Someone I barely know asked me how I find the energy to chase my dreams with such gusto? She continued by stating, quite matter of factly, that I seem to be one of those people to whom great opportunities “just come” and the lovely lady ended off by saying that she also noticed that I didn’t really have to “work very hard” to get to the finish line, often beating the ones who “slave away 9 to 5”.
She touched my shoulder and smiled warmly. For impact.
I did not respond. I could not. Words failed me.
Now, it doesn’t take a PhD student to understand why this was so problematic that it actually left ME speechless. I think it may have something to do with the tone. The tone of the 3 “facts” wrapped up as compliments, when in fact they were not.
I went through them in my head again:
- Accusation 1: I am the one chasing with gusto (implying that I am workaholic running uphill at high speed). So, a GREEN light sort of person?
- Accusation 2: Things just come (implying that I am in neutral, just waiting). So, an ORANGE light kind of person?
- Accusation 3: I don’t have to work very hard (implying that I pretty much rely on my fake boobs to bring in the moola). So, a RED light kind of person? – Every pun intended!
And, here’s the part where the penny is supposed to drop and I am supposed to deliver some profound sermon, dispelling the accusations and leaving the daft woman looking dafter. But no. I fancy a different approach….
I’ve decided that the next time I see her, I will play the famous Trompies Song “Madibuseng” featuring the late and very great Lebo Mathosa (“Sometimes you red-y, sometimes you green-y, sometimes you orange-y”) in my head and say:
- “Good morning, can’t talk, gotta run…to Paris for my croissants and then back to Dubai for a meeting with Oprah and finally back to a TED Talk in Vegas. Gosh, when will I eat?” (The colour GREEN should come to your mind right about now)
- I will continue “Oh wait! Sorry, I think I will just go back to bed and meditate. You know? We can have anything we want if we just believeeeeeee (and do “ohm” with my hands)” (You feeling organgy yet?)
- Acting all excited I will then add, “No, no, actually, let me call my butler. I sooooo need a wax (roll eyes), a spray tan, my extensions fixed, eyelashes lifted but first…let me pop this pill. You know? It puts you in a coma so you don’t have to be awake during the process” (at which point I can put a red Smartie in my mouth).
Crap man! Who am I kidding?
While I do love that Trompies song very much, I won’t have timeeeeeeee to disarm the woman because I will be so busy driving to work on a tank with a flashing orange fuel guage to finish a PowerPoint presentation in order to meet a deadline in order to meet my KPI’s, hoping to get a bonus while touching up my grey hair with mascara and wondering how to turn leftover KFC into Chicken A La King for a family dinner! You know? I will be busy chasing, working, running, hustling, doubting, fixing, negotiating like the rest of the world…..
So, before I let old Chairman of the Peanut Gallery get to me, best I remember that what other people think of us, is actually none of our business. © A Heart Full of Stories, 2016
Aluta continua, as they say. The road to learning to run our own race and let others run theirs is longer for some than others. I wish you a short one, friends.
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