Nth Life Lesson: Be Nice

Friday was finally here and I was thrilled that another weekend had come – following the Independence Day break on Wednesday. So a lady walk in to make copies of some documents and I notice that she is looking around; which is no surprise because the directors left nothing to chance with regard to interior design detail. So I smiled and offered to show her around.

“I was secretly hoping you would ask me!”

We both laughed.

I took her round, quoting the price ranges for the serviced and virtual office packages, sure to make mention of the special Christmas offer for meeting room hire running to the end of the new year. She was so impressed by the concepts, she was literally doing a little jig in her stilettos when I showed her the kitchenette with the red leather bar stools positioned next to the marble table top. The microwave, coffee maker and fridge lined up with little lunch boxes were a nice final touch.

Then she handed me a card and promised to stay in touch. I immediately noticed the reference to agriculture and my mouth went ahead of me to ask whether she was ‘into the farming business’.

“That’s the way to go. People will always need food and so you will always remain relevant. Plus, you don’t have to report to an office every morning. You can just wake up and go get a pap smear.”

“How did you start?”

That started a 40 minute talk about the pains of convincing people to trust you with their land, the selection process for the best produce to be shipped out to Europe, the pains that come with bureaucratic folly at the airport that sees you incurring financial losses close to half a million Kenya shillings, and the joys of a bank statement following payments made in euros. Her closing remarks centered on doing what you are passionate about from deep within and being nice to people.

Later that afternoon, I had a brief coaching session with one of the directors that had me redefining success and failure. In fact, I have learned that failure is an adamant refusal to keep trying at something or falling and not getting back up. I am since learning to accept that all my actions and plans could yield “different results from the expected” and that that may not necessarily be a bad thing. First, I will know first-hand that plan A did not work. Second, I will consider a plan B and C. Third, I will grow – thicker skin, life lessons, what to prepare for – in the future.

“Above all things, Sharon, be nice to yourself.”

Let us just say that it feels like I have a fresh start at life now; with my insistent search for internships, the move out of home (it is now a month, by the way), the new contacts I am making, steps taken towards furthering my studies next year, and enjoying the little pleasures of life in daily doses.

Cheers to life and all its variant forms of beauty; more so niceness!

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