The Voice of the Office, story of inspiration

There are a lot of us who feel or realize maybe our job isn’t anything special– we aren’t preforming surgeries on a day to day basis that save lives, we aren’t flying jets, manning businesses that literally make the world go round. We are the people that maybe sit in an office or flip burgers, cut trees–whatever our occupation is, it isn’t quite our dream job and it doesn’t really feel like it is that big a deal to the world.


 

Her name was Bev, short for Beverly. She had been 25 for exactly 1 month. Twenty-five. A quarter of a century. Five years until thirty. Barely managing to cling onto being able to say, “I’m in my early twenties.” Bev was an average girl, with brown hair, blue eyes and freckles. Bev was also a girl who at one time believed she was going to be one of those people who change the world.

Bev stood in the small office of her job as of a week ago, glancing around the room.  The walls were made of giant bricks which had been painted the exact color of gray which brings to mind a day filled with endless rain. In the small room there were two windows draped with  sun-dyed green curtains, providing an excellent view of the dumpster below. She turned to face her desk where a phone, computer and key board sat, letting out a long sigh. The sigh of a person who realized life was no where near she imagined. The sign of a person who realized her dreams might not come true. She felt the tears rush in, threatening to spill out. She took a deep breath, holding her head slightly back attempting to somehow send the tears back where they came from. She inwardly reminded herself of how when she cried even just a couple drops her nose, eyes–face would be swollen and red as a beet for a the rest of the day. What if someone would stop by? Then she remembered her bosses’ words, “Yeah, at this job you’ll sooner see a cow walk through those doors than another person!”

Bev burst into tears, letting them spill freely down her cheeks.


Boom-boom. Boom-boom. Boom-boom. 

“You here it?” Bev’s Dad asked, his coppery colored eyes crinkling at the corners like they always did when he smiled.

Six-year old Bev nodded, her brown curls swishing. “What is that, Daddy?” Her blue eyes where wide with curiosity.

Her Dad touched the round, metal object pushing it along his chest.

Bev’s eyes got bigger. “Boom-boom, boom-boom….Daddy what is it?!” She clutched the tubes of the stethoscope which were lodged into her ears, trying to figure out where exactly the boom-boom was coming from.

Her Daddy smiled, eyes crinkling, dimples carving alongside the corners of his mouth. “That’s your Daddy’s heart beating,” he said softly.

Bev’s mouth dropped open as she stared at her Dad in stunned silence.

Boom-boom. Boom-boom. Boom-boom.

“That’s your heart, Daddy?”

He nodded.

Bev smiled, pushing the tubes deeper into her ears in an attempt to hear the beat better. Her eyes ran over the purple scars barely inching out of the neck of his button-up shirt. “That’s your new heart beating, Daddy isn’t it?”

Tears were touching his eyes, but she didn’t notice. “Mmmhmm.”

“I can tell it’s BIG and HAPPY–and it’s not gonna get tired like your last one. It’s strong– just like you, Daddy.”


 

Bev had wanted to be a doctor. Since the day she heard her Dad’s new heart beat, since the day she discovered how her Dad’s life had been saved by a heart transplant, since the day she received her first stethoscope, since for as long as she could remember. Bev wanted to save lives. Bev wanted to give people the gift her family had been given. Bev wanted to make a difference in the world.

And here she was sitting at a small office, her stethoscope buried in the back of her closet at home; buried under piles of bills, back luck, her Dad’s death, and the resentment and pain she felt from dropping out of medical school from grief.

What would her Dad think of her? She was working somewhere where she saw more walls than she saw people. Where her boss called her the “voice-literally” of the company because her duty was to manage the phone lines and any other form of communication, yet no one saw or would see her face.

She turned on her computer, and flung herself in the chair feeling hollow and missing her Dad more than ever.

She pulled up her personal email account, breathing heavily. Her eyes fixed onto the last email from him. The last email her dad had sent before he died. She let out a deep breath and clicked onto it, reading over words she had nearly memorized by now. He had spent the last two years before he died traveling, volunteering with mission groups that brought food and medical supplies to children. He had been at a remote village in the Amazon Basin, his email filled with the story of his struggle to communicate with the locals in the village. “After hand motions…talking louder and louder and slower and slower (why we do we automatically do that? Hah! NEVER, EVER WORKS but we still give it a go anyway)…the whole nine yards–The chief smiled. And I smiled. He laughed. I laughed. Smiling–it was just about the only thing we understood. I tell ya…if you wanna make a difference, make someone smile.

