Today when she walked in to work, she was late, over twenty minutes late. Nobody seemed to mind. It was almost as if they were all relieved she had made it. Who could blame them? It was hard to hate her. Envy and jealousy yes, but not hate. Or maybe they were just confused on the exact emotions to feel towards her. It was a mixture of love, dislike admiration and respect. Clearly she had earned it!
She was smiling. She always smiles. It does not matter that everyone thinks the place is too small for her ilk. She does not pay much attention to how her very colleagues speak of her family or the schools she went to and wonder (sometimes loud enough for her to hear) what she is doing working with they of the village schools and humble backgrounds. Vienna is happy. She loves what she does and she does it with love and joy. Her clients are happy around her. Her employers are proud of her. Her clients feel reassured every time they walk into the firm and she is there. They pray she lasts as long as they will be clients.
Today she was greeting everyone with that signature smile she always flashes as she walked past them heading to her work station. Her head held high and her beautiful shoes making very minimal noise. She heard the “you look beautiful” song and smiled from her depths. Nobody would have guessed she looked like that today without intending. She woke up and realized all she had planned to put on was in the dirty laundry basket. She hadn’t done her laundry in a while and her wardrobe wasn’t the fit to burst kind. So she managed to find among her “I don’t do you anymore”, pieces she could put together. When she looked at the beauty staring back at her in the full length mirror even she was proud of her creative self.
On her desk was a note.
What makes you so happy? What makes you okay with very little? What is wrong with you?
She wanted to write back immediately. Part of that made her happy the other a little angry and then she pitied the anonymous author. She did not reply. You see, Vienna is different. She loves people, she enjoys peace. She guards the peace with herself with her whole being. She appreciates everything she has and every person in her life. She has no time to feel low because she is not where people think she should be or where everyone else has already reached. She has parents back in the village who are proud of her. She makes a point of speaking to them every day when she gets back home after a draining day at work. They give her strength. Aren’t they the ones who have instilled since her childhood the spirit of hard work and the fear of God? She knows all too well what they expect of her and she does not disappoint. She would not.
She has siblings, nieces and nephews who look up to her. Her little niece wants to be just like Aunt Vienna when she grows up. Vienna loves her family, they love her back. I think it is the love she receives and gives that makes her glow like that. It is impossible to be surrounded by all that love and have room for hate or sadness. For such a people lover, she has very few close friends. She can count them on her hand. However I do not know any one person who has encountered her and did not have awesome things to say. She is easy to be around. She knows how to strike a conversation immediately. She has a certain power for making one feel at home even on the first day; one would feel they have known her forever.
Is she perfect? No. She knows that all too well. She may rub people the wrong way or get offended at times, but she will always be the first to make peace. She does not keep grudges. She will continue to be friends with the person(s) everyone would advise to do away with. What we will never know is how these friends who had once threatened friendship end up being her most loyal and best of friends. I have always admired Catholics and how they value the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Vienna believes in forgiveness. She asks for it and she gives it freely.
Do you see how easy it is to love and hate her? She does not take kindly to being disrespected or taken for granted. She makes this known in the most subtle of ways. Yet one can’t help but agree with her, always, even if after major struggles of wit. She is contented with what she has. She may not be where she wants to be just yet, but that does not put her light out. She lets it shine. She is a believer of God’s speed. She blooms where she is sown. If she is not recipe for happiness, I do not know what is, I will never know what is!