Episode 50 Being A Believing Mirror

April 26, 2023

Good morning from New York City this morning. I’m sitting here thinking about the woman from one of those services – this one’s called the Real Real – that resell your clothing online. She was going through my closet with me, and we were having fun banter, mostly because I worked in the fashion business for 20 years and I am making sure that she knows the details so we can get the highest price, right? This is a limited addition pair of shoes from Gucci, or this is a double-faced cashmere coat from Jill Sander. I was giving her very specific details.

We ended up having conversation about fashion and I offered to make her a cup of coffee. We started talking and I turned the conversation onto her. So what’s your job? What else have you done?etc  She was working at Restoration Hardware pre Covid, and it seems that since then she’s changed jobs many times. I could tell she was a little shy to talk to me and I said to her, listen, I work with a lot of young people, so this is your chance as we’re having coffee. Tell me your story. Let me see if I can help you imagine what might be next for you.

We got into the details of her story and it turns out she’s changed jobs many times since Covid. I was asking her questions about what her favorite job was, and why it was her favorite job. I was trying to get to the heart of the matter of what she really loves, right? It’s clear she needs to work and make money. We all do. But what is it that she really loves? What is it that brings her alive? That’s how I was trying to direct the conversation.

The point I want to get to is that at the end she says my sister who works in HR told me I’m a red flag.  Whoa. Can you imagine being told by someone your red flag? I think it basically paralyzed her. I tried to highlight for her what parts of her story were relevant when she was talking to someone. She had worked three years at Restoration Hardware pre Covid, and she’s moved around a lot since, but I gave her new language like she was restless she’s trying to find her next home. She wants to move around less.

Anyway, I think the point of the story is that when someone says something about you it’s easy to subconsciously internalize it, and I’d like to think that I helped her take back her own story. But commenting can go the other way, too. Sometimes we can make a comment to somebody – or be the recipient of a comment – that makes us see ourselves and see possibility in a whole different light. My father was a genius at this in a very organic, natural way. He would always say that one positive thing and mirror back possibility. He was a believing mirror, and I love that language. My father was a believing mirror for me, and for everybody around him.

I think it’s beautiful when someone helps us to see possibility.

My childhood friend Diane did that for me a couple of times. One time, in particular, we were young and poor and we were on the bus back to the airport in Madrid, where I was visiting her. It was the first time I’d ever been in a non-English speaking country. On the bus she says to me Con have you ever thought about coming to Madrid? You picked up a lot of Spanish. I burst out laughing. Oh my gosh. I was on the floor. I had never been exposed to a foreign language like that, and it was the first time I felt so entirely helpless. She went on Con, I’ve been studying Spanish for over 10 years. Trust me, you have a good ear. And with her words, she planted a seed that changed the entire trajectory of my life. She was right. I have an excellent ear. I think it’s because I played music all my life. Music and language are developed in the same part of the brain.

I went back to London where I was studying abroad and promptly got myself accepted on the Madrid program. I spent the following semester in Spain and, as I said, her words completely changed the trajectory of my life.

It’s really beautiful when someone helps us to see possibility.  I want to end with this quote that I absolutely love and it sits on my desk: be the reason someone feels seen, heard, and supported. author unknown. I think that’s beautiful.

That’s all for now. Until next time, from my heart to yours.

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dear Listeners,

Friends say I live my life out loud. That’s because I’m a curious, adventurous person and, as an appreciator, I simply love to share what lights me up. Consider this is your invitation into my fun, multi-faceted world.

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