over the years i have had a number of young women work for me-- women in their twenties who have been interested in design or architecture, women who have been just trying to make ends meet while they were in school, women who have been interested in fair trade or going into business for themselves someday.
while they work for me we talk-- we get to know each other-- i get to hear their stories. i hear about their hopes, their uncertainties, and- of course- their love lives. often they ask me questions about my life and my work-- questions ranging from the very professional about working with clients or why i wanted to own my own business-- to the very personal questions about how i knew that my husband was the man i should marry (i just knew), and does the fact that we are now divorced suggest that i made a mistake (which it doesn't). they want to know how i got where i am-- they cannot imagine the twenty-something 'me' that i describe. i was shy and introverted-- confident in my own abilities but severely uncertain about my place in the world. we laugh, we work-- getting the tasks associated with running my businesses done every day-- in a companionable female-centered space. they bring creative energy to my world, ideas and skills that i don't have. they bring the freshness of new love, or of being in the early stages of whatever their chosen careers. they are nice people to be around.
they go on to be architects and designers, artists, librarians, bartenders, pastry chefs, social media geniuses, students of public health, marketing experts, social entrepreneurs, textile artists-- all creators of great things.
what they don't know-- though i try to tell them often-- is how much they inspire me. they are at the beginning of their adult lives. they are exploring who they will become and how they will get there. they are learning that life is a process and a cycle and a never-ending battle for being one's self. they are succeeding at being who they want to be. they are beautiful and human and very much appreciated by me.
to kate, sarah, molly, marcella, christina, haley, and cara-- thank you. thank you for inspiring me to be better at what i do every day.
much, much love....