One of my goals for Tiny Bubbles is to bridge the gap between millennials, Gen Z, and Gen X women. Unbeknownst to me, a stranger I met six years ago would help me realize this. Here is our story.
Gen X meet Gen Z
March 2015: While shopping at Make Collectives, one of my favorite local boutiques in Long Beach, I began chatting with a young, radiant girl. We discovered we had a lot in common; we are both sneakerheads, and we love fashion and hip-hop music. Toward the end of our conversation, while I was leaving, she asked if I would be her mentor. I thought, “Mind?! Are you kidding me?” How many 18-year-olds realize they need mentors, let alone ask a stranger to act as one? Certainly not me or any Gen X women I knew.
I quickly realized I would learn from her.
Linette, at the age of 18, had wisdom beyond her years. With her bright smile, she could light up a room, and I was giddy at the prospect of mentoring her!
We arranged a lunch meeting, and I was unsure what to expect. I had never done this before. Do I ask questions, does she? Can I order a glass of wine? 😉
Linette, who had recently been accepted to UC Irvine (so yah, she’s smart), posed some of the most thought-provoking and astute questions at our first mentor lunch, but they were challenging for me. Though I felt I should know the answers, there was a part of me that was terrified to give any life advice. I have made my share of mistakes, and what qualifications do I have?
The questions she asked intrigued me. I also wanted to know what my girlfriends thought and how they would answer the questions.
- What do you wish you knew at my age?
- How did you know this is what you wanted to do?
- How can I be a more effective female?
- If you could do it all again, what would you do differently?
- How can I work smarter?
- What do you recommend I do to get into the position I seek?
- What should I keep my eye out for?
- Bigges failure?
Too often, women’s voices are not heard in this world. Furthermore, our experiences, insights, and wisdom are rarely shared with our younger female counterparts. Gen X women are often pitted against millennial and Gen Z women in our society instead of learning from one another. My mind began to spin with ideas as I thought about what we could do about it through this blog using Linette’s questions.
I realized there were so many brilliant women around me who could impart their knowledge to Linette, you, and me.
After I started asking my Gen X women friends Linette’s questions, I became really inspired. Something told me these answers needed to be shared; you know that feeling when you’re on the right path. That knowing. Your intuition.
No coincidence this led me to answer Linette’s first question.
1. What do you wish you knew at my age?
At 18, one of the things that I wish I knew, and I still have to work on is
Follow your intuition.
If something doesn’t make you happy, don’t do it – within reason of course, but don’t do something your gut (intuition) is telling you not to do – whether it’s in your professional or personal life. Trust me, you will save yourself A LOT of heartache if you listen to your gut in the beginning.
When you’re having to justify anything to yourself, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.
If something doesn’t resonate with you, then you should leave it behind and move on. No one knows you better than YOU. Listen to YOU.
I have to admit I was flattered Linette would ask ME these questions, but a part of me thought, do I have any wisdom worthwhile to share? Of course, we all do. In life, you have to take stock of what you have accomplished and realize what a rock star you really are, and we all are!
What I didn’t expect when I met Linette was how meeting with her would teach me, facilitate my own growth, and get me writing again. In fact, I’m not sure Tiny Bubbles blog would exist today without Linette.
This leads me to another thing I wish I had known when I was 18.
We can LEARN FROM ANYONE, especially EACH OTHER.
Be open to listening to others’ stories and willing to see the value in anyone you meet. Learn to enjoy small talk by making it more than small talk.
Above all else – Understand WE are all connected.
Ideas kept coming to me while we were chatting and something unexpected happened.
I got my mojo back!
You see, I was not in a good place at the time, but at our meeting that day, something in me changed. My mojo had been stolen by complacency, boredom, and laziness. I could not figure out wtf my passion was, moreover, I was tired of trying to figure it out. The struggle of trying to find my passion has been something I’ve worked on forever. If that resonates with you and you are sick of people telling you to “do what you love” click here.
After lunch, I decided to do it. Begin writing again.
The Gen X Women Blog Series was born.
I decided at that time to create a blog series featuring Gen X women sharing their own life experiences and advice answering Linette’s questions. I thought I was on to something. We’re so used to seeking answers and insight from books, podcasts, influencers, and new thought leaders (who are mostly men), but what about our own circle of friends, what about “everyday” women?
Women like you and me.
I believe WE all have something valuable to share. At least once a month, I would like to highlight an extraordinary Gen X woman I know or you know on tinybubblesblog.com. Additionally, I am interested in creating a similar blog series where Millenials and Gen Z women are featured. We’re all in this together and hearing different perspectives is what makes us better.
The magic about all of this is that if Linette had not approached me, I wouldn’t have these questions to be asking my girlfriends, sharing with you, and Tiny Bubbles might still be just another idea in my head….proving again, all things are connected.
Until next time, thank you for reading. If you are 40 years or older, and would like to participate in this blog series please leave a comment or email me at email@example.com. Additionally, I am interested in hearing from Millenial and Gen Z women about ideas for a blog series where we learn from you.
Peace, Love & Prosecco,
Inspiration came from several sources while writing this: 3 powerful, amazing women and a reptile: Rebecca Campbell Heather McMahan & Stephanie St. Claire my turtle Roofus Jongotti-Chaka Kahn. Music on repeat provided by Stevie Wonder, Doja Cat, Beyonce, and Journey (the original band with Steve Perry, thank you very much).
Lastly, the biggest inspiration of all….Linette, thank you for being you and being patient with me throughout the years.
♥ Love y’all ♥