I was on a flight from New York headed to Florida for a quick trip. I sat down in my seat and smiled at the man next to me. Sidenote: I always make friends with my neighbors on airplanes in case I have to suddenly grab them thanks to turbulence.
On this flight, my new friend was Anton. I own a wine brand, Sip Channé and, funny enough, I was on a phone call as I boarded the plane speaking with my team regarding my new vintage that had arrived at the port in New Jersey. It was sitting there for months with no way for me to retrieve it due to port congestion. Turns out Anton is a commodities expert and business owner who speaks on national networks regarding the global shipping pandemic and more. How ironic… or perhaps serendipitous! We became insta-friends and through our conversation he introduced me to a lovely lady named Alex, at Brown Brothers Harriman. Alex and I spoke and immediately connected! Both of us are entrepreneurs and moms with the all-too-often mom guilt that all of us have when we can’t be with our children 24/7.
Months went by and Alex invited me to a fabulous dinner in New York hosted by the one and only, Arianna Huffington. I walked into the dinner not knowing what to expect since I didn’t have many details other than the address, the time and Arianna. It was a pretty intimate evening with around twenty dynamic and accomplished women where the topic of the evening was: How to Thrive. A few of the ladies had mentioned Arianna‘s concept of “the obnoxious roommate“ and how it helped them. I was so intrigued that I started taking notes immediately. Many helpful concepts were discussed as well as solid insights were given; from how to prevent burnout… to how to improve employee satisfaction… to how to be the best we can be… aka thrive! From someone who suffers from anxiety, like myself, the obnoxious roommate concept really stuck out in my mind.
I left at that dinner feeling pretty inspired and energized! And that next afternoon, I got on a plane to head back to Florida. This time I was with my assistant who knows all too well what happens when I feel anxious during turbulence. We were both working on our phones and there were a few bumps however I decided to ignore them. I then ordered a glass of wine thinking it would help, which it often does. Then all of a sudden the captain came on the loudspeaker and announced to buckle our seatbelts because we were about to experience turbulence. I started hearing that obnoxious roommate in my head create all these awful scenarios and try to scare me. I stopped her dead in her tracks and said assertively, “We can talk about this Thursday at 2PM.” I sat there for a minute in silence while the turbulence started and I couldn’t believe that she started to back down until I couldn’t hear her anymore. It was amazing. I didn’t have to grab my assistant’s hand tight. I didn’t have to take a big sip of my wine. I didn’t have to look like a scared Chihuahua that just got dropped in a pool. I just sat there and closed my eyes through it. The rest of the flight had a few bumps here and there but I was more focused on the fact that making an appointment with my worry actually worked. I thought to myself Arianna is a bloody genius! And for those that are curious… Thursday came and I canceled that appointment.