I saw a post on social this summer. It was one photo and a few simple sentences. The photo showed a collection of work ID badges for “Faye Lewis.” The first was marked by a KFC logo and the first name, “Faye.” The second again showed the KFC logo, but carried the moniker, “ “Faye Lewis, Manager.” The next badge indicated that Faye went on to become the “Manager of Housekeeping” at a residential care facility. Still additional badges indicated Faye’s move into the medical field. First as a nursing assistant, then LPN and finally RN, complete with a bright smiling photo of Faye Lewis in the corner. The post included the encouragement, “Not all goals are accomplished overnight. Success can take time. Take your time.”
As I looked at the progression of each badge and the life change involved in each, my eyes welled up. I had this overwhelming urge to find Faye Lewis and give her a great big hug!
My mind settled not only on the value of the accomplishments, but of the day in and day out steps of hard work, the powerful pull-ups one ladder rung at a time and persistence involved in each. Did Faye come home from a long day at KFC, cook dinner, clean the house, help her kids with homework, do laundry, pack lunches, take a shower and THEN sit down at a poorly lit kitchen table to look through the want ads? Did she bring her medical terminology books with her and read on her breaks while working in housekeeping? Did she return from a 12-hour-shift of caring for others to be met with the needs and emergencies of her own family? Did she stay up into the early hours of the morning studying for her LPN, then, BSN and finally her RN exams every single day Until she met her goal? What did that feel like? No seriously…what did that feel like?
The tag to the post is perfect. “Not all goals are accomplished overnight. Success can take time.” Truth is…very, very rarely is success immediate. It’s built on long nights and exhausting days. It’s built on tears of frustration and guilt from missing school performances and soccer games. It’s failing more than once and getting back up. It’s doubting yourself and talking yourself out of quitting. It’s pushing through when your body aches, your mind is weak and the nay-sayers are louder than your fans.
But what does it feel like now, Faye Lewis? When you put on your scrubs and tack on that RN badge. I hope your heart swells with pride because not only did you reach your goals, you inspire all of those at their own late night kitchen table who just hung up their apron with a mountain of work ahead. You remind us all that hard work matters, change is hard and success built on sweat is more than sweet.
Thank you, Faye Lewis and congratulations!