Yesterday my Eldest Bro spoke to me – over the phone, because he is awesome like that (he calls) – about personal integrity and reminded me, in his eldest brother way, not to give it up. That perhaps a place has its own values, good ones even – they’re simply not one-size-fits-all. One decides then moves on is all.

“But if you do,” he cautioned with a light but serious tone, “If you choose the money, or whatever is associated with trading your personal values, you can’t go around making [anymore] comments. You made the call.”

I am always grateful that for all of my flawed sensitivities and character, this was never one of them: that I’m raised and loved by individuals who hold their own – ground, conscience, and character. Alhamdulillah.


Today my Eldest Brother said these two points. He shared the anecdotal tale of a person who enjoys and is good at public speaking but worked in a place that had no platform for that vice thus his strength was left untapped, and of needing to read more books to better understand and align with ‘bottom lines’. The former is a story about understanding what is ahead and the latter about trying to make the present work.

In both, I understood they were his way of telling me, without telling me, to toughen up.

“How many years did you work before you finally identified your niche and strengths?” I asked.

“Millenials,” he said to his wife, “Instant gratification. Simon Sinek’s talk.”

“No,” I countered.

“I’m asking so I know to be less hard on myself for not being where I think I ought to be.”

I am not unhappy (work is fun though crazy busy these days) but there really is, so I learned, a gap between where I am and how I’m perceived by others versus how I see myself. The gap is startlingly wide. There also is, it seems, an internal resistance that persists; an open wound that not only is visible to naked eyes, but also gnaws from within.

Is it strange, or telling, were I to admit this? I am the lead protagonist of the stories I write and I always write her as someday walking the path of dreams. Passion.


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