2 years, 4 months, and 14 days ago,1 Lindsay wrote Language and Action which is my favorite post in the history of Tumblr:
A few months ago I noticed something. Where most people say “I want,” I found myself saying “I wish.” I spent some time reflecting on these two phrases, and beyond the semantics I discovered a lack of confidence in my ability to make something happen. So I did the only thing one can do in this situation. I made something happen.
Instead of saying “I wish I could work with cheese,” I started saying “I want to work with cheese.” Defining the desire drove me to action. I contacted my long-time Twitter friend and inspiration, the lovely Tia Keenan, who kindly advised me on where and how to get started.
After many emails, a traditional interview, and an amazing on-the-job interview, I begin working as a Counter Associate at Pastoral Artisan this weekend. (Because I have a full-time job, I’ll only be working weekends and the odd evening.)
I can’t wait to develop my knowledge and experience in this capacity. I hope to share that with you along the way.
Yours in Cheese,
This is my favorite thing on Tumblr, but not because I like the person who wrote it. There are lots of things on Tumblr written by people I like.
This is my favorite thing on Tumblr, but not because I like the words. There are lots of words on Tumblr, lots of great and meaningful quotes that we scroll past and momentarily think about, perhaps even “heart” before we continue on our way.
This is my favorite thing on Tumblr because these words were not just words.
These words were a reflection of what she had done, was doing, and was going to continue to do.
She did this.
As time went on, she decided to go further, to pursue what she really wanted. She quit her job to do what she loved. That thing that many people wish for, think of, daydream about… she actually did it.
If this was a movie, it would be the part where everyone cheers, right before the montage scene which would start with her struggling at the beginning, but quickly overcoming the challenges. The end of the montage would show her closing up the cheese shop one night, turning off the light, and going home with a smile on her face.
But life isn’t a montage. From that day to this one has been 28½ months. There’s a lot the montage doesn’t show. Quitting her job meant changing her life and a lot of sacrifice. There have been a lot of difficult days, probably a lot more than anyone except Lindsay really knows. I’m not sure I could imagine it. I’m not sure I’d have to guts to do it, and I’m not sure I would have had the strength to stick it out.
I know she had her moments of doubt… But she did it.
She worked for far less than she was worth, and she kept on working, through the struggles and doubts and long nights and long hours.
She kept on doing it. It was a challenge, even though she was doing what she loved. Some of you know that she has been studying for a big exam, the company is paying for her to fly out and to take it. That’s quite an honor, but I was even happier to hear the news that she shared today:
I’ve been promoted to Senior Operations Manager and am now overseeing all lines of business including retail, commissary and the restaurant.
I would’ve posted a dashboard-long image set of animated fireworks and dancing cheese GIFs, but Lindsay was content to send a quick sentence sharing the news that she has been given a huge mother of a promotion. (Probably because she had been up since stupid o’clock and has been extremely busy.)
I’ve always been happy to call her my friend, and glad to share in her excitement through this. I was thrilled when she first told me that she would be working “just nights and weekends” with cheese. I was so glad to hear that she was enjoyed what she was doing. I was surprised-but-not-surprised to learn she soon decided to go full-time. I tried to offer encouragement during the difficult times.
But I can’t tell you how excited and happy and joyful and “Holy crap! YES! AWESOME!” I was when I heard about Lindsay’s promotion.
In fact I’ve been trying to figure out what the right word is to describe how I felt, how I feel. At first I thought it was “proud” but that didn’t quite seem right. Not that it was wrong just not what I meant. In fact, it took until just now to realize the right word2:
Yup. That’s the right word. It’s not the only word, of course. There’s love and joy and excitement and more. But I think if I had to pick just one word it would be admiration:
For having the courage to try.
For taking the risk.
For sticking with it.
For not giving up.
For not giving in.
For enjoying it and not losing the joy of it.
For working hard, and for obviously impressing her bosses.
For doing it, instead of just thinking about it or talking about it.
For all that and more, my dearest friend and co-spouse, you have my admiration, in addition to my friendship and love.
Congratulations on your promotion. You’ve earned the hell out of it.