Let’s face it. We don’t…not a single one of us does…get where we are in life without the encouragement and help of others. If you look back on it, there has been someone who you have turned to at some time in your life for help, for advice, for reassurance.
As I look back on my own life, I remember the many people…family members, school and college friends, friends from my various professional lives…who helped me, an insecure introverted loner, move onward and (usually) upward. I’m not sure if all of them realize just how grateful I am for that support, but, believe me, I am.
So we move forward to today as I ease slowly into “senior” status (note: there are a few out there who are already muttering, “You idiot. You’re already there!!), I find myself wanting to do more to pay back the past kindnesses and pay forward for what inevitably will be my next adventure.
The “pay back” part is pretty self-evident…I just talked about that part. But the “pay forward” part??
Well, I’ve known myself long enough to know that there is inevitably a next great adventure on the horizon. I have no clue what it might be. But, as many of you reading this post know, I’m on “Page 1” of “Chapter XX” of Kirk’s lifetime adventures. Margaret (my wife) and I are slowly but surely adjusting to a new way of life in a new-ish environment here in the Tampa Bay area.
I’m teaching part-time at The University of Tampa and am heavily involved with the PRSA Tampa Bay Chapter…kind of a repeat of just what I had been doing in Boston for the past umpety-ump years and in Hawaii for a few glorious years as well. But I’m getting a smidge itchy…I need more. In Boston, I had Boston Harborfest…devoted 30+ years to helping this amazing organization. I was also involved in my communities, serving on various nonprofit boards over the years.
So I know me, and I know my passion for “being involved.” I also know that I’ll need someone’s help to make that happen. So I’m hoping by “being there” in the community that something will come my way. Fingers crossed!
This is something I try to pass on to my students…previously at Curry College; now at UT. Don’t just sit, waiting for something to happen. Get out there. Be proactive. Make connections. Ask questions. Only you can make you you!
So to turn the conversation back to you, gentle reader. What have you done, what are you doing, and what will you do to pay back the countless acts of kindness and support that have helped you get where you are today? And what are you doing now to open doors to new opportunities that will move you to the next level?
Onward and upward!