At the end he had put the quote, “Everyone smiles in the same language”-don’t you forget it, Love Dad =)

Bev read the quote again and again.  Could she ever really have an impact on someone’s life when her career involved practically zero human contact when it did not involve the phone or email?

She read it again.

smile

 

Bev logged out of her personal account and signed into the office email. As she was replying about a client’s question, she decided send out a smiley face next to her name. Before long, Bev decided to send out a smiley face with as much communication as possible, when appropriate. Whether it was through email or by her personal signature, she always sent out a little smile. She didn’t really think it would make a huge difference, but she felt like maybe she was at least sending a little happiness someone’s way.


 

Two years later…

Bev looked into the tiny office with it’s gray brick walls, sagging curtains, and old computer one last time, her heart swelling with happiness and sadness all at once. She had just learned what a difference that smile made. She received hundreds of calls, emails, gifts, and notes of gratitude from so many people she never even met. Hundreds of people had flooded her with gifts, memories of small conversations or shared laughs, saying they would miss “the girl who sent smiles”. Notes which said, “I will never forget the girl who made people smile.” “I know we never met, but we became friends, how amazing is that.” “Bev, you made me feel like I mattered,  you are an amazing young girl.”

Apparently that smile mattered to some people a lot, a lot more than Bev realized.

Today Bev is a cardiologist, making her dreams a reality, and signing her name with a smile.

Wherever you are you can touch someone else’s life. If you can brighten someone else’s day or make them laugh or smile, or complement them in some way, you are a world changer. Even if it was just for a moment, you made someone feel like they mattered or that they were special. We need more of that in the world.

Wherever you are…whoever you are…you can make a difference!

Happy Wednesday!

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Derek…Man or Monster…the continuation

It was the moment she had waited her whole life for. Nadia took in a long breath of air as she looked at herself in the full length mirror. She had touched her wavy hair with the smallest amount of mousse giving her golden hair the appearance she had just been strolling along the

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da…da…da

beach. Her makeup made her bright sea green eyes irresistible to look at. She wore a white dress and golden dangle earrings. She looked beautiful. It was always how she wanted to look when she was meeting her future husband.

In Derek…Man or Monster..Part 1, you were introduced to Nadia, the gorgeous girl who wanted nothing to do with the dating scene and tired of the “boys that ran around thinking they were men” after a break-up with her fiance. She ended up meeting Derek, who was “suddenly” headed to the same college as her through an online chat room. In one week Derek and Nadia felt like they were soul mates. She returned to college and is getting ready to meet Derek for the first time…face to face. 

I watched as Nadia gave herself a one last once over in the mirror. She looked prettier than I had ever seen her…and I didn’t know that level of beauty could be accomplished. I knew it wasn’t her makeup or outfit or hair that made her extra pretty; it was the glow of happiness that radiated out of her. She looked like a bride about to walk down the aisle. Then I glanced once again at the lap top that had 54 pictures of Derek, her mystery online guy, floating across her screen. I was nervous. I mean, online dating is a little crazy, right? Then I looked back at Nadia’s face filled with joy. I hadn’t seen her look like this in a long time, certainly not with her ex-fiance who hadn’t even reached the “boy” category in the life cycle of the male species; with his whiny attitude, he seemed to be trapped in the “baby” stage.  Pushing aside my skepticism, I decided to send her off, daring to hope.

“You look so gorgeous!” I said running up to her and giving her a little hug.

“Thanks!” She said sincerely while flashing a smile, “I hope he thinks so!”online dating

I rolled my eyes, “He will…trust me!”

She glanced down at her cell phone to check the time. “Oh my gosh! I better go!” She let out a nervous yet happy squeal and picked up her purse.

“Just call if you need an exit or a way out or anything.”

She clasped the door knob and prepared to walk out, “I won’t need it, but thanks so much!” she said in all confidence.

“OK! You could be meeting your future husband in like 5 minutes!” I said and afterward immediately started to wonder if I shouldn’t have been encouraging this. But that’s what friends do.

*

Nadia was almost to the little cafe on campus known as the Palms Grille. It wasn’t the ideal place for meeting your future husband, but it would do. Nadia’s heart was beating wildly. She could feel the sweat on her palms as they tightly squeezed the handle of her purse. She was about to meet the sweetest, most caring, funny, romantic man on earth. She couldn’t wait to see the man in the pictures. The man who was muscular, tall, had large hazel eyes and a thick shock of brown hair and a complexion that made it look like he had walked off the cover of a magazine.

