I was going to write a post about that 6 year old girl from yesterday, the one who wanted someone to be proud of her.
But over the last 24 hours I have thought: I am proud of me. I have a half a page of questions and research. I will reach out to friends: what does it mean to find the root directory of a web server and what does a .jar file really do and tell me about SSL security, because I need to learn to do these things. I will figure out the next step in thin client integration with ARIS.
In the end, I could find the person who told me they were proud of me, but I am not sure it would be enough.
It isn’t what I want to be remembered for. I don’t want to be remembered as the woman who wanted acknowledgement and appreciation. I don’t want to be remembered as the woman who was needy and not sure of herself.
I don’t want to be that woman. I may want that for a day, but I don’t want it in the long run.
I don’t only want the acknowledgement of a job well done. If you told me that I did it and you were proud of me, and I died this night, it’s not what I would want you to remember me for.
I want you to remember me as kind. As compassionate. As gracious. I want you to remember me as the person who took her corner of the world and made it it a better place. A small corner and a small sort of better will be enough.
I don’t want to be known as smart, perhaps, even as I struggle with the notion, I don’t want to be remembered as beautiful or amazing. No, I want to be remembered as kind.
Those final lines: please, bury my thoughts, my prejudices, my failings. In my own world: bury my need for approval, my need to be beautiful, my need to be smart. Bury the many ways that I am small and vain and petty. Bury all of that.
Leave behind me this: Nieces and nephews who knew I loved them. Friends that I laughed with. A husband who knew that he was the center of my world. Leave behind clients who thought I was kind, who thought I not only got the job done, but I made the experience of doing it pleasant. Leave behind people who are changed because I was there. Leave behind a single thing that says that this world is better for my habitation.
I am small and petty, perhaps merely human. I want what is silly and illusory. I want to make a difference in what seems like a big way – the ticker tape parade and accolades for my achievement, but what can only be small and illusory in the long run. In the long run, achievements fade and the parade can only be about what you have just done and that will by its very nature disappear.
There will always be a new challenge and a new person to meet it. There will always be someone smarter, someone more talented, someone prettier. There will always be someone better than I am.
Leave behind me this: a legacy of kindness, and endowment of Sunday meals and laughter. A bounty of mercy and a lineage of small children who remember an Aunty Spit who was always happy to see them.
I am sorry. I failed you yesterday. More importantly, I failed myself. I forgot what mattered. I forgot about the importance of being kind.