By Allie Heymann
On Wednesday October 3rd, GUWIL hosted an exploratory event called “A Cup of Tea with Joanna”, a workshop run by Joanna Platt. Ms. Platt is a life coach, a self-described “professional listener”, and she helps women of all ages discover what they want to do with their lives on both a professional and social level. A group of thirty GUWIL members participated in a two part seminar; the first part was a self-reflection, the second part was a round-table discussion of those reflections.
The first part, the self-reflection, made me think about my life objectively – What did I like to do? How did I see myself in the context of others? What were my passions? Where did I see myself going? What made me truly happy? After doing this internal probing, I ended with a written list of about twenty-five memories. These memories covered many facets of my personality, from my love of public speaking to my personal obsession with Sudokus and Tetris.
The second part of the exercise, the discussion was VERY INTERESTING, and it revealed things about myself that I wasn’t expecting to find. Ms. Platt instructed us to circle verbs that continually cropped up on our sheets – I managed to find the word “acting” five times. This struck me as odd because I have never been a performer of any kind, I don’t study theater, and I am not particularly fascinated by famous actors or actresses. Yet, as Ms. Platt pointed out, it is not literal “acting” that defines a piece of my personality – it is the love of performance, the love of speaking and communicating, of making others laugh, of generating conversation, that interests me. These kinds of revelations happened for many of us over the course of the workshop. The takeaway was incredibly enlightening: it is possible to love medicine without being a doctor, it is possible to love politics without being a politician, it is possible to enjoy studying business without ever pursuing a business career. Each of us have latent interests that guide our decisions and stoke our passions. It is important to isolate the roots of our affections: this exercise of isolation will help us to define our futures.
What’s your cup of tea? It is not necessary to have your life figured out today or even tomorrow, next week or a year from now. Do what you love, study what fascinates you, and find the cream and sugar that make your tea different from everyone else’s.