She opened the door to the Palms Grille, a grin spreading across her face. She was floating on cloud nine. She scanned the crowds of people and couples sitting at the fancy round tables. After two minutes of searching she felt a pang of fear, where was Derek?

She gulped and scanned again. No sign of him. She stood, stick straight in the waiting area and proceeded to stare down at the restaurant door. She felt doubt creep in the back of her mind as the minutes ticked on and on.

Suddenly she felt a gentle tap on her shoulder. She jumped and whorled around.

It wasn’t Derek, just a young pimple faced teenager who probably worked here and was wondering if she needed to be seated.

“I’m just waiting for someone,” Nadia said quickly and returned to her constant stare at the door of the restaurant.

“Wow you’re beautiful!” the teenager exclaimed.

Nadia gave him a polite smile, wishing he would leave her in peace.

“Nadia! It’s me, it’s….. Derek!” the teenager suddenly exclaimed opening his arms widely as if he was inviting her to run into them.

Nadia felt like her throat dropped to her stomach. This was a joke. She snapped her head around looking back at this… this… child before her. “What?” she asked astounded.

“It’s D-Derek, it’s me,” he said, his voice reminded her of wind whistling through the trees.

He was talking, but Nadia didn’t hear a word he was saying. The man before her was at her level in height, not the 6ft dream she pictured. His brown hair was laced with so much gel it formed deadly looking spikes across his head; and it was thin, she could see glimpses of his white scalp through his hair. Deep widow’s peaks Dracula would envy carved into his hairline. A constellation of pimples were strung across his high forehead. His lips were thin, disappearing as he smiled. This was impossible. There was no way this bean pole was the hunk she had met online. No way. Then she looked at his eyes. Large, thickly lined hazel eyes with heavy eyelids. The eyes were the same eyes that belonged to Derek. She gulped suddenly remembering the one picture out of 54 that hadn’t matched the rest of the pictures. Her stomach flip flopped. This was the guy. This was indeed, Derek.

In a daze she was lead by Derek to a table near a water fountain. He sat down across from her, but pulled his chair a little nearer, finally he asked, “Are you alright, my darling?”

Nadia was snapped back into reality. She found her words, “You, you look…” her voice trailed off. She couldn’t be cruel. Looks didn’t matter. Derek had a heart of gold and that would make him attractive…eventually.

“I have a surprise for you,” he said in his soft way.

“O-O-K,” Nadia said nervously. She could feel the fast plummet in her heart as she slowly, or rather, rapidly was falling from cloud nine.

Nadia, falling from cloud 9

Nadia, falling from cloud 9

Derek widened his large doe eyes and whipped out a book so quickly from under the table Nadia caught her breath. Derek nearly shoved the book in her face proclaiming dramatically, “THIS is FOR US!”

With her fingers, Nadia pushed the book away from where it had tapped her nose. She scrunched her eyes, reading the cover. Karate for Lovers. She couldn’t help but quizzically and frightfully raise her eyebrows.

“What is that?” she asked, wondering if she would even want to know.

Derek laughed a high pitched, shaky laugh. “My darling love, it is a book about karate I want you to read. Then I’ll teach you!” He said hopping up from his seat and chopping the air like he was on some kind of Chinese film.

Nadia bulged her eyes and grabbed his arm. People were staring. “That’s very…nice.” Derek kicked the air. Nadia chuckled looking around the room, hoping no one she knew was in here.

Finally Nadia urged him to sit down. He talked and talked about space and aliens; he talked about karate and his medications; he talked about how they would name their first son, Spock; he talked about his emotions and dragons and his passion for video games and he talked about their future wedding; With every word he spoke, Nadia felt any hope of this man being her soul mate die. How could she have not known all these things about him? In fact, she was at the point where she was longing to run away and pretend this never happened.

Suddenly Derek reached out his thin fingers with unnaturally long nails, Nadia noted, and touched her cheek. Nadia’s insides crawled. He leaned in forward. His rubber band lips were forming into a pucker. Nadia jumped to her feet.

“I’m-I’m so sorry Der-ek!”

Derek’s eyes grew huge and perplexed. “Passion flower, what is the matter? I’ve been waiting so long to kiss you. Come, don’t be so modest.”

