to be. I don’t have to be perfect. In fact,I’m beginning to believe that being fabulously flawed is a pre-requisite to being a good role model. I’m realising that a strength or a weakness is just a matter of perspective.
I am inspired. That newly-registered writng business of mine isn’t going to start itself! And while I’m not sure how it’s going to be playing itself out, I do know it’s going to be epic.