Shortcuts In Social Networking & Stranded in the Tropics

It was a cold, snowy night in Winnipeg (that’s in Canada in case you didn’t know) and I had an hour of driving left. Following my usual keep-me-from-dozing-while-driving protocol, I posted a tweet inviting my followers to phone me and chat.

Ring, ring.

“Uh, hello. Is this Joseph?” Asked the sweetest southern drawl I’d heard since the last time I was in Atlanta.

“Why yes it is,” I replied. “Who is this?”

“It’s @hey_its_la calling.”

(Have you ever had one of those moments where you know that you should know someone, but you don’t?)

“We’ve never tweeted, but I am sitting up here in the NYC airport and I’m just about to board and I saw your tweet and I wanted to just call and say hello.”

Turns out she had just started following me that same night, and I didn’t even have a chance to follow her back yet.

Turns out that the sweet southern drawl – the likes of which I hadn’t heard since Atlanta – was actually in Atlanta. Also turns out that I was going to be in Atlanta a few weeks later for a marketing conference. Coincidence? Maybe. (Then again, maybe not…)

Me & @Hey_its_la in the “W” lobby

Since the conference was at the W, it seemed like a good idea to just meet there… just not in the lobby. I tried to tell her:

I’m at the W, but I can’t meet you in the lobby. Girl, I gotta watch my back, cuz i’m not just anybody

But I think the joke fell on deaf ears.

(If you don’t get it either, check out fellow Canadian Drake in this video: Bedrock by Young Money)

Anyway, we sat and chatted for hours. I was absolutely enthralled with the stories she told of her life. From being stranded on a tropical island with the natives for 3 months to her genius daughter in the special forces of the military, it was one amazing and almost-too-incredible-to-believe event after another.

Professionally, Leslie Ann is a graphic artist who has worked on some of the coolest projects on the planet. (Ever heard of the iPhone?) In her “free time” however, she owns a ranch and shows horses. How’s that for busy? Impressive? Awesome?

All said and done though, I had an amazing insight in talking with my new friend @Hey_its_la. She said a few times:

We should check in to our hearts to see if we are on track or not.

Very simple but extremely profound. Meeting this woman was a very powerful reminder of the power of listening “to the voice that is heard by us alone” and the amazing experiences that life will lend us if we do.

How will you check in and follow your heart today?

(Be sure to follow Leslie Ann here)

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