Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Set yourself apart

We climbed up the stairs after what had been a good morning for a quick meeting.
Seeing the petit lady as soon as we approached the door, we made ourselves noticed and she promptly invited us in.
The older woman greeted us kindly. We had met before and she was always nice and funny. She was quite a character, in her small frame, short hair, using a mix of Cape Verde creole, French and Polish to communicate with us.
We were there for a simple invitation, but before I could even bring up the topic that had brought us there, she initiated a conversation that despite by best efforts I wasn’t able to keep up with. I looked between the two women, eyes focused, hears listening and despite the language barrier it was clear that it wasn’t good news. Understanding loose words here and there I quickly tried to puzzled things together. The concern should be written all over my face, because between her rambling, the older woman took a moment to assure me, in her broken Portuguese, that it was all good.   It wasn’t, not really, but her concerns weren’t directed to me as she made sure to repeat.
When she finished her (more than acceptable) complaints she was still willing to hear us out and more than happy with our ideas. She asked questions and praised our initiatives, she asked me how everything was going and as so many other people that have been following our journey she said “It’s great, you’re doing a lot of things. A lot of different things”. I nodded agreeing fully, knowing how lucky I was for being part of such project. However she surprised me continuing, “Good opportunities are important, but people need to know how to use them, to benefit from them” she said “you’re a good person, you do that” the woman added.

I need that sometimes, a reminder that our journeys are what we make of them. That there’s a reason why we need to keep focused, keep working hard, regardless who or what is going on around us, regardless if sometimes is frustrating and seems pointless to give so much. It’s alright to be grateful for the opportunities we get, I would say it’s needed even, but we can’t underestimate ourselves. It’s not a coincidence that things keep happening for you, it’s not by accident that you are where you are. Luck only gives you the chance, what you make out of it, it’s entirely up to you.  So keep giving all of you, even when no-one else does, because it pays off. You might give more, work harder and longer than the rest, but they will never get where you will get. So whenever you look around and wonder if it’s worth it, whenever you feel tired or like giving anything less than all you got, just don’t back down, don’t give up, because that’s what will set you apart, that’s what will make you extraordinary.