“You inspired us to think that it’s important to remember our dreams” one of “my” girls told me, right after I announced to the staff that I would be leaving my job in a matter of weeks. Her reaction told me everything I need to know about my decision, a decision that was long in coming and with which I struggled, mainly because I really love the people I work with.
I never set out to inspire anybody – I go through life just like everyone else, bumbling along, acquiring more skills as time goes on and, unfailingly, trusting my instincts. I didn’t even tell the staff what my new venture is (more to come on these pages in the following weeks) but I clearly exuded happiness and excitement.
It would have been easy to stay: not only do I love the people who work for and with me, and our clients, I love the company and its mission. But the proverbial thrill had gone. It would have been the comfortable choice to stay and show up at work in the fabulously beautiful setting we never took for granted and carry on with my duties for years to come. Just because I can, though, it doesn’t mean it’s what I want, deep down. In a tight job market, abandoning a position that pays well and comes with great benefits in an industry where paid vacations and sick days are unheard of, could be misconstrued as the foolish choice. Time will tell. Fortunately, I am not prone to looking back and wondering what if.
I will miss “my kids” and, for a little while, they will miss me. As I led them through good times and difficult ones and we all learnt to coexist and understand each other, I have no doubt that, collectively, they taught me more than I did them. I will miss their eager faces, their sleepy eyes coming in to work, their energy and their laughter and I hope they remember what their dreams are and they never let go of their expectations. If I can only inspire one of them to do the “foolish” thing, the harder thing, so they will never find themselves with regrets on their hands, that would have been enough.