A few weeks ago, I came face to face with a woman who I thought would hate me. Her name is Katherine.
We were both nominated for what I can only describe as the blogging equivalent of the Oscars. I won’t get in to how much of an honor it is to be chosen for Voices of the Year, because if you’re not a blogger then you won’t understand. My mom is scratching her head right now. I don’t have to go into details, because that isn’t what matters. Just know it’s a big deal.
So, Katherine and I were both nominated and we tied for People’s Choice. I don’t know how the decision was made that I would end up reading my winning post in front of a huge audience, while she was simply mentioned as a finalist, but that’s what happened.
I felt a lot of guilt over that tie.
I was worried that Katherine would think there was favoritism involved or that I didn’t deserve to be on the stage. Clearly, her post resonated with the community as well and I’m sure she wondered why she didn’t get to share it.
But, when I saw Katherine, I was greeted with a warm hug and a “Congratulations!”. It wasn’t disingenuous, it wasn’t contrived and at the reception following my reading she grabbed my shoulders and shook me a little when she said, “There is no doubt that your post was meant to be read. You did great!”
She is a class act. She handled the entire situation with grace and didn’t judge me or cry favoritism. She was accepting, understanding and I will forever call her my friend.
I can’t say that I would have been as kind as Katherine. I would like to hope so. I think I would be gracious, but I really don’t know.
Maybe I would have been catty. Maybe I would have appraised the situation with virulence and talked behind Katherine’s back and said she didn’t deserve it. Maybe I would have said that my post was better than hers.
I am nothing if not flawed.
There is a huge lesson to be learned here; which is that bitterness and jealousy is good for no one. If the tables had been turned and I was in Katherine’s situation and hadn’t handled it the way she did, I would have missed out on a friendship with a strong woman, brilliant writer and really good person.
And, instead of tying for the win, I would have completely lost out.