Signs vs signals, movement vs being stationary. It’s easy to know something and do nothing with that information. Or be told something and agree, yet still do nothing with that information. Doing nothing gets you nowhere, its in the movement (no matter how slight it may be) where the changes occur.
For most of my adulthood I’ve been told that I have so much potential, I had heard it so often; yet at the same time I didn’t hear a thing really. This is the norm for young people though, they don’t listen to what they are told and want to learn everything the hard way. So like most young people I heard what was said but I ignored it.
Funny thing though; when different people keep saying the same thing to you as years go by, one has to finally hear the words and see that there has to be something to them. I only started believing in myself a few years ago, when for the first time I realized that these people were being real and they really did see more in me than I did. They saw everything that I didn’t see and heard everything that I hadn’t heard about myself. To me I was just an angry person trying to get through the day, the week, the month. To them I was this burst of light waiting to explode on the world. I didn’t see it , but they did.
When I was 20 years old I went to a school for business. I excelled in everything I did there and received most of the top achiever awards. However because of my bad girl image and behavior nobody recognized me as this top achiever, instead they let someone who had lower marks than me and that received less awards than be get all the recognition. and all I was remembered for that night was my dress that was apparently too tight and short. I knew I was the best , I also knew that I wasn’t being acknowledged. I felt that, it hurt… but so did my entire existence. So instead of accepting my brilliant results , I was judged for my appearance and my outgoing nature. So I missed that sign. The one where my aggregate was 97% and I excelled because the signals given to me were based on my appearance and my personality. The signs were there, the brilliance was there too, but I was too blinded by the signals of people who expected me to be who they wanted me to be were giving me.
I believed them at the time. I believed them because that’s what was being presented to me, that it was what I deserved. They gave pretty clear signals that I wasn’t good enough for them. Don’t get me wrong, these people appeared to love me and want what was best for me, but when I left they also changed the dress code to the graduation ceremonies. That was how I was remembered in that college. They missed the essence of me, they missed the intelligence in me and they helped me to do exactly the same thing to myself.
The exact opposite happened once I started actual work. When I was a receptionist something inside of me always told me that I did not belong there, the same for sales and accounts. As I type this I am in my final week of accounts, I have finally acknowledged the signs that I missed, that I casually walked past without even noticing they were there. I have realized the signals I once received were a mere reflection of how I once felt about myself but the signs were always there. I just couldn’t see them because my vision was being blocked by the pain that life had once chosen to inflict on me.
That time is over, now my signs and signals are in sync with who I believe I am and not what the world wants me to be!
Written by: Tammy Murphy