Small Steps, Big Differences

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Last week I was lying in bed thinking about wanting to get more involved with the younger generation.  I wanted an opportunity to engage with them more and to share any knowledge or experiences I have that could possibly impact them, if even in a small way.  The very next morning I received a text inviting me to do mock interviews with eleventh grade students at Westwood High.  Talk about manifesting! (No, I’m actually not an old girl of Westwood.  I attended Immaculate)

Fast forward to today.  While walking through the school there was hushed chatter…”I like her hair”, “She’s pretty”, ” She looks like such and such”.  I pretended I couldn’t hear any of it and chuckled to myself.  Listen to them with all these praises while all I’m thinking is that I hope I don’t fail them (or myself).  I had prayed that I would be able to connect with the girls and have valuable input to offer them.

Being at Westwood felt a little surreal.  These young ladies are so disciplined and well-mannered that it leaves you a little dazed.  I was very impressed.  So let’s talk about the interviews now…The girls came dressed in business attire, and I gave them feedback on their portfolios and pointers on how they could improve their answers to the questions I asked.  I was also able to offer some guidance on their career paths.  For most, this was the first interview they were experiencing, and I’m grateful I had a chance to help prepare them for when they find themselves in an actual interview.  Even if I had tough critique I was careful not to be rough in delivering it.  “Miss, will persons in the interview always be this nice?” one student asked. “Deeeefinitely not” I answered. “Sometimes they’ll be like this”…and I proceeded to give her my best Miranda Priestly (Devil Wears Prada). If you know me well, you know my imitations are ON POINT so just imagine 😂

While the students were memorable for some reason or the other, one stood out in particular, and I think she’s a big part of the reason I ended up there.  It’s like I was meant to meet her.  She was pleasant, reserved and unassuming, but something about her was engaging.  She had a beautiful smile and a sparkle in her eyes, and there was something about her spirit.  It was the kind you instantly feel drawn to.  Something in her portfolio sparked my interest and I asked her to explain some more about what she had written.  She was very open in sharing that she had been through a very dark period and suffered from severe depression, but she was now at a place where she was feeling more victorious in the battle.  Just her sitting there and sharing her story showed great strength, and I was moved.

“Do I look like I have it together?” I asked her.  She smiled shyly, nodded her head vigorously and said “Yes.”  “I don’t always have it together” I told her. “Sometimes I look like this but I don’t have it together.  Sometimes I’m a MESS, and there are times I’m really down, but I keep going and believing that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”  We spoke some more and I hope something connected and that she was able to take away something valuable from our exchange.  I’m so happy I had the opportunity to meet her and all the other young ladies.  There are some impressive and powerful ladies ready to take the world by storm.

Here’s to more positive manifestations, more meaningful exchanges and more small steps toward making big differences.

The Stoplight Chronicles: What Are You Thankful For?

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I was at a stoplight and was approached by a boy coming to wipe my windshield.  He always spots me.  I had to ask, “But wait, you’re going to wipe my windshield every time you see me?”  He offered a big smile in response and started wiping away.  He then said, “I bought a pair of sandals yesterday. $600!”  He was grinning from ear to ear, obviously quite thrilled with his purchase.  “See them here!” he said excitedly, and gestured for me to look.  I stuck my head out the window to inspect and complimented him, telling him that he had gotten a great deal. His smile spread even more, if that was even possible.

I drove off laughing and thinking he’s something else to be begging and here telling me about a pair of sandals he bought. Almost as soon as I thought that, it then came to me that maybe the sandals he was wearing yesterday were falling apart and that he was in dire need of new ones.  Picturing his bright smile and how excited he was about a $600 pair of sandals then touched me and humbled me.  Look at what he is so thrilled about.  It makes you stop and think and put your own life into perspective.  What are you thankful for today?

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