Aspiration, Hospitality, Ideals


Juliet Rome Lifestyle To Be Known

We talked about it—my question, introvert or extrovert?—over coffee this morning. One of the interesting aspects of a career in the service industry is exposure to personality theory and models. We have served a pioneer with a global and acclaimed footprint of work in this behavioral field and origin story involving NASA. Another client/friend has co-authored books with a giant whose bestselling treasure on love language likely sits on most of our bookshelves. Many clients today, in company with our kids, examine their reactions and patterns of behavior by the Enneagram system. One that resonates the most with J. is the Big Five.

We are known, often, by where we sit on a scale. Afraid to offend, we tip-toe around each other in conversation (worried about my sharp to your flat, and vice versa). Does this matter? Do I wish to be known by a behavioral model?

I recently connected with a friend from long ago who is a bit ahead of me on the journey of life. I responded to her text this morning with this thought, Sometimes a friendship comes along that you didn’t know you were missing. I was missing you. 

For how to know and celebrate the human heart, I wish for this model for every one of us: sit with me and listen, even to what I am not saying. Be kind. There is a small raincloud in the sky of my heart. Clap for me. Life is so busy that few notice I have made a small difference in the world around me or have the largesse to consider it and care. See that I am not one thing, but many shades. Speak of truth. I want to know you.

There are two things I want to share. The first has troubled me for nearly a year. She is accomplished, celebrated. She began to speak of trouble. Her words and expressive face were a window. In seconds, she shuttered it with composure and a graceful, nearly imperceptible sidestep. She does not know me well enough to open the window. I accept and respect that. To see briefly, like a curtain fluttering in the wind and then still, that beauty for her as for many of us can’t be in the same room and conversation with difficulty or fear or distress or misfortune … hard. I saw it, of course, because I am my own mistress of deflection … not sure I want to be known.

I know that to find the pearl in the clam of each other we need the courage to be real, to be ugly/beautiful. So hard. And on the other side of the unlatching of secret places I know we must be believed and found trustworthy. Reliable guards of hearts. Quiet to hear because that is the only way to know whether tears or joy represent the truest response to another.

The second thing I want to share is this: American singer, songwriter and guitarist John Mayer muses in the intro to his 2008 film “Where the Light is” that it would take me an hour at this point to ease someone’s mind into knowing nothing about me from thinking they know something about me. I like that. Like getting to know an old/new friend all over again, and in the spirit of the Big Five model, being known is about starting at open.

About Laurie

Laurie Carney is a strategist, writer, editor and account executive in her professional life. She is at home with her husband Jeffrey, also a strategist and creative director/writer, and silly rescue Poshie, Bonnie (aka Golden Bear). She has four beautiful children now that her son and daughter are happily married and five small grands playing starring roles.
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