Hello fellow learn-it-all,
Greetings from Delray, Florida
I had a whirlwind of a plane ride leaving from St. Thomas with an impromptu layover in the Bahamas for a couple of hours with a lightning storm that made it unsafe to land in Miami.
I am absolutely grateful that the toddler sitting next to me chose to go sit up with his mom, so I got his widow seat. The center seat is less than ideal.
As any vacation comes to an end, I was bummed to leave St. Thomas over the weekend. I've been having a hard case of vacation hangover with bug bites from late nights outside, the peeling sunburn from not reapplying sunblock soon enough, and the fun memories stored up in my noggin and through my camera lens.
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So, what's in store for this issue?
- An overview of my first writing group for Write of Passage as a mentor
- An essay I’m writing on how swimming shaped my identity
- A pondering about mortality
- A word that is synonymous with serendipity
- A quote from one of my favorite female business leaders
- A question to get you thinking about your own unique perspective on the world
- Some pictures of salty feet, a silhouette, and the fam
- Shoutouts to new friends and all the ladies out there
Now, let’s dive into letter 50 from a learn-it-all. Enjoy!
Some things I’ve learned through…
👩🏻🏫 WOP writing group
I was so nervous facilitating my first writing group last week, but it was a great success. I believe that making friends instantly raises your chances of being successful in any online course, so I conducted a milling exercise with four breakout rooms back to back, one-on-one. I learned from fellow learn-it-all and creative facilitator Gwyn Wansbrough.
I shared an audio clip from Matthew McConaughey speaking to his book Green Lights around sharing his personal contract. I showed it so the class could better understand the power of personal integrity, and empower each student to double down on what success looks like for them at the end of the course.
Some interesting discussion surfaced that students had a fear that their life wouldn't be transformed from this course. There's this sense of uncertainty that everyone is morphing into writers that causes the thought What if I am the exception? We all anticipate a return on investment, but what if the transformation doesn't happen? Assigning students to create their personal contracts was an exercise with the intent of ensuring everyone knows what their goals are.
I've been writing an essay about my identity as a swimmer and how it has been a part of me since I can remember saying my name out loud. It started out just as swim lessons and being at the top of my class and while being called "part-fish" on play dates in the pool. I loved the Little Mermaid and refused to believe that mermaids were fake. It all changed when I went from being a swimmer to being a competitive swimmer on a sunny afternoon at the very pool whose condo I am currently living at for the next month.
It was just pure fun with kickboards after my dad finished his laps. He had the idea of having a competition between my brother and me. I was six years old and Mitch was eight. It felt so unfair. There we were, one pool, two kickboards, and three spectators of my parents and Steph. Mitch didn’t take it seriously until I beat him the first time around. Then we raced again and I beat him again. That was the day where I started to see swimming as a race where I had some potential after all. That summer I was immediately signed up to join the team a year early, but I quit on the first day. I remember feeling inferior to everyone. There were no other six-year-olds to feel any sense of belonging. The coaches were these tall giants with big whistles around their neck and I postponed joining for a year. I
This essay is still to be continued as I reflect more on how my perspective on life has changed as a swimmer. If you are a swimmer or have any ideas around how a sport shaped your view of life, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
My gut started to get a little queasy as the pilot on my flight announced there was a storm that would prevent us from landing. I started to swirl into some negative thoughts of what if this plane never landed? I got a fleeting moment with a reminder of mortality and realized I am proud of the life I have lived, so far. How often should these reminders take place?
🔎 Word to define
Synchronicity: the simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.
Etymology: Coined in the 1950s by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung who founded analytical psychology. He dubbed synchronicity loosely defined as a fortuitous intermeshing of events.
Example: I have found synchronicity in my life as I swam in the pool I first raced in growing up and had memories flood back into my mind.
🌟 Quote to inspire
"Don't be intimidated by what you don't know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else." -Sara Blakely
❓ Question to think about
What do you know about the world that others do not?
📷 Photo of the Week
Some lovely footsies in this picture because why not? This water had all my favorite colors: the deep aqua, the light seafoam near shore, and the dark cobalt in the deepest areas.
Here's a beautiful picture I caught of my sister at sunset on Paradise point. Salty hair and all. We were both imagining during our week there what it would be like to drop everything and live on an island like the sailor Katie who moved from New Mexico without ever stepping on a boat to now work 7 days a week on a catamaran.
Here's the fam up at Paradise Point. This was our first time traveling outside of Michigan together for a family trip with all five of us since 2016 on a cruise through Alaska.
Each morning I looked forward to walking to the bend in the road with my dad to feed the chickens. He now wants a chicken coop once he retires. I got to enjoy a salsa dancing lesson with my mom. I got to lift some weights in the gym with my brother. As always, I enjoy the company of my sister as she’s one of my best friends. I ate some scrumptious seafood and beef at the restaurant on top of this hill. I saw my life flash before my eyes multiple eyes with my mom driving on the wrong side of the road or as the locals said it was the "right side" of the road.
- To the Scott family— Spencer, Kat, Tressa and Brenton— I met in St.Thomas and got to share adventure stories with, who all joined my learning journey and putting me at over 200 readers now 🚀
- To all my female readers for International Women's Day and to the others who lift us up higher. It's empowering to see how far we have come.
I appreciate you reading this! If certain ideas resonated or you have feedback to improve my future newsletters, I’d love you to leave a comment, reply to this email, or send me a message on Twitter @JenVermet.
Never stop learning 😁
Until next week,
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