Many years ago, when I was in my late twenties, I had a friend whom I met through the psychic classes I was taking at the time. She was a little older than I was and had been working steadily since she was a teenager, without a break. When I met her, she was working in the hectic world of advertising. Sometime during our course, her marriage broke up, prompting her to take a look at her life and what she really wanted. She decided to take some time out of her career and reassess, going back to school and taking some classes in women’s studies for a while.
I remember being impressed by the courage it took to walk away from her job and take care of her own needs as a person. I was still not earning very much and had no safety net to fall back on. I believed that what she was doing was completely out of the question for me and yet I was somewhat envious of what she was able to do. I doubt if she had any idea at the time that I was watching her.
A few years later, after a job change that left me disillusioned and exhausted, I decided to leave the business world, move across the country and subsequently, to get some further training in a related field and change my career direction. It was a scary thing to do and, looking back now, I can see that I had this friend’s example in mind as I walked off the edge of my world.
She didn’t make me do it, didn’t even suggest it, but the fact that she had done it and survived, even blossomed, led me to believe that it could be done. My reasons for doing what I did may not have had anything to do with hers but I saw someone do something that I considered to be courageous, even if she didn’t think that of herself as she did it, and based on my interpretation, I went ahead and did what I needed courage to do.
If I were to have the chance to talk to her today, she would probably be amazed to hear that I responded to her choices the way I did. Sometimes we are so busy trying to keep life and limb together, fighting our demons and summoning the courage to face each uncharted day, that it doesn’t occur to us that we might inadvertently inspire someone else along the way. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could know it at the time?