Pre-P.S. I wrote you a short story. If you’ve been here awhile, you might recognize Avery Jane. 😉 If any part of this short story resonates with you, I invite you to join me inside The Convey Collective.
Mel slumped into the chair beside her, exhausted from the discussion, feeling weary about what to say next. As the tears streamed down her face, she looked up at John, “I don’t know why you don’t understand what I’m saying!”
John stayed quiet as he always did. Showing emotion wasn’t his forte.
They’d go to bed and wake up the following day and pretend like it never happened.
Only it did. And there was a growing voice of uncertainty inside Mel that was getting harder and harder to ignore.
When they woke up, it was just as Mel had predicted, no mention of her tears from the night before.
They had coffee, kissed, and made plans for the weekend. John went to the office, and Mel worked for a few hours before getting ready to meet Avery Jane for lunch.
Avery Jane hurried over to her computer. “SENNNDDDD,” she shouted at the email taking its sweet time leaving her outbox.
The project she’d been working on for her biggest client was due today, which would have been fine, except her people-pleasing self had taken over in the 12th hour. As a result, she’d promised a slew of changes that weren’t all that feasible to achieve in the same time frame. She’d done it but not without the help of numerous cups of coffee last night.
“I’m so dumb. Boundariesss. I can’t believe I did this myself. I should have requested that the deadline be moved out to meet these new changes,” her inner-critic committee roared.
And now she was going to be late to meet Mel for their weekly lunch.
Mel and Avery Jane
“Hey! It’s so good to see you. It’s been a week, let me tell you.” Mel said as she waited for Avery Jane to lock up her bike.
“Ahh, I totally feel you there. I have a project that’s driving me nuts.”
They went inside and asked the hostess for their usual high-top table in the corner. This was the best lunch spot in town, which meant it got not only busy but loud at this time. Their corner table was just quiet enough they could hear each other talk.
“So let me guess,” Avery Jane said with a smirk (a compassionate smirk, but a smirk nonetheless).
“You ended up in another ‘disagreement’ with no resolution, right? Was there name-calling this time?”
“Have we become that predictable? I mean, yes, that’s what happened. And yes, there was some name-calling, nothing terrible though. Mostly there was lots of silence or the sound of me wiping snot from my nose.”
“Do you ever talk about how you actually feel? Like, do you feel comfortable saying, ‘John, I feel like we’re disconnecting and the way we disagree leaves me feeling frustrated and alone. I need to share how I feel and want to listen to how you feel. I don’t know exactly how that looks, but I have a few guesses?’”
“Hah! Are you kidding me? You’ve met John. Feelings are like speaking a foreign language.”
“I know, I know. But seriously, Mel, these are the things that pile up and lead to serious resentment later on. John is a great guy, yet you end up feeling like you’re walking on eggshells around him. I think you end up hiding what you’re feeling from him. Something has to change.”
“I know. I feel stuck.” Mumbled Mel, battling the embarrassment she felt every time she told Avery Jane about a fight with John. She loved John and didn’t want Avery Jane to dislike him.
Like a hamster spinning on its wheel, her thoughts kept going. “It’s not that bad. Most of the time, we’re great. Why do I have such a hard time sharing what I want with him?”
She snapped back to reality when she heard Avery Jane start talking.
“Ya know, I found this communication coach to help me manage this situation with my client. I need to be able to set better boundaries with them, the scope creep combined with my desire to people please is crazy, and I feel like I’m about to lose my mind every other day.
So anyway, she’s runs this group called The Convey Collective, and I’m thinking about joining. It’s all about better boundaries, better communication, and being able to convey our authentic selves to the world without shrinking or freezing. I think it would be good for you to consider, too.”
Mel, the woman with the most expressive face in the world, made one of her infamous faces.
“Mel! I saw that look! And as your best friend of 10 years, I am calling you on it right now. Nothing changes if nothing changes, and I love you more than I love peanut butter cups, but it’s so hard to keep seeing you going through the same patterns.”
“Okay, okay. I hear you. What is the collective?”
“So, from what I gather, we can show up to four different calls a month, and we learn and practice powerful communication skills like how to decipher emotions, the art of asking, how to be a compassionate listener, expressing needs and emotions, badass boundaries, and other things like that.
Plus, the woman who runs it, Alyssa, has a Masters in Communication, is a Master Life Coach and NLP Trainer, so we also get to bring our questions and get coached. It sounds very interactive.
Based on her testimonials, it sounds like she really helps people see the unconscious stories and behavior running under the surface that end up controlling our interactions without us realizing it consciously.
Which means I’ll turn into an even better lunchtime listener, we can both finally have the conversations we’ve been avoiding, and we’ll expand our influence.”
“How’d you find her again?” Asked Mel, a much softer look on her face now.
“Instagram. I saw some of her content and reels, and she gives super digestible pieces, like, I didn’t feel totally overwhelmed at the thought of having to change some old patterns.”
Mel couldn’t help but notice the excitement in Avery Jane’s voice.
“You know the story I tell myself about not feeling good enough all the time? It seems like she can really help me rewrite and rewire that, so I stop self-sabotaging and finally raise my voice more at work.”
Mel knew Avery Jane needed to use her voice more at work. She’s brilliant but hides behind her designs, so people don’t fully understand the extent of her brilliance.
“Alyssa seems to be big on a holistic approach to break up the patterns we carry across different areas of our lives. You can take a look at all the details for yourself here, but please join with me. It’ll be fun!”
“This sounds super helpful! I’ll take a look. How much is it? Do I have to commit long-term?”
“There’s a month-to-month plan if you want to get a feel for it and have flexibility.”
“Okay, I’ll text you tonight after I take a look, but it sounds right up our alley. Good find, AJ.”
Avery Jane checked her phone for the 400th time that evening. This time, there was finally a message from Mel, “I’m in! Let’s do it!”
Thanks for letting me into your day. If any part of this short story spoke to you, I invite you to join me inside The Convey Collective, I designed it just for you.
With so much love,