Have you ever noticed the flower girl at a wedding? Or have you ever been a flower girl yourself? I was young when I had the honor, but I remember that I felt fabulous on that day. My hair was perfectly braided and my bangs reached new heights. I remember the path that I left for my soon-to-be aunt of soft petals and looking up to see so many smiling faces. While I don’t know the actual symbolization of a flower girl, I like to think that it is a path of joy and happiness. Everyone is smiling and awing at the cuteness of the little girl that is embracing her role and leading the way for the bride.
As I’ve grown into an adult, I think about the path that I am leaving and can only hope that it is as joyful as the one I left on that summer day in the ‘90s. When people look at me now, figuratively speaking, do they see the same thing? Or am I leaving a path that is less desirable?
One thing I know for sure is that all of my words and actions cannot be taken back. Ever. I am an analyzer in that I like to think through my thoughts before taking any action. I’ve learned this through experience in challenges at work that have led to difficult conversations. I’ve learned this by disagreements with my friends or family and feeling sick after a difficult conversation. I’ve learned this by being a bullied kid trying to defend myself by saying nasty things. I will always remember the things I’ve said, and I forever regret the negativity that I left. I want to live every day with the intention of leaving a legacy of kindness.
I think about this as it relates to my career as well. The path that I leave with every employer, every manager, and every colleague will most definitely have an impact on the future of my career. If you live in a small community like I do, we use the phrase “everybody knows everybody.” When it boils down to my daily operations, I never want to leave a room after reacting to something with the feeling of regret. I can’t take back the initial reaction, so I need to think it through. While sometimes my analyzing habit can lead to prolonging a solution, I typically feel satisfied with the outcomes and my reaction. We’ve all heard so many times that no matter the situation, the only thing we can control is how we react. Every reaction to every situation is part of the path that is being created.
What does this path look like? Is it dark and dreary and full of negativity? Or is it bright and cheery, like petals laid out by a flower girl?
My path isn’t perfect, and I know that there are gaps where the petals have fallen. I know I should have done better, but it’s already laid out, so all I can do is focus on today and how I’m laying my path for the future.