Today I interviewed someone at The Office for a job. Someone I knew. He and I went to grad school together. Haven't seen each other since we graduated 8 years ago.
We weren't really friends in school. We had a couple of classes together, exchanged maybe a dozen sentences in two years. And yet he is someone who walks with me through life, someone who I think of often, someone who in a moment kinda changed my life forever.
You see, our last semester, we took Interpretive Writing together. It was one of those unique workshops led by an amazing author where critiques are respectful not shitty. It was one of those experiences that helps you grow as a writer instead of feeling like a masochist for being one.
After months of getting prodded to write increasingly personal pieces, I wrote about my stepfather's suicide as my final piece. It was the first time I wrote about the experience. It was what paved the way for this piece years later.
When I read it aloud in our last session together, my professor and classmates were floored. More by the subject matter than by the writing, I think. My writing was still very guarded and self conscious at that point. I think the years have made it more raw and honest which makes writing - duh - better.
I remember people saying kind and supportive and awkward things about the piece. I remember my professor telling me I am a natural writer and to never forget that. I remember leaving the class feeling like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I also remember feeling naked. Like I'd stripped off all my clothes and invited everyone to look at me - really look at me.
I remember this guy running after me as I left the building. He said it took real courage to tackle such a tough, personal topic. He paused for a minute, his eyes were brimming with tears, struggling for the right words. He then told me a good friend had killed himself in high school...so...well, he knew how tough it was. Said he couldn't write about it though he'd tried a million times. So he thanked me for doing it. For approaching a topic that needs to come out of the shadows. For being truthful.
In that moment, I saw this man for the first time. Really saw him. I saw that he wasn't a stranger. I saw that he was someone who shared my journey. He was the first person that showed me my pain might help others deal with their own. He was the first person that helped me realize that I might actually have something valuable to say as a writer.
Fascinating how someone can hand you something and then walk away. How they can disappear from your life but not from your memory. They linger there - inspiring you in ways and in moments they'll never quite know.
And today, there he was again, sitting in front of me, interviewing for a job at my company. We caught up and found out we've been living a few blocks apart for years. That we go to the same gym and eat at the same neighborhood restaurants with our partners. Coincidence or serendipity? Not sure. Not sure it matters.
We ended the interview, shook hands and then just as quickly as he walked into my life again, he walked out again. Like an angel dropped in front of me to remind me of how far I've come and that the winding road ahead is brimming with more angels and strangers and beautiful moments.
Banana Republic top and coat
Banana Republic necklace
Louis Vuitton Speedy and earrings
Still obsessing on neutrals.
Need a LND - little nude dress
Especially digging shades of it worn together for day.
Impossibly but casually chic
Built the outfit around this polka dot top. Paired it with the (wrinkled!) BCBG high waisted skirt.
Not too far off from this Stella McCartney look for Resort 2010.
Lots of neutrals for Resort 2010 - at Phillip Lim
And Elise Overland
Dug out my Coach shoes today. Bought them in 2002 at the height of Coach madness. 7 years later I wish they were these Pierre Hardy beauties I peeped on Hahn from Life in Travel. ADORE!
These shoes at Nordie's might be an affordable cut-out alternative.
Maybe this one from Banana that's been in every spring editorial. Keep your eyes peeled for it to go on sale any hot minute.