Nadia shook her head, pretending he didn’t just refer to her as “passion flower”; “Derek, I’m just not sure about this-any of it. I think I just-I was engaged and I was emotional and I’m so sorry, Derek, but I think I’m not ready for this.” The words came out a tangled mess.

Derek’s eyes filled with tears. They ran down his bony cheeks.

Nadia felt terrible. She hated that she had caused him so much pain. “I’m so so so sorry! I wasn’t ready to meet anyone…and I just let me emotions run wild! I’m truly sorry, Derek.”

“You don’t ever want to see me again, do you?” He asked her in a whisper.

Nadia was a softy and Derek seemed nice enough, even though they had nothing in common they could at least be friends, right? “We can be friends still, if you want…” secretly she hoped he’d say no.

He stared off into space and then closed his eyes, squeezing out more tears. “I will die without you!” Nadia stood, speechless, then Derek added, “so I suppose we can be friends.”

*

Nadia and Derek never ended up getting married…and the friendship was a short lived catastrophe.

*

 I am a person who believes you can find the right person in many different places…the internet…maybe??? Sites like E-harmony and Match.com seem like the best avenues to meet someone online…if you MUST meet someone this way. But I would avoid it if possible. The thing about the internet and face book etc. is they only give you one view of a person. You don’t get to see how they react to situations in life (good and bad), you don’t get to see expression of emotion, you don’t get to see what it’s like just to hang out with them.  You are trusting pictures and words.We all are our best versions online. Many times we see someone online with a great picture, they say a few awesome things, and we fill in the rest of what we imagine them to be like with our “ideal/dream” person. We fall for them quickly without really knowing them because who doesn’t fall in love with a perfect person? If you decide to try this method of meeting your soul mate, be VERY CAREFUL and know what you want and know what to look for. You also MUST PLAN on meeting that person…and sooner rather than later.

What I am wondering is if anyone has a success story? I know they exist!! What do you think of internet dating…good idea or just inviting creepers into your life? Have you met your soul mate online? Does internet dating work? If so, what makes internet dating work? Does anyone have any internet dating fail stories?



 

“For Everything he did Wrong, He did One thing Right” Lessons From Juan Pablo

Lessons from Juan Pablo #2 “For All the things he did wrong, he did do one thing right: show us what NOT to look for in a mate.”
I used to wish that the name of the person I was supposed to be with could be simply written on an index card and slipped into my mailbox entitled, “Autumn’s Soul Mate.” How easy would life be? But, if it did happen this way, there are so many things we wouldn’t learn. I believe God gave us common sense, and He wants us to use it.
One thing that bugged me about Juan Pablo is that he couldn’t seem to come up with specific reasons for liking a girl; for Nikki he said, “She is soooooooo sexy;” “She’s a good kisser;” “She’s beautiful,” and then lastly “She has a heart for people.”Umm…ok. Getting compliments on our looks is GREAT! But you want someone that appreciates your inside too. Juan Pablo managed to pick out that ‘she has a heart for people’ and that ‘she was honest (which he said about EVERYONE)’. Two great qualities, but he tended to obsess about the girls looks more than anything. WARNING: if a guy (or a girl for the guys) when asked why they like you can only list things about your appearance, this could mean a serious red flag.
Do you want love that lasts for a life time? Then you need to look for certain qualities in a person! Here is a list of some “must have” qualities to look for:

