Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Breakfast with Mr. Ron

It's kind of like therapy, Dear Abby, and John Tecsh all rolled into one. That's right, it's breakfast with Mr. Ron.

Morning coffee is the norm when Mr. Ron calls and asks you if want to get together to chat. Actually, he doesn't really ask you if you want to have coffee or chat. It's more like "I still drink coffee in the mornings...", which is when you think "If Mr. Ron didn't still drink coffee at any point during the day, it either means that hell has frozen over or that the world is coming to an end." But what you say is "Want to get together in the morning?" Of course he says yes and of course you set up the time and place. When you arrive at the designated coffee shop, you order a nice, strong cup of coffee and get comfortable. You know that the conversation will entail a variety of topics from politics to theatre to school to life in general.

This morning was no different. I bare my soul. Mr. Ron listens, nods his head, his eyes well up as he feels your pain and joy, and then he offers the advice that you obviously asked for by agreeing to have coffee with him. Today's conversation started with politics and then moved to more personal subjects.

I'm not going to go into the dirty details. But I do want to share some lessons that I learned over the summer that were the discussed this morning.

  1. "Just when you thought it was about to work..." I know that reading this, you are thinking that that is a negative comment to make. However, when I hear this and when I say it, it brings a very positive thought to my mind. The best example that Mr. Ron could have set for me this summer was that no matter the situation, he was prepared for the plan that we made to not go as planned. However, until then, we were going to keep on a truckin'. It's that simple.
  2. The only constant in life is change. I wanted everything to be the same this summer as I headed back to the Springer for the ninth time. But when I arrived, I found that while the Springer was the same (kids still wearing gray tee shirts, teachers teaching, Mr. Ron giving "Mr. Ron talks"), I was vastly different. As Mr. Ron put it, two weeks was enough time to figure out that my role at the Springer was different, but not enough time to learn what my new role was. I'm not the girl that spent every summer at the Springer. I went away, went to college, came home, got a job, went through some very personal and emotional situations and the girl that existed just two and a half years ago doesn't exist anymore. That sounds hard and it was (and is). However, I am making peace with that.
  3. Inasmuch as I thought that I knew myself REALLY well, I don't. I mean, I know me pretty well and there are parts of me that that I can still say I know. This summer confirmed that. However, there were parts of me that I either didn't know at all or was refusing to admit that I didn't know. I learned that I am more of a big picture girl that is unafraid of making big decisions. But I finally admitted that when it comes to smaller pictures, I am so emotionally invested and attached that I have a hard time making those pictures work and am actually afraid of making decisions in those areas. I learned that I can fire someone, how to be a better listener, that I am not a mind reader, how to be a better boss, and I learned that maybe I am not ready for the hat that Mr. Ron asked me to wear this summer.

Mr. Ron offered opinions and advice on my future, my present, and how to deal with the past. Per usual, he told me he was on my team and that he was proud of me. Ahh. Sweet music to my ears. I told him that I was going on an job interview this afternoon and after some pointers from him, I know for a fact that I have never been so prepared for an interview. Ever.

Aside from the great advice, the opportunity to vent, and the feelings of being loved, admired, and supported, I came away with some great one liners and quotes. Mr. Ron is good at that. He's just so darn quotable. And with that in mind, I'm just going to "roll with it", knowing that the plan is "subject to change."

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