Friday, August 5, 2011

A Year of Gratitude - Day Fifty-one

Day 51 - Learning
Monday August 1, 2011, Day 51 of my Gratitude Blog, was not a busy day.  I was still too busy to write what I might be grateful for, though; so as I “catch up,” I’m reminded of the networking meeting I went to in the afternoon, and then of being on the Board of Directors of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association seven years ago.  I have changed a lot in the seven years in between.  I have grown up.
In 2004, sitting in a board meeting in Chicago, I was awe-struck by the brilliance in the room.  Here were business owners and entrepreneurs who knew so much more about business than I did, and I was easily intimidated into silence.  I didn’t add much to the discussion, and probably never gained the respect of the majority of board members (one pulled me aside to say he appreciated what I added to the team, but I think that was in response to my reluctance to fully participate).  Interesting, too, that part of that year I was on the board, I was also unemployed.
Seven years later, I sit in a networking meeting with C-level executives, department heads and business leaders who are all looking for their next employment opportunity, and I am comfortable among them.  I have been a department head; I have been a leader and manager; I have studied hard and earned a professional certification.  Am I better than these people?  Hardly.  Am I inferior to them?  No.  Something I’ve learned over the past seven years is that we all bring something worthwhile to the table.  We ALL have value.
I believe that some events in our lives are repeated because there is something fundamental that we didn’t learn earlier.  The opportunities to learn a life lesson will return until we either learn it or die trying.  I have learned many things in the tough times since 2004.  I have grown a lot and gained some courage.  I remember the comment I heard long ago that the more we learn, the more we realize how much we don’t know, and that’s certainly true for me now.  But I am learning.  
It may take me longer than some to learn what I need to know, but I’m moving in the right direction.

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