1. Honesty
One speaker put it perfectly, “A woman can live with an imperfect man, but never a liar!” You want someone you can trust. In fact it is very hard to have a relationship filled with love if there isn’t trust. And beware of the little lies…it can mean he/or she is very comfortable telling them.
2. Respect
When someone has learned to respect others, they have an amazing quality. You want someone that is in the habit of viewing people, all people with having an amazing value. Lack of respect screams of a person that is full of themselves and hard to get along with. Do you really want to be with that? A person that is respectful will value your thoughts and opinions and body. A respectful person will not make you feel cheap and used. (Btw…if someone makes you feel bad about his/her going to strip clubs or looking at porn…you are not the crazy, jealous girlfriend or boyfriend they may have called you…you just want to be valued and respected…and in fact they are just being incredibly disrespectful!!!)
3. Kindness/Consideration/Communication
Juan Pablo struck down in this category. He seems like a nice guy so I’ll give him that but, he was extremely inconsiderate and bad at communication. This became clear as the Bachelor Season started to wind down. He didn’t ask questions (it was all about him and his needs) and time and time again he was rude under the guise of “being honest.” You need an honest person, but you need someone who can say “hard, honest things” in a very kind respectful and loving way-it’s called being considerate. Also, along the same lines, look for someone that is just a nice person! I will never understand the obsession with the “bad boy/bad girl.” Someone that smiles, talks kindly to people, and is genuinely caring will be “more exciting and fulfilling” in the long run than someone who is “dangerous.” Lastly, I wedged communication in here, because it really is an important quality. Good communicators ask questions and give real answers. (Bad Communication example from Juan Pablo: saying “It’s Ok” all the time…)Communicators learn how to open up and share their feelings.
4. Loyal
My stomach sort of did a flip when Juan Pablo’s family warned the girls how he would just “peace out” when the going is tuff. WHAT? If your boyfriend or girlfriend’s family member tells you this, run for the hills! If you want to be in love for a life time it is absolutely necessary to have the kind of person that cares enough about the relationship to fight for it. Life is full of ups and downs you want someone you can rely on through the journey.

To sum up, look for someone with, “A Good Name”- having a “good name” is having established good character. This is the kind of person you want. This is the kind of person you will admire and love for a lifetime.

As you start dating and “talking” to potential mates guard your heart and check for character. NOTE: Again, no one is perfect; but you want someone who strives for good character, who though they may and will fail, they never stop striving for those good qualities.

UP NEXT: Ever since I was little I was obsessed “love” and “Mr. Right.” I was always sure that I would find my soul mate and be madly in love with him forever. But, as I grew up, I actually wondered if true love could last. Thousands of marriages fall apart every single year; and people fall out of love at an alarming rate! Then, there are the people that stay married and “grow old together”- they simply seem to have nothing better to do than to bicker and complain about the other person. So I pose this question: is life-long love just a fairy tale?
I decided that it isn’t.
Read my next blog entry titled, “True love: just for fairy tales?” Lesson’s from Juan Pablo.

Lessons from Juan Pablo

Lessons from Juan Pablo

Do Prince Charming’s exist? A look at Romance….

I can tell you that after the Bachelor’s Juan Pablo, a lot of girls out there probably lost all hope in the male species. But, there is hope! Our Princes are out there, but they are rare and can be hard to find!

In today’s society, we are hammered into our minds to “follow our hearts”- we are told it’s the only true way to fall in love. However, I say follow your head first and then open your heart and give it away to the RIGHT MAN. The first lesson that we can learn from Juan Pablo actually centers around Nikki, Claire, and all of us women who choose to follow our hearts.

You watched it, painfully I might add, as Nikki and Claire had the red flag of “danger!” “danger!” waving in front of their faces time and time again. They even would question the red flag for a moment and then…right when you think they would do something about it…they succumbed to the “charm’s” and “ok’s” and “everything is great’s” and “honesty” of Juan Pablo. All of us watching saw it, (even me! Who btw at first kept making excuses for him-I wanted to believe he was a good guy!) and we all couldn’t understand why the girls would do nothing about it! Well, girls most of us have all been in Nikki and Claire’s situation.

We have all “followed our heart”, letting our feelings take over our better judgment. What happens, for girls and guys alike, is we start liking someone without knowing what qualities to look for in a person-we just put it all on the line (our hearts, emotions, lives) based souly on what our heart tells us. For me, that meant making excuses for bad things the guy would do, over and over again. My friends would tell me things that they were concerned about, but I would dismiss it and be totally blind in my feelings. It has been said that “love is blind”-which is a good thing when you are in love with a good person (that way you look past their small mistakes!); but “blind love” can just mean “heart break” and “unhappiness” if we have chosen to fall in love with a person lacking good character. I have been guilty of this simply “following my heart” without stepping back and thinking clearly and of course at the end of the road I got a broken heart. There is a better way!

How do we find our Mr. Right? First, we need to step back and figure out the essential qualities that need to be in a life-mate. And I’m not saying a crazy list of “perfections”-REMEMBER NO ONE IS PERFECT! But true love that lasts a long time can happen when you are with someone that has good character.

Next time I’ll write about some key qualities to look for in a mate titled, “For all the things Juan Pablo did wrong, he did one thing right: show us what NOT to look for in a relationship!” haha! Long title I know, but come on, pretty funny!