Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Validation

We are all seeking it, in some form or another. From our boss or co-workers for a job well done. From a lover to assure us that their love is true. From a coach. A friend. A parent. A child. We are all asking: Do I matter? Am I worthy?

Maybe not every day. Maybe not from everyone. But it follows us around, a lurking shadow that shifts with the given sun.

Yesterday I received an email out of the blue from a young woman I used to mentor. She was a member of an activist group of teens that met weekly putting into practice leadership and community-building skills through volunteering. I loved working with all of them because they were fierce and funny and so full of hope and intelligence. Part of her message to me said this:

I am writing to you because I have always remembered you as someone who really sticks up for real people, all people. I remember that you always had an open mind and a great sense of fun, and that has touched my life in ways that I will remember forever.

Sometimes a job is just a job but for me, more often than not, my job has been about helping people. Teaching women and girls self-defense. Facilitating support groups for young girls to build self-esteem. Educating the community about domestic violence and sexual assault. Working with at risk teens in a group home. Matching volunteers to programs that support HIV + clients. I have always been committed to making a difference, to touching people's lives for the better. And yesterday, via a myspace email, I got a glimpse that I am on the right track.

It is a powerful realization. That somewhere, someone remembered you and is grateful for having known you. It humbles and inspires me.

**********************
My Five Things (only two days left!). . .

1. I am good listener.
2. I don't give bullshit advice.
3. I don't pander to your weaknesses when giving said no-bullshit advice.
4. I encourage greatness.
5. I strive for authenticity.

22 comments:

Amanda said...

It is wonderful to hear how you make a difference in someones life. It is humbling and rewarding to know you are making a difference to people! Good post!

Paul said...

Speaking of feeling worthy, do you think this comment was good enough?

Anthony S. said...

..To me, that is why teaching, in one form or another, is the best way to recieve validation in one's life. To teach is far more pleasurable than to work for money.

Unfortunately, that won't buy me a salad at La Bou.

kapgar said...

Don't ever doubt what a great person you are!

sue said...

I wasn't surprised in the least. It just confirms that you are the person I've come to know and love... :)

Mikey said...

Your on myspace? I love you my friend. The work you do to put smiles on other peoples faces should tell you, you are validated

JustRun said...

How awesome to hear that you've made that difference! That is a great thing to add to your list- one that, I might assume, is longer than you might think. :-) Good job.

gorillabuns said...

what a nice surprise! you should know that you make a difference a quite a few people's lives daily. that's something you should add to your list....

sandra said...

Sizz, we all know you rock and that you make a difference -- but it's so great to hear it from someone unexpected, isn't it?!

alissa said...

How cool that you impacted someone's life like that!

Melissa said...

It's your karma. You've been validating yourself lately and now it's coming back to you from the people you have touched. Maybe it goes with that saying, no one can love you unless you love yourself.

Alison said...

If I got an e-mail like that, I'd feel on top of the world! Yay you, for making a difference!

Bob Merrick said...

good for you for finally telling yourself , "job well done". We've been saying it for years.

xo

Party Girl said...

Validation. We all just want a personal cheerleader and for someone to root for us. That's been my philosophy. To my friends- cheerleaders, to be the girl in the corner cheering them on and to let them know they matter, even on the days when they don't think they do. They do. They always do.

Your work is really important and inspirational and something I've thought about pursuing as well.
Kudos.
Kudos for you!

Bre said...

What a lovely message to recieve! You absolutely deserve it - your commitment to helping people is very evident!!

Mrs. Ca said...

I can't imagine how good it must feel to get an email like that. It's people like you, the ones that spend their lives helping others, that make the world go round and make me want to be a better person.

goldmoon said...

That's awesome, Siz!! I bet you were and still are a wonderful mentor.

snackiepoo said...

Thanks for this great post! It really never hits us when we make a difference, does it?

Gary said...

You do strive for authenticity. And your intelligence and sense of humor shine through on your blog.

Nihilistic said...

That girl you mentored knew what she was talking about!

Kris said...

What a beautiful confirmation of the beautiful person that you are!!!

Claire said...

That's very cool.