Kindness and true friends

I’ll admit it. I’ve had a really tough few months. Various bits of my life which seemed secure, all developed a sense of insanity and decided to kick me in the teeth. It was alarming and upsetting. I thought it must all be my fault. My friends were there to prop me up and help me realise that I’ve just had an incredibly unlucky phase. Since I left Audioboo a few weeks back, I’ve started to find myself again. I’m no longer being ignored or undermined and people have told me I’m good at what I do. It’s been so long since I heard someone say that at work and it really knocked my confidence. I worked hard, I made things happen, but it wasn’t the right place for me. There’s a bigger story there, but that’s for another day.

This is just a short, open letter of thanks to the people who have gone out of their way to be there for me. People who really didn’t need to. True friends are there through thick and thin, and my friends have outdone themselves in these last few months, but there are other people too. People I barely know, but have taken the time to get to know me, who’ve helped me believe in myself again. Who’ve seen something of value in me and let me know. Thank you.

I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve such kindness, such time and effort from people (and one of them is currently in space!), but I want them to know how grateful I am. I know that some people just see me doing all the fun amazing things that I like to do, and probably think I don’t have a care in the world. That’s not the case at all. I just know that when there are good times to be had, and adventures to go on, you might as well pull out all the stops so that you can bank those amazing memories for rainy days. I’d rather have great stories and great friends than money anyway.

Sometimes I just feel so humbled that people spare a moment of time for me, that astronauts remember who I am, that I have made friends out of business contacts, and have a network of lovely people around the world (and orbiting it). It’s important never to take these things for granted, and this is me, showing that I don’t.

I do my best to bring people along on the adventures I have. I know that not everyone is in the position to travel or take the risks that I do, but it’s nice when people – like my Granny – live vicariously through me. I’ve done my best to ensure that when I’m on space adventures I include new space tweeps in the fun, and I’ve lined up a special surprise for a Japanese lady called Kayoko who came all the way from Japan to attend a TweetUp at CNES  in France this week. It was her first trip to Europe, her first tweetup and she came all that way on her own. I wanted to find a way to reward that sort of bravery and adventurous spirit, so all being well, a special treat will arrive with her soon.

Lego shuttle!

A special treat arrived for me today. I’m overwhelmed with the kindness and thought that went into it. I’ve a Lego shuttle staring at me, tempting me away from serious work. I can’t quite explain what I’m feeling right now. A mixture of excitement, gratefulness, overwhelmed-ness and humbleness, maybe even a hint of pride. As I said when NASA administrator Charlie Bolden talked about me, “I guess I must have done something right”.

Thank you to all of you’ve who’ve stuck by me and believed in me. You know who you are and I hope you know what you mean to me.

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~ by Kate Arkless Gray on April 2, 2012.

4 Responses to “Kindness and true friends”

  1. Sorry you have left and sorry you have left under a shadow. I will follow you and keep up with your adventures. xxxxx
    I think your lovely and I have enjoyed you journeys.

  2. great people=great support

  3. Audioboo’s loss… your talents were being wasted there anyway! Best wishes for whatever comes next!! @wsblissjr

  4. Good luck, hope you get through the tunnel soon! Sorry to hear of tough times.

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