This is an incredibly busy time of the year. Work can be very stressful and I seem to be burning the candle at both ends and find myself with a very short fuse. Lucky for me I have friends who not only understand the stress, but allow me to just be whatever it is I need to be without taking it personally. God love them.
I work with the public. I talk to strangers every single day and I am introduced to various personalities, backgrounds, cultures, and stereotypes. It's fascinating really. And I try very hard to address people by their first name or Mr. and Mrs - however they've introduced themselves to me. Typically this results in mutual respect and things are pleasant. It's simple really - be kind and get kindness in return.
What I find interesting about talking to strangers is the way they react to their names. For instance, just yesterday I spoke with a woman and midway through our conversation I used her name again. At that moment her voice lightened and she became more engaged in the call. It was as if she wasn't accustomed to being personally addressed. By the end of our talk her voice had more confidence and was less crackly. Saying her name gave her confidence. Wow. Her name. The power of words can be significant. Especially when saying and acknowledging someone's name. But tt really is that simple sometimes.
Another situation I commonly find myself in is reassuring someone that even if they know very little about the arts, they aren't stupid. So many times a man will call wanting to surprise his wife or lady friend and say something to the effect of "Help me out. I'm pretty ignorant". And while the literal definition of ignorant may apply, it's a bit harsh in these circumstances. OK so you've never seen a ballet. Well, guess what Johnny Q. Public, you've made the effort to take her out on a date. It was a selfless act on your part so give yourself some credit. And at those moments I like to take a little extra time to explain how they will enjoy the athleticism of the dancers and probably walk away with a new appreciation. Usually this sets them at easy and they are even more open to talk about their limited exposure to anything of this nature. It's ok! We can't all be connoisseurs of everything artistically inclined! By the end of our conversations I've found myself with a new appreciation for those willing to try something so far outside their comfort zones that they feel obligated to announce their trepidation.
Sometimes I get very overwhelmed with my work. I'm here to make people happy. Even on days I don't feel happy, it's my duty to smile and be the warm, welcoming face of the ballet. And when I'm feel like my own world is crumbling and I'm lost, lacking personal creativity outlets, and generally in a sour mood, it's Carrie who will make the first impact on their opinion. It can be a big challenge but I have to say it keeps me on my toes. And it offers a sweet reminder of the truth behind the word humility.
I've found it to be true 99.99% of the time that if you give kindness, you get it in return.