This past Tuesday, Whitney and I shared episode 3 of Designing Yourself - Getting to Know You. It's all about self-awareness.
These are challenging conversations, but they are also important ones. We are friends sharing these life experiences with each other and talking about how these things fit together, or don't. Whitney wrote a great post about some of the background of the show and how she came to it. I wanted to share my thoughts too.
At this point in my life, I am going through personal change and growth at a significant level. I've been working with the people closest to me - my family, my friends - to better have my life reflect who I truly am. I didn't quite have a sense of who I truly was. I am still not complete, nor perfect, and I will never be. But, I have gained a fair deal of emotional insight into how I operate as a person and as a human in this world.
Until relatively recently, I was not compassionate with myself. You hear some of this in our episodes - I am hard on me. We are all our own worst critics. But, I recognize this; awareness is that first step.
Like many of you, I trust, I began to read Whitney's stuff on the web and watch her presentations, and was just impressed as hell. I mean, really. Then I met her at IA Summit. Beyond the amazing conversation we had, I later thought, "Holy crap, it would be cool if I could work with Whitney Hess on something. She's someone in the UX world I admire and see as a leader, and... wow, that would be great."
The conversation continued after IA Summit, focusing on getting to know each other. The topic of working together came up. Originally, it was in the context of public speaking... but that fell away and podcasts emerged, since we had both wanted to do a podcast for quite some time (as it turned out!)
And Designing Yourself is the result of that. We work hard on this podcast, through the schedules and responsibilities we have to our families and our lives. We are learning along the way, and we're getting better. To me, it's an opportunity to talk with a new friend, someone I greatly respect, about the things that matter to us as humans. Exciting stuff!