#100 Coffee with John, Virtual Edition

The 100th meet-up! I have arrived at a point of accentuation, a milestone in a journey leading to connections, both old and new in many senses of the word.

I could not have planned for a better companion for this benchmark in my ultimate goal of 150 coffee meet-ups with different people. We caught up for about an hr, talking about our daily lives, kids, and nothing in particular. I typically don’t go into details about my coffee mates but, making the exception here, let me introduce you.

She is a Vassar graduate, an MBA from the University of Michigan, Goldman Sachs alumna, author, consultant, board member of countless organizations, international speaker, the first woman to serve as CEO of the Dominican Republic Stock Exchange (BVRD), making her the first woman to hold such a position in Latin America.

If that was not impressive enough, I am honored and privileged to announce that my coffee mate for my 100th CWJ is at 52 years old getting ready to embark on obtaining a master’s in public administrations from Harvard University. Not only has she gotten accepted into the program, but she has also received the prestigious Presidential Kennedy Fellowship awarded on merit.

But most of all she is my sister-in-law. Our connection is that of shared memories, blood connection between her children and my son, and our deep love for her sister, my wife. We are bounded by an invisible thread of kinship. It is that human connection that transcends the accomplishments, accolades, successes, and all those identifiers/qualifiers/modifiers we carry around as our identities.

On paper, I find we are sometimes intimidated to talk or even approach a person we see with an impressive resume or a life filled with accomplishments after accomplishments, placing them on a pedestal and forgetting that we are all humans with a capacity to bond with each other, even for brief moments. The opposite can also be true where we are the ones thinking we are above a certain level to converse or bond with a person not within our social strata.

We all share that magical thread, the thread of love, suffering, experiencing loss, and all the emotions that makes us human. It is that space where I find beauty in sharing a moment and a conversation. Hope you too find that beautiful space as you step out of yourself and connect with others.

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