Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Challenging Myself

I know I owe you all a catch up post on the rest of April and the start of May, but I did promise that things were going to be busy, so you'll have to wait a bit longer. But yesterday was one of those special days, and I want to capture it before the memory fades too much.

I started off the day by being a "guest speaker" at Max's preschool class. Other parents had been coming in to talk about their jobs, and "Vice President, Bank Loan Product Analyst" just wasn't the easiest thing to distill to a bunch of four year olds. I finally came up with the idea of teaching them how to make charts, and since the class often votes on topics, we created a chart together. I brought in some examples of charts I make, we talked about numbers (the biggest one they could think of was 10) and then we did a poll to count everyone's favorite fruits. I brought in stickers and tiny calculators for all the kids, and it was a blast. Max was so happy to have me there, and I think he was proud to show off his mom a bit.

 The day turned to evening and it was time to challenge myself further by attending my first event from Pivot Boston. I've been following Boston Mamas for years, and when Christine posted about the event, I decided to take a leap and just go. I was nervous about what to wear, how to network, and mostly about driving myself to a new part of town. I wasn't feeling very confident when I got out of the car, but I immediately met someone at the parking lot payment kiosk, and the night just unfolded from there.

The space was warm and inviting, filled with women who all seemed to be chatting a bit nervously, like myself. When I found a seat, a pair of sisters immediately complimented me on my dress, and I laughed because I'd been feeling uninspired by my outfit. The speakers began and we heard from Whitney Johnson, the author of the newly released book Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream. It was so encouraging to hear the story of a fellow finance person who felt like she needed a little bit more from life. One of the metaphors she discussed was needing to be both the harbor and the boat that sails into it; the idea of being both the safe place and the instrument of navigation really resonated with me. I can't wait to get started on her book.

After the lecture they announced the winners of the various door prizes, and I was only half listening since I wasn't expecting to win. However, I ended up winning the big prize of the evening: a custom made dress from Carrie Hammer! I hadn't heard of Carrie before, but I am so excited about it. I had a custom made dress for my bat mitzvah, and I loved it so much, so I'm really looking forward to having one as an adult. And already worrying that I'll love it so much that one won't be enough.

Winning the dress gave me the most amazing ice breaker to begin conversations for the rest of the evening. I met dozens of interesting women, and we were encouraged to share our goals and dreams with each other. Whitney's book deals with women giving themselves the goal of just having a dream, no matter what it was. I hadn't really considered it before then, but I will be challenging myself to articulate my dreams more clearly. It was such an inspiring evening, I felt like I was sailing home as I drove through the streets of Boston.

So now I need to find a way to bottle that feeling and sell it, or at least find a way to channel it when I need it again.

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