Sometimes I sit and watch my balance depleting, and wonder what my work adds up to. I'm investing all my energy, my time, my money - for what? I'm going nowhere.
Then something catches my attention, I remember 'me' from a year or two ago - and I think maybe I'm doing alright after all.
Most of the change in me come from one thing: aspiring to be more like the heroes that are my friends.
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I remember how I failed at 'social' when I started work in the Victorian Government. Friday Night Drinks were unpleasant for all around me. I tried all sorts of bullsh*t 'self improvement' initiatives that got nowhere - the thing that drove the change was the example of one of my peers and her infectiously charming banter.
It was inconceivable a year or two ago, but I get complements these days on my presence and how I host events. It's only because I can channel those I'm lucky to know. When I wonder whether it's possible to do amazing things, I think of those around me that already are - and know it's true. When I wonder whether to fight when the odds are stacked against us, I'm inspired by friends who give their all to make this world a better place for others - not because they know they will achieve their dreams, but because they know the least they can do is everything they possibly can.
You probably know people like these. The inspiration they provide is infectious. We can be told, we can make a decision, and pour effort into being new and improved. What sticks is following the change manifest in those we look up to.
Every act of kindness, generosity and excellence is an example of something better that we may one day become. I can't be grateful enough of the wonderful friends that show me the way.
Little makes me prouder than seeing in myself shining little bits of those I admire - perhaps except the idea that if I keep on going, I may pass these gems to others too.
These people, my friends, are my heroes. You might not realise it yet, but 'these people' are YOU.
Your efforts probably mean much more to those around you than you'll ever realise. Keep being excellent. Keep marching.
On behalf of us all - thank you.