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Day 18 - "Who are we when nobody's looking?"


Geri Mason is kinetic. From the first moment we see each other, there is a palpable energy around the entire conversation. We are writers, creators, each forces to be reckoned with in our own way. This talk will surely inspire both of us and create new thoughts and endeavors. Conversations between people like us always seem to. This one is no different.

I liked Geri from the moment we met. She smiles and laughs a lot, not the pretension of joy, but a true and deeply spiritual happiness with life, with the world and her path in it. Geri is the author of four books. She writes about her experiences, her challenges and triumphs, the things she knows. She tells me how she makes observations and thoughts she has throughout the day, write them down on little slips of paper and puts them in an envelope. When it is time to write, she goes to that envelope, takes one out and works on it. (David Bowie did something similar when he wrote songs.) She loves to tell stories, to share of her experiences and what she has felt and learned. The idea of a blog was thrilling for her, a way to write everyday for herself, but so other people could see.

That can be the scariest kind of work for a writer. When you put so much of yourself into something, it is easy to worry about what you look like to others, what they might think and what they might say about your work. Geri is brave and she is very wise because she has answered a question few of us ever think to ask.

"Who are we when nobody's looking?"

Many of us live by the expectations of others. We seek approval for ventures, for our creative work. We try to fit in with how we appear and we think about who we are as an intellectual construct, something we can change when our environment changes. It is simply the way of the world for so many, including me. I myself did not ask this question until this past month. Geri Mason though has asked and answered this question of herself, at least in part. She knows who she is, and lives with purpose and joy.

If you pay attention when you meet her, you will see a spark in her smile, a quick flash in her laugh. That is the wisdom of Geri Mason, combined with the energy finding its way into the world. Take a moment to meet her. It's absolutely true. You can't help but be caught up in the energy of someone who has found their place in this world, at least for right now.

Geri and I are both storytellers. We talk a lot about writing and how we each approach it. I tell her about how I build a character in my head, learning everything about them and their lives, then hearing them tell me the story I write. She tells me about her initial reactions to this project, and how she has truly enjoyed it and looked forward to being a part of it. Time flies. We have a lot in common. We are both writers.

We have both driven for Uber. And we both love it. For Geri and I there is a magic and wonder driving people around. It's a moment to see inside their worlds for a few moments, to share some stories with them and, maybe, to be there for them when they really need someone at that time. We have both learned something; wisdom is found in a journey, not sitting alone. You don't need to undertake a grand journey, you just need to be present.

Geri and I talk about a lot. Time flies and soon it is time for us to go about the rest of our days.

For years I have tried to fill a hole in my heart without a defined shape or outline. I doubt I am much different from so many others. In eighteen days, connecting with eighteen different people, that hole has gotten smaller. Each person is a piece within it, and I have a place with them. We all do. There's no secret to it. Connecting with people, peering behind that curtain, is the greatest wealth.

Geri's smile, her laugh, her wisdom and her stories are no small piece of this rediscovered wealth of my own.

Favorite Animal: Cat

Why: They are easy to take care of.

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