I was never the smartest girl, prettiest or the most outgoing girl. A lot of people call that self esteem issues, I just think that those are the facts and all my life I've always tried to remove any negative or positive connotations from those words.
Not the tallest doesn't mean you're the shortest, and even if it did, why does that make a difference?
Let's try another one: Not the most attractive, doesn't mean, you're the ugliest, and if if did, is that you're opinion or someone elses? Is it coming from a loved one who's angry or a random stranger on the road? And if a loved one, is that loved on referring to your physical attrtibutes or your character attributes...and so on
I love that my thoughts have been shaped this way, I love being able to punch in some logic to a spiralling state of mind to find a way to still balance and continue with life, stressing on my need to always be a good person, no matter what and let myself be the only one to judge me. So when I flew to Australia, for a work trip, I took this idea with me.
First things first, was the airport staff. Big Aussie smiles and the blasted heat of the Adelaide summer. No serious, it was so hot, you could see the heat waves emanating from the hard black tarred surface of the road. Bright, clean skies, with fluffy clouds... arid ground, green/brown trees fencing off the road and neat cottage houses, all almost all equipped with sprinklers. The silence of the place, in mid afternoon heat was an almost unbearable contrast to the cancophony of traffic noises that would other wise form a street orchestra in India.
But I kept in mind, that I was there on work, and I had a job to do, come the heat or the rain. I have to admit though, during that short ride to the hotel, I wondered where all the kangaroos were.
Work the next day, I had a session to do. Ahh.. the joy of having a jet lag, waking up to a 34C heat morning (and this was at 7), the first day passed in a blur of introductions, sitting in a session sweating the fact that the next day I'd have to do it myself with a foreign crowd. That sweat did not stop during the greek lunch we had or the malaysian dinner we had. I kept playing bits of the session in my head.. health and safety section, the new induction session.. and with these thoughts running through my head, it was sleep that came before confidence.
Apparently it was the next morning and the sweat still did not stop. With a wet collar, increasingly sticky pants I walked aroudn the training room, trying to hold it together. I urged myself to remember to breath, remember to talk and more importantly, remember to smile.. not too much like a clown, but not too little like s strict little miss from India.
"Well, then we're now read..read.. read... " what came after? What did? I couln't for the life of me remember what came after. Visually I bought myself some time by swallowing a big gulp of water. Internally, I could swear I was going to black out, get fired, shipped back and re fired again.. In a flash of panic I imagined my whole life unravel..
It was then, at the back I found Jane. Big smile, hard nods and unrelenting gaze that told me, out of the faces in the room that didn't care, were curious, wanted a break or just wanted to get done and over with the training sessions, I knew there was a friendly face. There was support.
Mid session break. "Julie, do I sound nervous?"
"Ahh.. that's ok, you only just got here yesterday didn't yea"
"Well, as long as you've got good things to say about the session, it won't matter when I came" I added cheekily.
And with that, Jane walked me through the rest of the 2 weeks. I wouldn't call it hand holding, I would call it extensive support. And I made it, to have Jane drive me to the airport. She didn't look too happy, or too sad. I, on the other hand, was a nervous wreck yet again. This time, to leave, knowing I;d done a good job, praying nothing would rain on my parade.
Months later the project ended, and I found some time to breathe. I was cleaning out my e-mails, and found one from Jane saying good bye to all who'd she'd known for the 7 years she worked with the organisation.
Where did she go, I wondered. Got my answer a few weeks later, when the boss rolled in and the boss read the feedback she'd given. Turns out, I was trained as a replacement for her when she leaves. Except, she was told she'd have to go, because the company couldn't afford her anymore.
Then I realized, that there's no such thing as the best good person.