It’s no secret that the Seattle program has amazing alumni involvement, and that we are so lucky to live in this wonderful city (in the summer), have placements that are engaging and meaningful, and, to top it all off, meet with alumni and associates at events throughout the summer. From a Sounders Game to walking through a farm at sunset, this experience has been wonderful. So to start, thank you, everyone involved, for making these first five weeks so educational and hilarious.
Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to grab coffee with Lisa Fitzhugh, the founder of CreativeGround and Duke alumna that spoke to us at YearUp Seattle during our second week here. As Heidi from One-by-One aptly put it earlier this week, there are just some people we find so admirable we’d “sweep their floors” if it meant the opportunity to just get a drop of their awesomeness and wisdom. Lisa is that kind of person for me.

Lisa’s work is all about merging the creative with the career-oriented. How those notions became polarized beats me, but that’s what she does, be it for high-level bankers or local government officials stuck in a rut of egos and red tape. After she spoke to us that first time, I couldn’t stop thinking about some of her insights, which included the following:
  • Learn to surf the ocean of uncertainty, and not drown in it.
  • The brighter the light, and closer you are to the mirror, the larger and darker the shadow. In essence, pay attention to the duality of yourself, and learn to integrate the positive and negative aspects of your personality.
  •  Everyone has a unique lens, and notices very different and distinct parts of the world.
  • When you exercise one part of your mind, the other one automatically gets stronger.

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to get coffee with this inspiring woman at Roy Street Café, a great example of the serious Seattle “coffee culture” that evokes images of Professor Trelawney and CapHill moms on laptops. In the hour and a half that followed, I could ask her almost any question I wanted, and she told me more about her remarkable career journey. Ever since her first talk, I have taken this time in Seattle as an opportunity to explore my creative side, and so I was able to update her on my improve classes, tango class, painting, and photography. Lisa and I continued to talk about how the best of friendships are formed through “shared experience and shared levels of curiosity” and the importance of abolishing self-judgment when exploring creativity. Her insights, in combination with my own introspection that was induced by the values activity during last week’s reflection (my four are growth, creativity, mindfulness, and intimacy) have really enhanced my level of consciousness around the choices I make during my time here. For example, I would never have fallen in love with Mondays at Jet City Improv or gone to Om Fusion without her encouragement, and they have been unforgettable.
Kara told me to reach out to the adults we’ve interacted with on this trip, and I am so thankful I took her advice. Lisa passed on so much more wisdom than the aforementioned, and my brain feels like it’s had too much Tapatio ever since…in a wonderful, alive kind of way.


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