Aileen is the funniest person I know. If I had to write about just one of her talents, it would be her ability to make me snort, on command. Texting has made this so much better. Now, I’m privy to her random insights all of the time, which brings me tremendous joy and also makes my kids roll their eyes when I snort in public (also a source of joy).
Luckily for me, my best friend and #1 talent crush is way more than just a great sense of humor. She is kind and thoughtful. She’s smart, well read and politically engaged. Open and honest and always on my side. She’s got a great eye for color and design and is incredibly creative. She’s willing to shop with me for hours for pants that are long enough, or shoes that are big enough. A wonderful writer and a great listener. We travel well together and she’s always game for an adventure.
My 11 year old daughter summed it up the other day. She said, “Mom, I can’t believe how lucky you are to be starting a business with your best friend. You are really living the good life.” Damn straight, kid.
Felicia genuinely listens when people talk to her. I aim my face at people, make uh-huh noises and nod periodically, but usually I’m mentally crafting a to-do list or thinking about what I watched on TV the night before.
Felicia focuses her mind on the words coming out of people’s mouths, thinks about what they have said then responds with thoughtful, helpful and/or funny insights. If a person is looking for advice, she gives it. On the other side, if someone wants to talk, she listens without inserting her opinion into the conversation. It seems as if this should be the basic version of conversation, but think about the last time you really felt heard. When we take into account how busy people are, how busy we ourselves are, it becomes less and less common to feel that what we are saying is really being attended to by the people we are talking with.
For over 30 years, Felicia has listened to me. I have watched her listening and responding to other people. No one can fake being a good listener for that long and across that many different people.
She isn’t just my talent crush. Felicia has a wide circle of friends who value her to the moon and back. Her family adores her. Strangers smile and bloom under her attention.
She is genuine, thoughtful and my best friend in the whole wide world. I couldn’t exist as happily as I do without her and I am not by any means the only person who feels that way.