Finally, I come to writing up the last small thing that made a difference from my holiday back in April.
Saturday’s (Sat 12th April) little thing was a casual observation made by someone I don’t know very well. They* introduced the conversation topic so it was also completely unexpected.
I’d been at the University of Sussex Physics & Astronomy department student ball that evening, which was wonderful. In conversation, I was asked how long it had been since I left my job at the university. The observation from my conversation partner was that I am still greatly missed. What this description leaves out is the emotional resonance behind the exchange of those few words. When I answered, the strength of genuine surprise from the other party crashed into my awareness and caught me utterly by surprise. Apparently I answered with a time period much longer than they anticipated. It has, in fact, been two and a half years.
I protested a little and my conversation partner asked me if I noticed the way ex-colleagues faces lit up when they saw me again. I had and this is a wonderful part of meeting up with old friends and acquaintances. It has been always been that way with the communities I’ve been a part of in the last six years of my life. Maybe I take it for granted a little?
I feel like I’m boasting but on the other hand, this is my attempt to give an honest account. My learning is that building relationships, networks and communities with people is what I do, what I love to do and what I will always do. It is lovely to know it has a positive impact and is missed when I am no longer in a position to be a part of a particular community.
The pic is from Friday, when I stopped by the Uni to say hello to ex-colleagues after promising myself I’d not leave it as long before saying hi again this time. I love the fact that they’re colour co-ordinated and I promised them social media fame 😉
*I’ve just introduced the person in question to my blog, so if you are reading this and recognise the conversation above … erm (1) hope this isn’t too weird and 2) know that it had an impact on me. Thanks for reflecting something back to me that I’d never have seen from that perspective all by myself.