The Quarantine Cocoon

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It's been almost a year since I last traveled for work.

I knew that traveling again was going to challenge me. At the best of times, travel introduces all sorts of friction into a life routine—airport hassles en route to making your flight, sleeping in different beds in unfamiliar places, and let's not forget the midnight run to the hotel lobby asking for toothpaste.

What I didn't quite anticipate was that I wouldn't be as productive as I've been while not traveling. There's been automaticity to my routine; I knew how much I could squeeze out of a given day.

I also didn't expect how challenging it would be to start interacting with people in person again.

One of the things that I have been working on for the past few months (my whole life, really, but especially these past few months) is trying to show up as my best self—full of love—as I interact with each person.

Being at home has provided a control group of sorts, a limited number of people in a fairly predictable array of circumstances. But increasing the variables in new situations: on an airplane, waiting in line, attending a large conference, or at a wedding reception, the order of magnitude multiplies. More people means more of the variables outside of my control.

With traveling again, the ability to show up as my best self was pressure tested. In general, I did pretty well. But there were moments when I would slip into my old habits (one of them being micro-managing, as anyone close to me will tell you).

It was in those moments that I realized, oh, yup, onto the launch point of a new curve. I'm out of my cocoon. Practicing something new.

It's a wonderful thing to be around more people, to see people in three dimensions, to hug them, and smile at them in person. But as we re-enter normal society, some of what we practiced during our time out will get tested.

The progress that I made, I want to hold onto that and build on it.

What about you?

Is there something that you've done in the laboratory of your quarantine that you want to continue to make progress on? What do you want to get even better at as you emerge from your cocoon?


Pardon the interruption, but I have a quick ask. We are seeking to better tailor this newsletter to meet your needs, so we are conducting a quick audience survey, which is here. It will take about a minute, and it would be very kind of you! As a thank you, when you complete it, you will get a free PDF download about changing jobs.


Our podcast guest this week is Jacqueline Novogratz, founder of Acumen. I have admired her work since I read her memoir, The Blue Sweater, in 2009. She upended her career in international banking to tackle global poverty.

Talk about a person who truly shows up with full love and goodness. If you are looking for motivation to grow and develop, you will want to listen to this episode.

As always, thank you for being here!

My best,
Whitney

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