494 Words on Professionals Who See You

It’s not a secret that hairdressers and nail techs are also in the people/helping business. Sure, they do your hair and your nails, but they also see you. A good one doesn’t work on your hair alone, they work on your spirit too. I remember one particular haircut more than 20 years ago. It wasn’t about the hair, it was about a breakup. 

“Oh no, girl. We need to do something new. This man is about to regret it. Also, why does it look like you have no eyebrows? We have to do something about this, too. Immediately.” 

Call it like you see it. Part of the job. 

I had this experience this week with two other helping professionals in disguise: my accountant and my new stationery spirit-guide.

Let’s start with the accountant. I can’t even tell you how much a good accountant will change your life. I used to think I wasn’t an “accountant person.” I now know it’s because I didn’t have one. The right accountant will make you regret life before her. The thing I love about mine is how she’s a delicious blend of compassionate and stern. “I feel your pain, but these numbers don’t lie, babes.” No, you can’t deduct that, but did you know you can deduct this? Also, what are you doing about this situation over here? Don’t do it that way. You are not a businesswoman, you are a business, woman. 

Immediately following financial therapy I went into the stationery shop because “personalized stationery” is on the list. Which list, you ask? The list. 

I found this paperie because it was in the town where I was doing the taxes business and so it seemed like a good idea to keep the sparkle-energy flowing. It was an inspired choice. I must have looked like I was on a mission when I arrived because the owner made a beeline for me. I told her about the other thing I needed and then added “And, not to bury the lede, but I also am getting personalized notecards.” 

“Oh yesssssss! This makes my heart go pitter-patter. Tell me everything” 

“Letterpress. Flat. Blind printed from behind. The perfect font. I want to steal something I saw from [long description of who]… does that seem weird?” 

“Absolutely not. And we are not stealing. We are being inspired and we are not doing it that way, no. You don’t have that same energy.” 

It felt like I found my fairy godmother. Little by little I revealed more and more of my notecard dreams. Where they came from. Why I cared so much. At the end of the visit, I revealed that I was worried my personalized stationery enthusiasm was, well, extra. 

“Girl, not at all. You’re in a stationery store. We see you.” 

And perhaps that’s the whole thing, right? To be a good pastor, or hair stylist, or accountant, or stationery fairy godmother the secret’s the same: see the people. 


#WritersWrite and I write almost every day. I sometimes share my thoughts publicly in this series called “500 Words or Less” This practice allows me to explore a variety of different topics in a restrained/contained way and learn what resonates with people. I wrote it, not AI. If you share, please give proper credit. © Traci Smith, 2023. All Rights Reserved.

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