Sunday, May 31, 2015
The final day in the month that contains Mother's Day...
I truly have no issue with May, although from my last few posts and the title of this one it seems that I do. This was just a hard May for me, and full of events that put me in a place of introspection. Although I often state that some wounds do not need to be reopened in order for a body (and figuratively… mind) to heal, opened they were.
The weekend of Mother’s Day I attended a retirement party for a woman I have known professionally for nearly 16 years, and the last year as a member of her Board of Directors. I was part of the CEO search, and another person I know from the organization was selected, someone I have also known for the same amount of time. It was an unusual event to say the least, irreverent and quirky, and honestly I would expect little else.
Since it was the evening prior to MD, many folks brought their mothers. The incoming CEO was one. I had the pleasure of sitting with her, and another senior member of management that brought her mother as well. The woman who was the incoming CEO emceed a good portion of the event, and the outgoing CEO recognized her for her work, her loyalty, and her new position. The new CEO spoke about her early days, the mentoring she received from many in the room, and spoke to the large role her mother played in inspiring her, putting her on the path to where she was, and her mother’s selfless service to others as a public health professional. I watched her mother’s eyes well up with pride, and the happy tears. I watched the other mothers in the room, and saw their appreciation of, and pride in, their daughter’s achievements. I was so happy for them all. And I also wondered what it must feel like to have that kind of unconditional love… Especially as an adult. I enjoyed chatting with the folks and the mothers, and I drove away in the warm evening air.
I dropped the windows and opened the sun roof to let in the warm air… I drove my little sports sedan, I thought of achievements I had worked so hard for. I thought of school achievements such as recognition for grades, science achievements, scholarships, and the like. And how most of those I attended alone. I never experienced the selfless pride, the love I saw that night. I thought about working my way up from direct service to professional staff, to management, to executive management, and to the position I am in now as a CEO. I thought of earning my Master’s Degree, and the other recognition that folks had kindly bestowed upon me in the past several years. Very seldom had I had someone there with me. My earning of my Master’s was unacknowledged by anyone. Even running a half marathon, which I had to overcome huge and overwhelming obstacles, was not something she found worthy of saying ‘well done’ or expressing any sort of pride.
Now, in previous years, and posts… This was fodder to be as sad as I allow myself to get. Not tonight. It was not happy, but I just recognized it for what it was. It is my reality. As I often quip, I am like the Green Day song… Boulevard of Broken Dreams where the refrain is “I walk alone…”
There are worse things in the is life. I have experienced MANY. And I survived and overcame. This is one of those curious things that arises from those circumstances, and I take this as the learning experience that it is.
We have had a couple of lovely and exciting things happen at my job. My agency was recognized and nominated for an award, and we managed to secure a large grant for a huge unmet need, and we did not expect to succeed. When I mentioned it to my hoarding mother, her response was “Why? Why did they pick you?” She immediately launched into her tired collection of petty annoyances and overblown misunderstandings, and has not mentioned either the award nomination nor the grant award since. Her depth of narcissism is so sad. And the saddest thing is her decision to do NOTHING to address her issues will have lifelong reverberations for everyone around her. Unlike her, I choose to use these experiences as a springboard to learn, to evolve, and to move forward. As I have said many times, to her life is a small, frightening and limited place. She operates from a place of ‘opportunity lost’. I refuse to do that.
So the point of this blog? I am continuing to make the life I want, and I continue to choose to be happy. Just in the next few weeks I am doing several things that I have wanted to do for a while, and for circumstances beyond my control, was unable to do. Well, they are happening in the next few weeks. In two weeks from today I am skydiving. It is scheduled and paid for. Three weeks from today I am taking a Segway Tour of a nearby historic community with friends. In a week I am going horseback riding. I am in the process of scheduling a zip-line excursion, and am hosting or co-hosting two parties.
Life is meant to be lived at full volume, and live it I shall. I am also training for a full marathon in the fall. I have taken some steps back, but sometimes it is like the analogy often promulgated on Facebook, before an arrow can fly, it must first be drawn back.
I am ready to fly. And folks can either support me, or clear the way, because either way, I will not accept defeat. If there is a positive to what I have experienced, it is that.
Thanks for reading!