The One About Layne

1 12 2011

In a departure from everything I’ve ever done on this blog, I am bowing to pressure from my friend, Layne, to write a post about her. (I made the mistake of expressing to her that I wasn’t sure what I would write about this week.) She has given me no instructions or parameters, no topics to include or avoid. Normally, I would be concerned about alienating my other friends, but many of you know Layne and will, therefore, be kind about my decision to cave. Those who don’t know her, really should meet her!

Layne, in the center, on hot toddy night last winter.

Layne came for an interview three years ago in December, shortly after my entire staff resigned within a couple weeks of one another. I was stressed. Ok, slightly panicked. My most significant impression of her during the interview can be summed up in one word: genuine. She didn’t have that “I’m on an interview” false persona. She was friendly without being overbearing, thoughtful but enthusiastic. I didn’t know if she was ready for the job, but I was desperate.

In the intervening years, I have come to see just how truly genuine Layne is. Every individual is unique, but Layne is more so. The word that comes to mind most readily now, in regard to her, is magical. That may seem like a strange word to describe a person who is not really very Sabrina-like. After all, Sabrina was a practical wife and mother (or a “normal” teenager in the more recent television show) who happened to do magic, while Layne embodies magic. She bewitches people, and here’s why:

  • She’s an avatar (definition: a physical representation of an abstract concept). A few years ago, there was a big splash made about “indigo children”. In describing the concept, one site states, “Descriptions of indigo children include the belief that they are empatheticcuriousstrong-willed, independent, and often perceived by friends and family as being strange; possess a clear sense of self-definition and purpose”. This description may or may not accurately describe a group of “special children”, but it is a perfect description of Layne. She had a tough time in school and has often been perceived as strange, its true. I maintain that this is due, in large part, to the fact that her perceptual abilities (intuition, empathy, emotional capacity to take in stimuli from the world around her) are more keen than those of her peers.
  • She’s not an old soul, she’s a new soul with mad skills. She can make anything out of paper. She can interpret the language of dogs. She wants to, and eventually will, start a social revolution on twitter (she’s just waiting for the right cause to present itself). She can send 84 texts in rapid succession – when she does this, the notification chimes on my phone sound like a slot machine ringing a jackpot. Winning!
  • Layne can meet with roommates who say they hate each other, and before they leave her office they are professing their undying friendship. She can spend three minutes with me and accurately put her finger on whatever is troubling me, even when I am not talking about it. When I do talk about it, she can finish my sentence for me and always picks the exact word I was going to use. It can be uncanny, and would be frightening if it weren’t for the fact that Layne is inherently trustworthy. Remember that description of indigo kids? It says they have a clear sense of self-definition and purpose. Layne has told me her life’s purpose, and it is, believe me, uniquely hers!
  • Last but not least, Layne twinkles. Even when she’s depressed. Even when she has been dumped by her boyfriend. Even when she is so sad she has to throw herself to the floor in front of me. (Yes, it’s true, she can be a little drama, as well!)

Lest you get the impression that I see her as something other than human, allow me to explain one last thing about Layne. She is young and open to experience, she rushes into things she should take her time with, and she drags her feet when she should be running. In other words, she has room for growth. That may be one of the reasons I am enchanted by her extraordinary nature: there isn’t only room for improvement, she expresses an active daily desire for it. She is committed to growing into her best possible self, and she can feel a future ahead in which that is exactly what happens. So can I.

If Layne were an animal, she would be a giraffe – her long, graceful neck holding her head above the crowd and seeing far, far into the future. Where another magical creature looks back at her, with her own eyes.

Advertisements

Actions

Information

8 responses

1 12 2011
Kate

Jen-
Your choice to focus on Layne was a fabulous one. I have only known her for a few months but reading her posts, visiting with her, and listening to all of you talk about her – show she is indeed one of those people who is changing and will continue to change the world. Excellent work as always- give Layne a big hug from me

1 12 2011
jenion

Will do, Kate!

1 12 2011
mjo60640Martin

Does she want to come to Chicago and work for me?

1 12 2011
jenion

Martin, she just might at that! I’ll have her people get in touch with your people 🙂

1 12 2011
wendy

Wonderful and unique description for a truly wonderful and unique woman! Although, I think I would chosen her animal to be a monkey- just by the description of that crazy little dance she does. Add my name to the Layne Fan Club and teach me the monkey dance!

2 12 2011
jenion

If you did the monkey dance with Layne, I might pee my pants. Just being honest, Wendy!

1 12 2011
auntlayne

What? I was an act of desperation? I kid, I kid. That left me without knowing what to say other than I too agree with Em (on facebook)- Truly blessed. As I tell you, myself, or someone else nearly everyday: no matter what the job, having you as my boss, friend, and mentor has been a life-changing (or maybe it’s life-growing) gift. Thanks Jenion, for the post. The ending was beautiful, so much so it brought me to a level of thought/hope/determination to reach whoever that creature is with my eyes at the end. The purpose of life is a life of purpose in which I will never be sure of until I reach the brink of anew…

2 12 2011
Sue

Wow, how beautiful! The writing, and the portrait it paints. Clearly, I need to get to know you, Layne. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: