Thoughts from the Editor: Imperfection and Occurrences Unexpected
Monday October 13, 2014

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“I think when the world gives you more than you bargained for, you usually end up glad you got it.” – Shonda Rhimes, Grey’s Anatomy

I wanted to write an extra post this week as I’ve had the blog, the podcast and you, the readers and listeners on my mind. As each week now begins with a podcast, I am missing my opportunity to share a bit more inspiration about life, love and aha moments that catch my eye over the previous weekend or are hot topics that I am eager to discuss.

Now don’t get me wrong, that is why I have a trusty journal with me wherever I go – ideas are regularly being inputted as to be cataloged for future posts, podcasts and discussions, but today I just wanted to talk with you with less of a barrier. Free-form, I guess you could say.

~Podcast reviews and feedback

The positive response from listeners regarding The Simple Sophisticate podcast has been overwhelming, and I continue to be humbled by your enthusiasm and interest. Reaching as high as #48 on iTunes’ top 100 New & Noteworthy last week, and #5 in the Self-Help section, all of the praise and my gratitude goes to my listeners. The cordiality, honesty and helpful feedback is a testament to the class of TSLL readers as well, and as I’ve mentioned a few weeks ago, I am always looking to grow and improve.  As one exuberant reviewer pointed out, “Shannon’s French pronunciation may leave something to be desired, but her enthusiasm is quite apparent.”

First all, believe me, I know my French is not perfect. With that said, thank you for your patience. However, I am unabashedly a Francophile to my core, and it is with every effort that I speak properly (however, I know that I don’t all of the time.)

Do I want to improve? Absolutely! Here is my background with the French language: one term in college, one summer abroad, and the completion of level 1 and 2 of Rosetta Stone. Clearly, not ideal, but all that I have been able to acquire based on where I live and my major while I was in college (not French, clearly – oh, if only I could go back).  It is my hope in the future to take more college courses or work with a tutor whenever I can find extra time. (Yikes, that may be awhile.) But in the meantime, I will be continuing to speak my best.

~Occurrences Unexpected

Upon hearing the quote mentioned above, I couldn’t help but write it down. How often do we become saddled with life circumstances that we did not plan for or even want, only to throw our hands up in frustration?

Certainly life would be easy if we proceeded down life’s path precisely as would be in alignment with our goals in dreams, but unfortunately others have dreams as well, and somehow we must all negotiate and navigate amongst each other on our journey.

Events may not be unfolding as we would like all of the time; in fact, they may not be occurring at all, but I’d like you to consider these five ways to handle an unexpected gift from life the next time one occurs:

  1. Don’t dismiss it
    • Simply because something doesn’t look the way you believe it should, take the time to consider what it may bring to your life.
  2. Investigate
    • Begin investigating the new possibilities: a new job could allow you to grow, the inability to have kids could be seen as an gift to strengthen your marriage or relationship, trying new food that expands your palate, an opportunity to try something you never knew you could do.
  3. Take time to find your sea legs
    • Your balance may be lost initially, but you can get it back. Be patient with yourself. Find what stabilizes you, know what you need to remain calm, focused and confident, and then get back up and go.
  4. Accept being vulnerable as a priceless opportunity
    • Being vulnerable isn’t the opposite of strength, but rather a necessary component to acquiring strength, confidence and true connection with others. When we are pushed off balance initially with the unexpected occurrence, it’s okay to let others know or show uncertainty because it is how you respond and strive forward that will reveal your true character and resolve, and ultimately cause true adoration to be given.
  5. Be thankful
    • Believe it or not, that unexpected occurrence may be the best thing you didn’t realize you needed in your life.

No matter how monotonous life may seem to be, just wait. So long as you are putting kindness, compassion and pieces of your authentic self out there for the world to see and meet, changes will occur – opportunities will present themselves. And the next time they do, don’t dismiss it. You may have just met the best gift you never knew you needed.

Thank you for lending me your ear. Have a lovely evening.


15 thoughts on “Thoughts from the Editor: Imperfection and Occurrences Unexpected

  1. An excellent post Shannon!

    Others who are negative are expressing their own insecurities! Imperfection is what makes us able to relate to others.

    Keep up the superb work that helps us each strive toward simple luxurious life with style and class!


  2. “Thank you for lending me your ear.”

    Thank you for lending me your voice, my ear was quite enchanted by your words. Comme d’habitude. Bonsoir.

  3. I very much enjoy your podcasts and look forward to each one! As a language major, you are doing well! You are always an inspiration and your blog is amongst my favorites!

  4. This was a great post. You writing “voice” is very warm and it’s very honest. I discovered your podcast about a week ago and have listed to every one of them since. It’s funny how you just stumble across things you didn’t even know you needed! Keep up the amazing work, I can’t wait to see what’s next!!!

  5. Shannon, You’ve been an inspiration to me for so long, and I’ve told you. You’ve personally responded to my emails when I sent them your way, asking for personalized help and guidance. You’ve been something of a mentor to me for years now. Thank you for YOUR vulnerability. You truly model the way. I often think about how much effort goes into this blog and this brand that you’ve created. Everything seems so, well, seamless, and that’s when I know you’ve put quite a bit of energy, time, and tender care and intention into each thing that you do. Thank you for having us along the ride.

  6. Dear Shannon,
    thank you for your very nice podcasts. Keep up the good work!

    I am French and I actually love how you say “Bonjour”, “Petite pleasure” and “Cafe au lait”! Might be because you sound like my bilingual kids, or might be because you sound as sophisticated as Jane Birkin. Delicious, touching, lovely! Should I go on?
    It even made me reconsider my frustration of being recognized as a foreigner after only saying “hello”. Maybe people have a point commenting on my nice accent.


    PS: I’d like to hear what you have to say about the struggle being self-assured and hearing feedback.

    1. I am grateful to be able to benefit from your suggestions on the many ways simple living can be luxurious and sophisticated. As you include the French way of life as just one aspect of that and not the main focus of the blog, imperfections in your pronunciation of the language are easily overlooked. Your passion for the culture and lifestyle is evident through your expression. I have especially enjoyed the podcasts on confidence and authenticity. Thank you.

  7. Number 5….be thankful, how many times has something unexpected or unwanted happened to me that in the long run turned out to be a blessing.
    Sometimes it can be years after the event that we realise this.
    What is meant to be will be!

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