Sometimes I forget. As most of you know, I co-produce and co-host a podcast and it really has changed my life. If you’ve done something like this before, you’d know that this isn’t an elaborate claim. I have a forum where I can track down people and ask them about what they do and why they do it. I’ve had the opportunity to talk with people I admire, ask artists how they create their work, among many others.
It’s not just about having a show and putting it out there. These conversations are a chance to be present with another person for an hour. To put everything aside and focus solely on what they are saying. The most important thing I’ve learned as I’ve progressed as an interviewer, is to listen. I often joke with the guest that I have a bunch of notes and questions but once I hit record, I’ll never look at those notes. This is the truth. I do as much research as I can beforehand, but when the person is in front of you, there can be no predetermined structure or narrative. The structure and narrative takes on a life of its own and is based on listening and responding.
But sometimes I forget to bring this ability to be present, this opportunity to connect with others into my life away from the mics. Day to day activities can sometimes pull you down and away from being present.
A few weeks ago, I saw Carolyn Van do a talk at an event called Face Your Fear Day. I was very inspired and amazed by how she communicated her story and decided to contact her for an interview. She gracefully agreed to come on the show and I was looking forward to our conversation.
Carolyn told me her story about dealing with Lymphoma cancer. We talked about how she is a professional and successful woman and how her life changed with the diagnosis. The conversation went to places I didn’t expect. I’ve had many discussions with people that have been incredible, but near the end, we started talking about vulnerability and how this is not a weakness and letting go and not resisting against things outside of your control.
This conversation made me realize, once again, to remember what it’s like to connect to another person. It is a privilege to talk with people on the mics. For them to give me and the listeners their time and share their stories. Much is to be learned from others and a place exists where you can allow yourself to be inspired. I can sometimes get tunnel vision with my stupid little problems. These conversations are exchanges, dialogues where if you really listen closely to them, hopefully, you hear two people connecting by doing something so simple. We’re connecting by listening to each other. Responding to each other.
The last few interviews, I’ve ended by saying, “I could talk with you for the rest of the day, but we have to wrap up.” This has kind of become my tagline. I’ve actually told myself not to say this at the end because I feel that people might think it disingenuous if I keep repeating it. But at the end of every interview, it comes out naturally because it’s an honest statement. It’s a reminder that I have the ability to be present and connect with another person.
Because sometimes I forget.
If you are interested to read more about Carolyn's story, check out her website: cvkickingcancersass.com.