Yeah, I know. You’ve all seen this painting before, and I truly am not bragging by any means, but I included it because it’s central to today’s post.
I took this abstract Cityscape to Michaels craft store to have a custom frame made for it. A sweet young clerk waited on me and put up with me taking over half of the framing samples off the wall to put them on the corners of my painting. One thing that aided both of us was a software program that actually took my frame selections around a photo of my painting, so I could see what the finished product would look like. In twenty to thirty minutes, I made my decision, plus I almost stayed within my budget!
Breille asked me how I spelled my last name, so to make things easier for her, I pulled out one of my business cards. (I went to Vistaprint and designed a card that has pictures of my novels on the back side.) A business card is the cheapest advertising you can have for yourself–so if you don’t have one, it’s a good investment. Breille was impressed by my prolific collection of historical fiction, and it turned out she is a student at my Alma Mater. Of course, we spent a few more minutes talking about her present experience with her classes and professors.
Because my graduation was almost twenty-five years ago, most of my professors are either dead or retired, so I didn’t know any of the instructors she mentioned. I don’t even know if the Communication and English programs are the same as what I completed. You know, time changes all. Yada Yada Yada.
Breille wants to become a media journalist, so I asked her if the University offered this type of major within the Communication, and she didn’t know. I asked her if her adviser was helping her, and she said no.
I encouraged her to find an adviser who would work with her, and then I shared my experience with my adviser and how she helped me achieve the goals I wanted. In the English department, a business writing major wasn’t offered, but through eighteen credits of internship, my adviser helped me graduate with a professional portfolio I could show potential employers once my sheepskin hung on the wall. The caveat was I graduated with a year of practical experience because I became a member of a professional writing team with a Fortune 500 Communication company.
Breille’s eyes lit up as I told her what I had done, and I encourage her she could get what she wanted, too. All she had to do was see the goal and work toward it with everything inside of her. I truly believe if you want to achieve you can.
The best part of this story is I left the store with a gift. Breille told me, “Meeting you made my day, Barbara.”
I love chance encounters like this one because perhaps something I did or said might make a difference for someone else. You never will realize the future affect of your actions or words because these moments are the cliff- hanger of life. The most important thing, though, is connecting with another person in a special way for a few special moments.
Oh, and by the way, Breille made my day, too.