I had a neat surprise this morning. I was working on something generally mundane and routine when an email poppped up from a client I worked with 3 years ago in my old department. He wished me a Merry Christmas and sent a lovely clip art picture of a Navitity scene. I enjoyed working with him, “back in the day” (am I too young to use that phrase? I sure hope so), so I told him so and wished him and his family a lovely Christmas and healthy New Year.
What took me aback about his email was that we haven’t worked together in 3 years. Did I make that much of an impression on him that he remembered me and felt I was worthy of good wishes at this time of year? Okay, so these days, everyone and the mailman gets a Christmast card–note to self: GOTTA get those done!–but still, it’s been 3 years. Why would he think of me?
I’ve spent most of my life trying to go unnoticed. It probably stems from when I went to an elementary school in a rough neighborhood, and I got beaten up fairly regularly. (Not necessarily with fists, but words can have much the same impact.) It got to where I preferred not to draw attention to myself out of self-preservation. Even now, at 42, I didn’t go to the VFRW Luncheon because, aside from the cost and that a 3 hour lunch would’ve left the boys home without supervision, I was nervous about the fact that I won the chapter’s Susan Wiggs award. It’s given to a member who’s worked above and beyond for the chapter, and this year I was voted the winner. Quite an exceptional honor, and I was thrilled to get the votes…and embarrassed, since I was on the election committee that counted the votes; after a while I started praying to see a vote for someone else. 🙂
Anyway, I went to the Board meeting that Saturday morning but our chapter president had forgotten to bring the Wiggs award with her (a signed copy of Susan Wiggs’ latest book). I should’ve waited to meet her in the parking lot to collect the book from her, but I was nervous about the recognition so I waited a little while but then went home. Even when someone says “Hey, good job!” I feel like I didn’t deserve it. It just feels weird. Plus, now I feel lousy for not waiting around to meet Judi after the meeting. She put quite a bit of effort into making it into a nice gift, which she didn’t have to do–she’s got a life and career that keeps her quite busy–and I backed away. So now I have a good reason to feel like I didn’t deserve it.
Anyway, the email from an old client was a nice surprise. For whatever reason, he remembers me as someone worth thinking about. It’s nice to believe I really am somebody.