Over the past few months I have reconnected on Facebook with a woman I worked with many years ago in Local Government in far western Queensland. A woman who was very efficient, intelligent and driven and who I enjoyed working with immensely. A woman, who like all of us, had her trials and tribulations. A woman I encouraged and recommended take on my position as CEO when I left that council. She didn’t believe she was qualified or deserved the position. I did. Long story short – she got the position.
That was 2006. Fast forward to now. Some 10 years on I reconnect with her on Facebook and see she’s started her own business. She’s a wellness coach and personal trainer and from all accounts is going really well (at least on the highlight reel that is Facebook). I think about my feelings as I watch her Facebook accounts of her latest clients, her latest blogpost …and I think I might be feeling a bit jealous and maybe there’s even some resentment there. Why? Well maybe because she’s out there clearly doing what she loves, she’s had the courage to leave her high paying, secure but not necessarily fulfilling full time permanent job, and take a chance on herself, to trust herself.
Now I don’t like feeling this way and if you’d asked me before today, I’d have told you I was proud of her. But I wouldn’t have actually felt that way entirely. I hate that – but it’s true. I have some work to do on this – a whole other blogpost!
So in my stalking of her Facebook page I found she’s been interviewed as a guest of a podcast. I flagged that podcast to listen to later. Well today I listened…..and as I did, the feeling of jealousy and resentment, well to be totally honest, were still there, maybe ever stronger than before. In fact, if I’m laying it all out there, I was even a bit judgy! I can be a bit judgy at times (working on that too). With about two minutes of the podcast left, I was still listening, but typed a comment on the podcast in the comments box at the bottom. I congratulated her on her business and said I was proud of her. I meant it – but I still had these feelings of judgment and jealousy. I know these have nothing to do with her, and everything to do with me and I don’t like having them because I know just that – they’re about me, not her.
The podcast was winding up. One of the final questions the interviewer asked her was whether she’d had any women in particular who she felt had a major influence in her life. Then…BAM!
As it turns out, in those 2 years I spent as her CEO way back in in the early 2000’s I had positively impacted her life to the extent that now, over 10 years later, she calls me out as one of only two women she chose to mention to answer that question.
I have feelings running all over me and all through me. I’m ashamed that I was judgy and jealous, I’m humbled and a little bit proud. I’m disgusted in myself for feeling any degree of anything less than full support for her. I wish I’d not posted the bland, impersonal comment on the podcast webpage and had waited until the end of the audio. I also have tears in my eyes. This is a wonderful reminder to me of my journey, my limiting self-beliefs and that, even though I know it, sometimes I don’t live it. I have grown today, as a human being, as a woman. I thank her for the lesson.
“Let your life be your message” Mahatma Gandhi
PS. Thanks to that lovely woman for agreeing that I publish this blog.