on listening

That infamous Verizon commercial that is inevitably & unintentionally quoted once a day (at least) around the world is echoing in my head lately.

Can you hear me now?

But I guess really, my question is maybe a bit more cutting than that:

Are you listening?

Does anyone know how to reallytrulydeeplymeaningfullypresently listen anymore?

Is that even a thing?

Is the art the gift of listening dead?

Sometimes I feel like I’m living in the computer.

The world of posts & shares & likes & Podcasts & TEDtalks: in other words… a person’s uninterrupted & uninhibited output.

Like, duuuuuuuuuude, take. a. beat.

Breathe.

If you know me, then you know my love language is listening. If you don’t know that, then you don’t know me.

If you want to get in my heart’s pants, then shut up and listen.

OMG, and if you ask a deep question & then poise yourself to reallytrulydeeplymeaningfullypresently listen… ugh, let’s just say I’m a whore for ears.

Woo, is it getting hot in here or WHAT?!

I’m lonely.

–There, does that cut all that awkward listening-as-sex talk?–

I’m ashamed to admit I’m lonely.

I don’t know why. Brene Brown & I are working on that. (Not personally, but a roundabout-way-of-me-financing-her-books.)

What’s so wrong about being lonely?

Does it show a failure on my part?

Does it show a lack of lovability?

Does it show a selfishness?

Does it show a bitter & brutal introversion that will triumph, sadly, no. matter. what.?

And how does it connect to this decay in societal standards of listening?


I am a good listener. I am empathetic. I can 100% ensure a conversation is 100% about you through sexy follow-up questions (see what I did there?!).

And, I am wondering, if my loneliness might be a consequence of this. Do I hide behind being a good listener? Is my empathy a perfectly-crafted, looks-good-on-the-outside, vulnerability-avoidance technique? Do I make it 100% about you so that it is 0% about my shit?

I’m reading this amazing book that fell into my recommended list from the library-sky, at the perfect time. A tiny miracle really. I didn’t know I needed it.

But, gosh, it’s got me. It gets me. I feel seen.

And challenged.

Right now, I’m sitting with & listening 🙂 to this:

So, that’s it for today.

Thanks for listening…

believing in leading

I want to lead.

There. I said it.

Yes, of course, I want to lead by example.

But also, no, I don’t just want to lead by example. Because, if we admit it, that is really just a way to shrink my potential and soften my ambition into a palatable package.

I want to lead by title too.

Or maybe the better way to say that is I want to lead with a title. Through a title.

This is the way I was born. It is. I am a natural leader. Owning that has not always been easy. It’s still not easy. It is utterly. frightening.

I am scared because so many messages throughout my life have conditioned me to be scared. And small.

As a child, my 3rd grade report card had a note from my teacher that “I was too bossy.” Really? That’s what you want to tell my parents about? And would you say that if I was a boy?

As a teenager, I heard a wonderful woman I looked up to say she wanted “the heart of a ministry leader.” This is because she was a woman. And a woman could not be a ministry leader. Only the wife. Only the cheerleader. Only behind the scenes. Only the heart.

As a girlfriend dating in a conservative church, I was told to let my boyfriend speak first. Speak most.

As a newlywed, I was encouraged instructed to let my husband lead. Which means I must follow. The end.

Be quiet. Be submissive. Be invisible. Be supportive. Be less.

So… be not you.

Be anyone BUT you.

Therein lies the problem. I have spent my life not being me in order to be accepted. By men. By church. By society. By god.

And I’m tired of it.

And… it hasn’t even worked?! I always end up in leadership “actions” or “positions” wherever. I. work. Every. single. school. Every. single. time.

Soooooo… hello world, I am coming out. I am stepping into the light. I am arriving. I am living my truth. I am meing.

I want to take care of staff and students. I want a leadership role that focuses on this.

In pursuit of this, I am currently taking leadership courses at the Principals’ Training Center.

And even after a traumatic, pandemic year, every moment of learning in these intensive courses is confirming who I have always been.

Who. I. am.

A leader.

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