I am constantly amazed at how much impact one person can have. We just go about our lives, doing what we need to do, what we love to do, and think we are relatively inconspicuous in our actions and activities. But ya just never know who is watching. In my case, I know there were (and maybe still are – but I doubt it) a lot of eyes on me when I transitioned in the work place. How do I know? Because I was told! My VP, chief of staff, HR directors and a few others told me this as we were leading up to my “go live date”.
In fact, I recall my HR director telling me that I needed to be prepared for requests for interviews and press etc given my position in the organization and how often I interact with the President, etc. Luckily, I managed to avoid most of it and flew under the publishing radar, so to speak. But now discovering just how many eyes were on me. And perhaps, still are? Regardless, I don’t think about it much, in fact, not at all. It doesn’t shape what I do, or where I go. I am just living my life. For me.
I received a call yesterday from a person I have been doing outreach/speaking engagements who took a call from another organization. Apparently, one of the organizers put me on the radar screen for this group. Only because she and I happened to have a conversation one day a while back about transgender issues. As a result, they have booked me to be one of the speakers at their two day event in September. It is for a finance organization, so that is a bit different.
While I am not a finance person, and that is certainly not what I speak about, I am impressed that the organization is taking time to educate their staff at all levels on this topic. The more we get our message out there, with correct information, to add to the growing number of allies, the better. The interesting thing is that this is a group that I would normally not have access to, nor would I think they would want this type of discussion to take place at a two day event about finance !! It is just because of that little conversation I had with a member of their world.
It just goes to show that even the seemingly innocuous of conversations or actions can actually have an impact. We all go about our lives in our own way. But like it or not, we all interact with the public. Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s not. But there are times when you make a connection and you really do make a difference in a person’s life. Many in my community I know have been amazing at coaching and/or being a mentor to someone new to our community who may just be starting on their journey. You make a difference. Maybe it’s speaking with someone who is struggling with a particular issue. You make a difference. And maybe it’s just acknowledging the work of others in whatever endeavour or area of their life, to continue to motivate them – to let them know they are doing a great thing. You make a difference.
I am realizing that I don’t have to be speaking to hoards of people, or quoted in the news, or profiled in print to know that in my little way, in my own way, I can make a difference. And I am so good with that. And there are many days that knowing that maybe I was able to provide even the tiniest bit of assistance to helps me to keep trying. To be better. Better at being me.
You all make a difference. Don’t ever forget that!!!