Today, I had an unusual visitor in my office. One of those colleagues you always exchange pleasantries with on the corridor or walkway, but never get to have a proper conversation.

I was having a pretty busy day up until he arrived, and I barely looked up at who knocked, when I motioned that they should come in. When I looked up and saw him, I froze. I stopped all I was doing, and closed my laptop. “This must be important”.

He was in my office to confirm the news of my transfer, and to tell me the things he felt needed to be said before it is too late. I informed him that I had not yet gotten a formal letter of transfer, but I had been informed about the move.

He went ahead and said what his heart led him to say. His words flooded both our eyes and left me lost for words.

In front of me was someone I could have sworn was a stranger, yet he was telling me stories I did not even pay attention to. Stories that shaped some of his choices.

Our conversation ended with visible relief. That is what happens when what needs to be said is said.

When he left, I thought about the courage it took for him to be so vulnerable, and how he made me comfortable to also be vulnerable. I thought of the people I could have given the gift he just gave me, but I was never courageous enough to.

I am thankful for those who inspire me to be better by being themselves.

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