“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
When I was a little girl, I always dreamed of making it big. I saw myself as a well known motivational speaker, lawyer and best-selling author. I wanted to save the world, word by word, story by story. I would use all my free time practicing my acceptance speech when I received my first award for my book and work. People saw potential in me ever since the day I could utter my first word, which was “Dad”. Maybe this is the reason why he encouraged me to dream big, who knows. My point is, I always saw myself doing great things. Never could I have imagined living a mediocre life. My favorite motto has always been: do it with passion or not at all.
Despite my endless effort, life did not turn out as planned. Had it gone my way, I would have been graduated at one of the top schools in the world, summa cum laude. I would have been the best lawyer in New York, according to my fantasy. Had I been given that chance, I would have rocked the hell out of the court room. I could imagine myself passing the Bar and fighting my way to the top. I would have made one crazy lawyer.
But, life had other plans for me. Since I showed an enormous amount of fight in me, life decided to test me and see if I can pass the biggest exam of my life: survival of the fittest. Instead of being a lawyer, I am an international training consultant. Instead of being in New York, I am in Skopje. Instead of passing the Bar and becoming a lawyer, I am soon to be a graduated English teacher. This may sound like a lousy turn out, considering my previous dreams. But, let me tell you something. Life is what you make it. If you work your ass off and never give up, it gives you something else. Something better.
Although I am not living the New York dream, I am living the dream. In my journey to success, I have met the most amazing people, the most lovable, smart, compassionate human beings. I am proud to call them my colleagues. They have shaped me so much this past year, to the point where even I cannot recognize myself. This goes out to all of you. Thank you for believing in me, for supporting me and for listening to my endless stories.
When I first started working as a consultant, I was faced with many challenges, but sweet, sweet hurdles. From my first day, Maria showed me the way and was my backbone. She was a tough cookie, but the perfect mentor. Under Charlotte’s leadership, I felt the support I had never received. She has been my knight and shining armor from day 1 and continues to do so. Louisa has been my reflection, as she reads my mind better than I do sometimes. She has been there to help me carve my path and is the sublime example of what I wish to become. Jennifer sets the paradigm to what a professional should look like. She has been my right when I go wrong. When it comes to empathy and compassion, the doll I turn to is Leona. She has a heart of gold and a mind sharper than a razor. Of course, some days are harder to tackle than others. Whom better to turn to than Bonnie. She is the darker side to my humor, the light that shines brighter than the sun. If you’re looking for a polished and perfectly disciplined professional, look no further. When I am slacking off, Kate is there to bring me back to focus. Of course, I couldn’t do without the elegance of Sharon. No matter how her day is, she always has a flawless appearance and smile that can light up the sky. Miguel Cervantes, my better half. He is always there to lighten up the mood and give a look of pure understanding. And Mike? He’s a bit more reserved and has his own way of showing he cares. I could not do without his originality and tech-savvy skills. Without them, there is no me.
The way I see it, you are as successful as the people around you. They are your support group, your shoulder to cry on, your brothers and sisters. In an ever-changing world, there is no right or wrong. As long as you are doing the best you can with what you have, you are winning. Success is not only measured by the digits in your bank account. It is measured by the amount of times you were pushed and shoved by life, torn to pieces and never gave up. It is the bucket of tears you shed on your way to the top, the countless smiles you shared when you won. There will always be times when life will test you more than you could ever imagine. This just proves that it knows you are more capable than you think. God only gives the hardest battles to his strongest soldiers. If you were given this blessing, use it to the best of your ability. Life is a battle of the fittest, and only the fittest survive. Leave your mark in the world. Leave a legacy.