When I listened to my interview with Karen Joy Fritz again, I took notes on different thoughts I had about my own life. These thoughts include 1) the sense of self in regard to one’s parents, 2) love for her seashell story, 3) hearing other perspectives without feeling the need to take them on, and 4) time period: technological advancements and social networking.
Karen mentioned how her sons are each finding and becoming his own sense of self—not just like her but also not just in rebellion. I find that I am in the process of doing that right now, at 26. Whenever I’m thinking about a certain aspect of myself that I like or dislike, I feel that I often attribute it to one of my parents. Over time I will probably be able to differentiate more though.
I love love LOVE her seashell story. I found it to be such a beautiful metaphor for life. From the seashell’s perspective—applying very human feelings—perhaps it was nice to feel like even with cracks and parts missing, it still held value to someone. Don’t we all want to feel like that?
I really like what Karen said about hearing other people’s perspectives without feeling the need to take on those perspectives as her own. I think it takes a very skilled communicator and a great level of empathy to be able to see where someone else is coming from, especially when their perspective conflicts with your own. The same can be said about emotions as well—I had a friend in college who would get angrier if I didn’t get angry with her after hearing about something that happened to her. Instead I would feel irritated that she was mad, or maybe I WAS mad but just not at the same level that she was. Perhaps I could have done a better job in that relationship of letting her feel like she’s being heard, while still not needing to mimic her emotions.
I found it so fascinating that Karen was a trail-blazer in the world of self-employment, back in the 90’s. Getting your own ideas out into the world is a pretty easy thing to do these days, with all the technology that’s available as well as social networking and websites just like this! I can’t imagine how I would even attempt to do this kind of project without WordPress, Instagram, and all the other things I take for granted that didn’t even exist 30 years ago. It’s pretty incredible that she was able to make it successfully, and still be thriving in it!
I do wish I had asked her how her business has changed over the years, and how advancements in technology have played a part. Maybe Part 2?