It’s funny how people suddenly get a lot more popular when they are about to leave a company. That has been my experience definitely, with colleagues asking me to take time for lunch or coffee, especially in the last few weeks as my last day with the company drew nearer.
Usually, these lunch or coffee chats run in pretty much the same format: people want to know when and where you are going and why you are leaving, they wish you well and we promise to keep in touch. Sometimes, when it is meeting with colleagues who have been around for a while, we get around to reminiscing about the good old days and how things were better then and the fun and crazy things we did when we were young (more on that in tomorrow’s post).
Today, I had a different kind of a farewell coffee that “poked” me. After the niceties and the usual “when”, “where” and “why”, this colleague, Raghu, looked me in the eyes and said that he had 2 requests of me in leaving: that I start writing and someday teach (young minds). He asked me to think more deeply (highly recommending doing this in silence) and be more self aware of why I am leaving a company I joined as a fresh graduate after almost 15 years. Granted it is to continue specialising in an area where I have passion for, but he asked if that growth and learning in another corporate setting is what I am really after. He pushed and prodded unforgivingly in tough love for me to think more deeply about the real reasons why.
Interesting how others see you from outside in ways that could be blind to yourself…
Raghu felt that I am a very intense person passionate about a cause (that was not yet entirely clear to me – though it seems quite clear to him) and did not want me to lose sight of it. He wanted me to realise it and to start writing so that I do not lose it or compromise, and rather, gain more self awareness through it in a journey of self-discovery. He believed in me and that someday, I will be able to make a bigger more direct impact on the world in some way through my writing and teaching than by influencing others to do that.
Wow…! What a stage to fill! Will I ever be able to live up to that? I honestly don’t know. As Raghu said in his parting words to me however, I am not one who sits and listens but someone who actions. And the only way to ever find out the answer is to take that first step and write…
So here I am, starting a blog again after many, many years. The last time I was actively blogging was in 2003-4. Heavier work loads, family and kids etc., all the distractions of everyday mundane life, eventually washed over and the years passed in a flash without a record. Rather than mope over the lost time and lost “pages”, I would like to look forward and start up where I am now – a little older, a little wiser and a little clearer on what I want out of my life.
So this is my blog, as a mother of 4 kids and a working professional who has been blessed with being paid everyday to do what she enjoys – helping people become better people and the world to become a better and more fair place.