This post is for you, those who have supported and comforted me and those who doubted me and told me that I would never succeed. Your honesty pushed me forward and formed who I am today.
I recently closed an extremely important chapter of my life. It is hard to say good bye to your own baby and to whom you have given everything and sacrificed almost everything. To the one thing that you let define you and become synonymous. Yet, at the end of the journey, there is tremendous relief and gratitude. Relief that you have finally made the decision with which you have been grappling and that you can- and society allows you- to move on. But more importantly, there is gratitude. Gratitude for those who cared enough to push you forward, to give you tough love, to tell you the ugly truth that you were letting you ego grow unchecked, and to have the courage to urge you to quit when your own baby was destroying your emotional and psychological well-being.
Gratitude is a weird thing in our busy world. We only express gratitude in two contexts: on holidays and when we need something from one another. On holidays because there is an obligation that we have to; “I’m thankful for….” Is a necessity at Thanksgiving. While these gratitudes are not non-meaningful, they are often bland and few thoughts are put into them. Gratitude is also commonly expressed as the beginning of an ask. “Dear so-and-so, thank you so much for the introduction to x a few months ago. It was super helpful blah blah. Do you mind doing another intro…?” We often send this sort of note to people who we haven’t talked to in a while but with whom we are in good standing. It is not that we are not appreciative of others. It is just that we get busy, and sometimes, we forget to thank even those who have touched us in big ways. We scribble that task onto our to-do list, but then it keeps on getting bumped down until we throw it out with the rest of the unaccomplished tasks. Soon, a couple months have gone by until we realize that we still have not written that note of gratitude, but then we wonder if the timing would be too awkward or implicative that we have (did) forget them somehow. So then we just end up not ever writing and sending it.
I am definitely guilty of not expressing my gratitudes nearly enough, especially when ‘things get busy” and “when I am traveling”. But in the past year, I have been getting notes of gratitudes from those I have mentored and helped. They are quick and short, but wholeheartedly felt. There is no ask attached, just expressions of gratitude and well-wishes. I love getting them and I can still vividly remember who sent them to me. I remember because I love being appreciated and because when I have a shitty day, they make the world of difference to know that I have made an impact in someone’s life.
So I am going to correct this. This is my public gratitude: to those who have been a part of my journey so far (you know who you are), thank you thank you thank you. Without you, I would not have been here and I certainly would not be the person I am today, for better or for worse. I know that some of the unpleasant but necessary things you said to me took courage and that you took a leap of faith on the strength of our friendship. Don’t think that I am not aware. I am. All of you have impacted me tremendously. Thank you for taking a chance on me and for believing in me, even when I do stupid shit.