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This just in: You can build a beautiful life – a lesson from Marc Maron and James Taylor

James Taylor

James Taylor

I was hypnotized by Marc Maron’s recent WTF podcast episode in which he interviews James Taylor, one of my favorite musicians. Taylor’s life has been a winding road that was often dark, twisted, and lonely. To hear his smooth and comforting voice, the voice I first heard as a young teenager and can never get enough of, that harrowing journey isn’t always apparent.

This interview, the most raw and honest I’ve ever heard Taylor give (and as a huge fan I’ve heard many!), often left me teary-eyed and profoundly grateful that he is still with us and still making music. Now 32 years sober, Taylor is in love and making us fall in love with his music all over again via his new album, Before This World. His music and the people in his life, including friends and family, helped him make that climb out of the depths and into the light. Taylor and Maron reminded us that change, growth, and healing are difficult, but possible.

With his trademark familiarity and humility, Maron makes guests comfortable enough to share the stuff that hurts. I felt like I was in that garage in Los Angeles where Maron conducts most of his interviews, and that after we’d all go out and get a coffee. This is the gift of listening to podcasts and personal interviews. It’s an intense exercise in attention, connection, and awareness that’s so personal that it transports us. It’s a meditation of sorts, an opportunity to leave our own cares and worries behind, that helps us to better understand and appreciate another person’s experience and journey. And for this gift, I’m tremendously grateful to Taylor and Maron.

Listen to this interview at http://www.wtfpod.com/podcast/episodes/episode_648_-_james_taylor.

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About Christa Avampato

I make a living in business and I make a life as a writer, artist, and yogi. I use my business and storytelling skills to build a better world. My first novel, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, will be published in the Fall of 2017 by Thumbkin Prints, a children's and YA imprint of Possibilities Publishing Co. My creative career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, and financial services. In every experience, I have used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, program, and events to help people live happier, healthier lives. A recovering multi-tasker, I am a proud alum of UPenn (BA) and the Darden School at UVA (MBA). When not in front of my Mac, I’m on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I am proud to New York City my home, and I've been called the happiest New Yorker by friends and strangers alike. They're right. Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.

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This week, the many different threads at my job started to connect. It’s immensely gratifying to learn a large and complex technology platform, all for the sake of bringing more art, theater, music, and dance to more people. The vertical learning curve is becoming a little less vertical. Or maybe I am just becoming a more adept climber.

This idea of scaling walls reminded me of this sign I saw a few months ago when I was shoulder-deep in my job search, including interviewing for my current job. I wasn’t sure what would happen in my search, or what I would do about what would happen when it did happen. (This is how my mind works. It’s in a constant state of whirring.) What I needed was a sign, so I asked for one as I made my way up Fifth Avenue from the New York Public Library to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That’s when I saw this sign in the North Face storefront: Walls are meant for climbing. And about 30 minutes later, I heard from my now current job that I was moving on to the next and final round. Less than a week later, they offered me the job.

It’s this sense of optimism, asking the Universe for guidance, and then opening our eyes and ears to take in the wisdom around us that we have to take with us everywhere we go, into every situation that we face. We may not always be successful though our odds dramatically increase when we can look at a wall not as a roadblock, but as a reason to smile. I got this. You got this. We all got this.

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