It’s hard to believe this is my last post before coming off the road as a leadership consultant. I am wordless sitting on the back porch of Lambda Delta’s townhouse, where I’ve spent the last few months mentoring and developing their leaders. Capturing this experience isn’t something easily done, or done at all. All of the struggles of traveling and being residential were gains and all of the triumphs were sweet. I learned more about myself than about national policy, Bidlily, or Billhighway. It’s quiet enough here at the house to hear my thoughts and feel my emotions entirely and I have to say, it’s a sensation I will be hard-pressed to experience again. I’m a completely new person, and I can speak for my entire team in saying we aren’t returning home the same way we left. So here’s a few ways you can support our reintegration into our hometowns…
- We know way more than we should about modes of transportation. If it seems like we now have little in common and there’s a break in conversation, ask us to compare Google Flights and Expedia. We won’t be hurting for conversation for too long.
- A lot of our friends are engaged or married, and we’ve realized we’ve grown up too. We’ve experienced more life situations than the vast majority of 20-somethings have. Some of us have traveled to more than 20 states, some of us have been to 40+ universities, some of us have moved to a new place not knowing a soul (some more than once), and others have done BOTH. Sometimes it seems like people don’t realize we grew up and it makes us sad some days, but we’d never tell you.
- GIVE US A DOG TO LOVE. We don’t get to play with dogs, cuddle with kitties, hug often, or love on something as much as we used to! We don’t interact with children much or take care of anything. This may not pertain to some of the team… but HUG ME, I’VE MISSED YOU.
- Realize we may have left an introvert and came back an extrovert. Others like myself, left an extrovert and are returning more of an introvert. We may not emotionally need the same type of friendship/relationship we had when we left. Be patient with us, we are figuring out what we need too.
- Ask us for advice! We are more equipped than ever to talk you through any situation you have. (I.e. we’ve seen it ALL. You cannot surprise us.) Also, be ready for our stories that might relate. Even though you might not understand what our job was in the slightest, humor us and listen. You might not get it, but listen because chances are we’ve been there and can help.
Lastly, we are coming home more confident, more joyful, more experienced, more adventurous and more independent than most women our age. Challenge us, love us, pretend you know our abbreviations and you’ll be set up for success to reconnect with us! We can’t wait to see you.