Thursday, February 17, 2011

Quiet moments of victory

Sometimes when I least expect it, life sneaks a laurel crown onto my head.

Lately my most deeply satisfying moments have been small and all-but-overlooked. Case in point: when I started my current job on a college campus in student disability services, I was fresh out of counseling grad school. I knew in my bones that my gifts included a way to make new connections, to form community, and to weave bonds between campus departments. I wanted to start seeing the campus consider disability as a matter of course, not as an afterthought. I wanted to empower other departments to think of disability as part of diversity, and as a result of their connections with me and my office. I wanted to make the most of my job and my education.

Almost 5 years later, I am seeing fruit. A colleague in a department with whom I've been cultivating connection stopped me in the hall today and let me know she advised a public relations rep to include a Deaf student and signing in a video representing campus diversity. She did not ask my advice, nor that of my department - the idea came to her on its own, and she spoke up at a key time. It was a deeply satisfying moment.

I wonder where I got the idea that success comes quickly, and is loud and shines golden, lighting up me and all those around me? It's such a myth, this fast and flashy Nike. More important is the slow and steady work of building: block by steady, dull, dusty block. And waiting. And staying committed.

And staying present for the quiet moments, when Nike actually shows up.

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