things i learned from a lyft driver

Life Lessons From an 87-Year-Old Lyft Driver

I stepped into the Lyft car and paused mid-air, hovering above the grey upholstered backseat. I had one foot in, one foot out. My driver was a man, well past his golden years. An internal debate struck up, making a legitimate point: Is it safe to ride with this old dude? Or, should I cancel and find a new driver?

I was already late to ballet class—if I got another driver, there was no way I would make it on time. The heavy February drizzle slid off my hood, dampening the interior of the car. It smelled like wet carpet and Old Spice. For some reason, that comforting combo ended the internal debate and I decided to ride with the old dude.

A few awkward wet boot squeaks later, followed by the slam of the door, my ass was parked in the car. “Hu…hi,” I managed to say finally. “I’m Britt.”

He smiled at me in the rearview mirror, with twinkling mischievous blue eyes that very much reminded me of my dad. “Hi, Britt. I’m 87 years old.”

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katrina naomi love your enthusiasm

Love Your Enthusiasm with Katrina Naomi

Writing involves a strange mixture of mystery and magic. What writers do many cannot attempt. Poetry seems to amplify these mysterious and magical qualities. So, what does life as a poet actually look like? Let’s find out from a full-time poet, shall we?

Katrina Naomi is on Love Your Enthusiasm this week. Katrina is an award-winning poet who lives in Cornwall, UK. You’re already picturing her as she is pictured here, wearing a vintage dress with a flower in her hair, whipping up a lovely piece of work at her desk as willowy trees rustle gently outside.

But, Katrina is here to tell you that poetry isn’t all about whimsical scenes and romantic exchanges. Writing poetry is about using your own language, not sounding poetic. It’s a matter of turning up at your desk and just getting on with it. It’s about being yourself and being bold.

Bold is the perfect word to describe Katrina. She swims in the sea every morning, without a wetsuit in 50-degree (plus or minus) choppy waters. And she’s on a mission to demystify poetry and make it more accessible to people from all walks of life.

In this episode, Katrina shares her exploratory nature as a poet, from creative processes and requirements that work well for her to other passions she resorts to when she needs to step away from her poetry and let it breathe. Katrina also shares her perspectives on fear and rejection…and I can happily report that her responses are refreshingly honest and open.

Hope you have a lovely time with Katrina.

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ra avis love your enthusiasm

Love Your Enthusiasm with Ra Avis

“The blogging community went to prison with me. They went to my husband’s funeral with me. They physically showed up at my husband’s funeral so I wouldn’t have to be there alone—or with people that didn’t understand or didn’t know him. And when you have something like that in your life, that is a family.”

Because so many of you are engrained in the blogging community, it is highly likely that you already know today’s guest on Love Your Enthusiasm, Ra Avis of Rarasaur.

I’ve followed Ra’s blog for many, many years. Her writing has always been exquisite and electric—and to play off her name—every piece is beautifully and unapologetically raw. I was one of the people in the blogging community who was there in spirit as she went to prison, as she lost her husband of ten years just two months before her release.

Through blogging, we build indescribable connections with one other, even if we are never able to meet up in person for that coffee or that drink. What I appreciate about Ra is her openness about her life, how she shares her stories and experiences to help others understand their struggles and find a way to heal when everything is broken.

In this episode, Ra talks about how the practice of forgiveness has impacted her life, bringing in her perspective as a widow who was formerly incarcerated. Ra has lived through more than many of us will ever experience in our lifetime—or even begin to grasp—yet she continues to approach life with admirable vulnerability and an unstoppable belief in the power of community support and radical love.

Kick back and enjoy this deep, beautiful conversation with Ra.

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jane leach love your enthusiasm

Love Your Enthusiasm with Jane Leach

2020 is an inward journey for all of us. We are pausing and reflecting more, and we are spending more time at home. As a result, many of us are suddenly paying attention to the home life we neglected all those years when we were busy commuting and traveling.

We’ve started looking at our homes as the new epicenter of lives for working, relaxing, loving, cooking, exercising, and sleeping. Which is why, while other industries hang by a thread, home improvement is booming this year. And, why it was a highly relevant time for me to talk to the founder of iarchitect, Jane Leach, on Love Your Enthusiasm.

On the show, Jane shares how she uses her passion for eco-home architecture to help people live more intentionally and consciously, starting with our most important environment…our homes. In Jane’s words, “Everybody deserves to have a home that supports the best version of their life.”

Jane taught me that approximately 21% of architects are female, a stat that blew me away as I expected that number to be higher at this point. It’s great to see that Jane is doing something about it as one of the few female architects, ensuring women’s needs are better represented in their homes and that homeowners are making conscious decisions to protect the planet along the way.

Jane is such a lovely person. I hope you get tons of ideas and inspiration from this episode.

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writing for yourself

Keep Some of Your Writing to Yourself

I have a confession. I’ve been writing things and not sharing them with you. I’m keeping some of my writing to myself for a change. It feels like a secret, one that means little to anyone else but means everything to me.

I used to keep writing all to myself. I kept a journal from a very young age and I always hid my journal beneath my mattress—as if to protect my words from the prying eyes of the public.

In school, I felt the teacher betrayed us when she gave a writing prompt, encouraged us to spill our secrets onto the page in solitude, then turned on all of us by turning quiet writing time into show and tell. If any student refused to share their writing with the class, then the teacher would do it.

I never shared my writing. I cringed over the years as teachers read my work to the class. Thankfully, most of my teachers kept my work anonymous as they read it aloud—but anyone who bothered to observe me would see the sweat and the blushing, every ounce of fear and anxiety releasing through my skin before I imploded.

Eight years after launching this blog, four novels later, and thousands of pieces of content released into the business wild, I still sweat and blush anytime I share my work. That anxiety never left, that selfish urge to hide my words beneath my mattress.

But, I kept giving my words away, away, away. Away to everyone and forgetting to keep some of them to myself. Until recently when I started taking up my childhood nighttime ritual of journaling in bed. Journaling about nothing in particular, for nobody else, for no objective or reaction.

Continue reading “Keep Some of Your Writing to Yourself”