Five or six years ago, I really started down this road of authenticity and understanding what are my unique gifts. One of the exercises I did was to ask 5 people who knew me, from different areas of my life, to answer a few questions about me.
Growing up, I had a strong desire to be “cool” as do most kids. In school, I am not even sure I could define it, but it was clear who had it. Those were the kids who wore the right clothes, said witty things, and never looked too ruffled... and that was definitely not...
When a prospect agreed to start working with me a couple of years ago, I was pretty excited. They were really nice people and would be my third largest client by monthly billings. The problem was that it was the wrong kind of work for me.
In middle school, I was friends with a boy whose parents were divorced and he lived with just his mom, who worked evenings. He invited me for a sleepover one Friday night with a bigger plan to hang out with some girls across town without his mom’s knowledge.
When I was in college, my maternal grandfather passed away. While he was not great with kids, I did spend quite a bit of time with him. As one family friend put it, I was “7 going on 35.” So, he found me to mature enough to have around.
Most evenings, my family spends time reading together. We started the practice nearly 10 years ago, and it is an important collective family experience. As the boys are getting older, we have missed more nights of reading, but we still read as often as possible.
Growing up, everyone in my neighborhood had regular jobs. My parents were teachers. The neighbors were a steel worker, a postal carrier, and other people with “regular” jobs. That is why it was such a shock to us when a new family moved in two doors down.