The other week I wrote a blog post called It’s Officially Autumn and I have a few Confessions where I had given updates in my personal and professional life. If you missed that post, definitely take time to check it out. But to catch you up to speed, last month I made a life changing decision to leave my corporate job to pursue my passions with writing and art. With this transition, I left a great group of friends and coworkers. And just a couple of days ago, I went for a dental visit and met a very special individual. I realized something significant I hadn’t really fully grasped until a few weeks ago and was reminded of just the other day. Let me tell you the lesson I learned the day I left my day job and met one special fan of my blog.
My last days
I left my 9 to 5 job last month and to be quite honest it felt surreal. From the moment I put in my notice up until the last day. It was like going through the motions, tying up loose ends and making sure transition items went smoothly. And then the last day IT comes by to wipe the computer clean for the next person coming. Wow. It really sinks in. I had a memorable seven years and learned a lot along the way. I had a lot of ups and some downs and everything in between. Professionalism aside, the one thing I am so grateful for and humbled by the most, are the friendships formed and the bonds made.
It’s not just professional, it’s personal
This was made so apparent the last couple days being on the job. I worked in a corporate office in New York City in an office of about 40 people on the floor. Although I left of my own accord, what I came to realize was just how my presence had really impacted people there. To be more specific I learned that from a personal level, just being my authentic self brought so much value and uplifted morale in the office more than I realized.
If you know me personally, you know I’m a kind person, sweet as double layer chocolate cake. It’s just my nature. I’m a good girl, kind person, considerate of others, work be the golden rule, have integrity and a creative Aquarius. I’m a good listener, love to encourage others to do their best and have an ability to make people smile. This I know about myself. However, I was so humbled the last days of my employment when my friends and peers came to wish me well with gifts, heartfelt notes and cards.
In the process of receiving all this love and reading and talking to my peers and friends it really hit home how my words, my actions and behavior really impacted their lives for the better. It was really humbling. To hear statements like
- “Wow, I really admire your courage to chase your dreams.” or
- “You were really welcoming to me when I first started here and made me feel comfortable to ask questions and not feel silly” or
- “You are my therapist!” or
- “You are not only an exceptional worker, it’s so much more than that. It is who you are as a person that will be missed around here.”
These words combined with smiles and tears really left me overwhelmed with humility and gratitude. I learned that although I know who I am as a person, I had now come to understand the magnitude my attitude, actions and words had on others in a positive way. For that I’m so grateful and thankful. I’ll always cherish my time spent there and will continue to maintain the relationships. And then as my final day came to a close and I left for the last time, I celebrated with a happy hour with friends.
After my last day on the job, I had my dentist appointment scheduled for a few weeks later. Fast forward to the present and just the other day, I had the pleasure of meeting a very special person.
Follow up visit
Just a couple of days ago I returned from a dentist appointment where I had the pleasure of meeting one of my loyal readers. My special fan heard of my blog from my dentist. (Note: Months prior, during a routine checkup, I had shared with my dentist that I had started a blog last year and had given them business cards before I left.) As I entered my dentist office the other day, my dentist greeted me with a big smile and said “Well hello Mrs. Gayle. I have someone who is eager to meet you!”
Meeting a Special Fan
Walking back in the office, I met a very sweet lady who I’ll call “Cherie“. (I won’t share her real name as to protect her privacy) I greeted her with a big hug and I swear it’s like we already knew each other. Sharing our stories and exchanges about our beloved cats that passed away felt like talking to a longtime friend. She was very sweet and expressed how my words helped give her comfort after the passing of her cat after having him for over 10 years. It was just what she needed during that time. I asked about how long it had been since her pet passed away. She expressed “About 7 months.” I responded “With grief there is no time limit. I understand.”
We finished our conversation as I had to get in the dental chair to take care of business. However, it really warmed my heart to meet one of my fans of my blog in person. Moreover, it meant so much to know my heartfelt words and posts helped another grieving pet parent.
By the time I got in the dental chair, I had expressed to my dentist how I just met “Cherie” and it was so nice to meet her. I had to say thanks to my dentist for sharing one of my business cards with their peers. My dentist reaffirmed, “Oh it was a pleasure. Happy to do it. You know your blog REALLY helped her A LOT”. (A special shout out Thank you Dr. G & Dr. P!)
My final lesson learned
What I learned by meeting one of my followers is that the experience really solidified our connection over our pets. Also, to know how much my words helped to provide healing and comfort really makes it all worth it. It was so great to meet her. When I left my day job, I also learned I greatly impacted my peers not only in a professional capacity, but on a more personal level. Just being myself helped to lift morale, provide encouragement, confidence and humor to other people’s lives. Staying true to yourself and being your authentic self speaks volumes. Essentially the lesson I learned is this:
They may forget what you said — but they will never forget how you made them feel.
—Carl W. Buehner
That to me means so much. That’s the type of legacy I would like to leave behind. I think that’s what I’m doing… one step and one post at a time.
Have you had a similar experience? Comment and share your thoughts below! Don’t forget to share this post with a friend.