Reflections on Our 3rd Birthday

Recently, Front and Centered celebrated its 3rd birthday. Wow! That is kind of hard to believe. In so many ways it feels as though we just launched it and yet, here I sit and type post number 148. That in itself is a minor miracle.

When I reflect on the past few years, and the work that has gone into this blog, a few things really jump out at me. First, at the start, I didn’t realize just how much work it would be to keep this going by writing a new post every week. I now have a newfound appreciation for daily authors!  The second, and frankly more important reflection, is I didn’t expect how rewarding the effort would be.

It’s often fun writing the posts, but the conversations they start among the Front and Centered community is much more enjoyable. Our goal from the beginning was to create a community that shared experiences and relatable perspectives, regardless of our role or place in work and life. I wanted to inspire people to think differently and open up about how their own life experiences impact their professional journey.

I’ll be honest, at first it was mostly one-way, and I was frustrated by that. Wondering why aren’t more people commenting and sharing their thoughts with me? Is anyone reading this thing?

But then something happened.

Colleagues began stopping me in the hallway, or the cafeteria, to share how a post reminded them of a time when something similar happened. Clients sent me emails relating their own stories, and told me that they forwarded the blog to their teammates and family members, feeling that there is something in it for everyone. Friends, family and colleagues suggested topics for me to write about, and some offered to write guest posts. Even my own sister Michele, became a regular commenter and even a guest blogger, sharing her fascinating insight as a teacher!

And along the way, over 3 short years, and when no one was looking, a community was quietly created.  We are changing the conversations we have with each other. The reach and impact that Front and Centered has had on you has truly humbled me. But even more than that, I have personally gained something so valuable – inspiration from all of you. Each and every comment, hallway conversation, email, guest post has inspired me. And for that, thank you.

It’s amazing what we can learn about one another if we are open to changing the conversation.

Today I want to leave you with something special. Last week I wrote a post called “What Are You Doing When No One is Looking?” It’s about how true character is revealed when we aren’t in a spotlight.  Since it published, I received quite a few comments and emails. One in particular really hit me and so I want to share it with all of you. A colleague told me the post reminded her of a special moment in her life, her wedding, when she shared a beautiful poem with her parents. So today, I leave you with this poem, I dare you not to feel inspired (and a little teary-eyed) by the end. Thank you, Colleen, for sharing this gem.

When You Thought I Wasn’t Looking
by Mary Rita Schilke Korazan

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator,
and I wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw you feed a stray cat,
and I thought it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw you make my favorite cake for me,
and I knew that little things are special things.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I heard you say a prayer,
and I believed that there was a God to talk to.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I felt you kiss me goodnight,
and I felt loved.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw tears come from your eyes,
and I learned that sometimes things hurt,
but it’s alright to cry.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw that you cared,
and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I looked….
and I wanted to say thanks for all the things
I saw when you thought I wasn’t looking.