Knock- On- The- Door- Without- Calling- First- Have- A- Cup -Of -Tea Conversations
I did a lot of eavesdropping as a kid. All I can remember growing up is listening to conversations. Conversations in the car, in the kitchen, in the playground. Listening to my mother as she sat in the stairs with the phone cord wrapped around her; speaking to my sisters way past bedtime with my legs dangling over the top bunk.
Conversations before instant messaging, before any kind of messaging. In person, face to face, knock- on- the- door- without- calling- first- have- a- cup -of -tea conversations. My parents, to this day, are the voice of reason and of comfort for so many of the people around us. I listened in on serious conversations when I was supposed to be playing, sat in the stairs when I was supposed to be asleep, and tried to make sense of and form opinions about adult dilemmas in my little child mind.
These conversations were often dominated by women. I grew up surrounded by women. I have 2 sisters. My mother has 5. I started an all girls school when I was 11 and although it maybe wasn’t as immediate as I remember, I found my place in a group of 8 girls who are the reason this blog came into existence. The conversations continued. Every morning, every break time, every lunch time. After school, on the street.
I moved abroad for a couple of years and returned, clicking back into place. I think that I was lucky enough to miss out on some of the peer pressure and angst that comes with those teenage years, because of these girls. They spoke their mind and stood up for themselves.They weren’t embarrassed about having ambitions or good grades. We worked hard, we did well.
To this day, one of my favorite memories is being so engrossed in conversation after school that three of us spent hours on the corner of the street. Determined to catch the next bus but somehow missing the next 12. The sun set and the streetlights came on and we stayed on that corner.
As we grew up and left school, these conversations continued over dinners, coffee, breakfast, sleepovers. However, a majority of our conversations moved online. The number of ways we could communicate increased and yet I missed my team more than ever.
Fast forward another couple of years into and out of university….and life inevitably took us in different directions. The things that held us together faded away and new points of connection grew in their place, but not always.
But those conversations have shaped me. For better and sometimes for worse. Table for 9 is rooted in those moments of connection that occur during these conversations because there is nothing like reading something and seeing a reflection of yourself or your reality in it. Learning and listening to the experiences of others, however trivial, can bring enormous comfort and perspective. The women we have brought together to tell their stories are beautifully three dimensional and I AM SO EXCITED TO BE HERE.