<![CDATA[Bethe Lee Moulton - Bethe's Blog]]>Sun, 25 Jun 2017 22:17:08 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[Are You a Young Woman (or Man) on a Foray into Unfamiliar Territory?]]>Sat, 12 Sep 2015 19:42:49 GMThttp://untilbrazil.com/2/post/2015/09/are-you-a-young-woman-or-man-on-a-foray-into-unfamiliar-territory.htmlSeptember 15th marks the fourth anniversary of Until Brazil and three decades since my own journey on which the novel is based. A fun coincidence has sparked me to reach out to young women (and men) adventuring into new territory, be it geographic or intellectual or emotional.

First the magical coincidence—a coincidence possible only in this millennium of connectivity. A few weeks ago, a young woman named Melissa was preparing for a business trip to São Paulo. Seeking some pointers, she checked out a pile of books from public library; Until Brazil was among them. Reading, she discovered that we had attended the same high school. Well, almost. In my era, Abbot Academy was an all-girls prep school; it has since become an integral part of Phillips Academy, Melissa’s alma mater. She was going to Brazil on a business project on August 24th, the very same date that I had embarked on my journey 29 years before! During our first Skype session, we talked non-stop for two hours, like old friends!

For me, the fascinating fun of meeting Melissa was discovering our professional parallels and emotional equality, despite her being forty years my junior. We started our conversation with some tips about doing business with Brazilians—knowing a few phrases in Portuguese, taking time to drink a cafezinho, being prepared to enjoy the unexpected, and having a little jogo de cintura. (You’ll have to read the book to discover what that means.) Soon, however, we were talking about the emotional roller coaster and unique challenges of being a woman in a world that is still often dominated by male counterparts, especially in a foreign country.  

In many ways, today’s Melissas have a much stronger platform from which to succeed, especially in international careers. Many educational settings now boast cultural and gender diversity, a reality that was far away when I earned my MBA. The Internet, not yet a transformational force when I went to Brazil, now provides information, communication and connections that open the world to those who tap into their powerful potential.

Today’s young professional is likely to be far more worldly and far less naïve than I was at thirty-five. However, taking the plunge into unknown territory, challenging assumptions you barely know you have, and being willing to fly through windows of opportunity still require self-confidence and courage. In writing Until Brazil, I hoped to inspire others to take “journeys afar for discovery within.”  Knowing one such voyager brings me great satisfaction. Thank you, Melissa.

But, just like the heroine Bethania, I am greedy and want more! 

“As the speck of yellow paper sank from sight, it carried with it the ‘shoulds’ and ‘oughts’ that threatened to entrap me in the good life I had known until Brazil. An exuberant tingling seeped in to replace them. I think it was the same tingling that tells a rosebud that it is time to open its petals.”                  Excerpt from Until Brazil


]]>
<![CDATA[The Eyes Refocus]]>Sat, 15 Aug 2015 20:13:43 GMThttp://untilbrazil.com/2/post/2015/08/the-eyes-refocus.htmlTo My Blog Readers,

The "eyes" of "Until Brail" are preparing to refocus on women in business, especially those who venture into the international arena.  

As a  first step in updating this blog, I have deleted many of my previous posts, keeping those that address the challenges of bridging across cultures, either personally or professionally. Many of those pointers are still relevant and may have been buried under subsequent posts.

I hope you will enjoy these previous posts and I look forward to our future dialog!

Bethe Lee Moulton]]>
<![CDATA[When All the Mentors Are Men: 3 Tips and a Tribute]]>Mon, 01 Apr 2013 23:17:15 GMThttp://untilbrazil.com/2/post/2013/04/when-all-the-mentors-are-men-3-tips-and-a-tribute.htmlPicture
I have just packed my bags to attend the Women’s Summit at the Harvard Business School to mark 50 years of women attending that institution.  However, even as I go to celebrate the growing leadership of and opportunities for women, I want to thank the many men who have been my mentors. Oh yes, and I want to share some pointers that have served me well in a business “culture” that was dominated by men. 

Once upon a time, not very long ago, a woman in business was a woman in a man’s world. That was certainly my case. Rather than bemoan the glass ceiling or champion women’s lib, I want to thank the men who guided my career and share a few pointers with women who dream of success.

When I earned my MBA, women made up 10% of my Harvard class; we were a noticed minority with few women role models.  Today, women earn over 35% of the MBAs from top schools; similar trends are changing other professions.  Despite important progress, I still take note when a woman becomes a CEO, a cabinet secretary, or a university president. A few years ago, Catalystprojected that “it could take 40 years for women to achieve parity with men in corporate officer ranks.” So, if you need a mentor, he is likely to be male.

That is not bad news.  Some men are excellent mentors.  To illustrate, I will use the case of Beth Bartlett, the protagonist of Until Brazil. As a woman MBA in a stalled career, she goes to Brazil to lead a major international project. As she yoyos between Boston and Brazil, Beth is buffeted by strong men on both continents, three of whom prove to be mentors.

Although a work of fiction, Until Brazil is based on my own experiences.  The characters are imaginary, but the mentoring relationships reflect real guidance and support that I received.

  • Harvey Osborne, founder of the Beth’s firm, is a professorial father figure, who has nurtured her career and now gives her a new chance to prove herself. Harvey has his motives; he wants to promote the first woman partner. Should Beth resent being the “token” woman or accept the assignment that can move her up? 

Tip #1: Don’t let a chip on the shoulder block your personal growth. Be wise about “What’s in it for him?”, but focus on “What’s in it for me?  Will this opportunity advance my goals—professional and personal? If so, how can I succeed and make my mentor look good?” There is a fine line between manipulation and mutual benefit. Look for the common interest, evaluate whether you can deliver, and be glad someone has opened a door for you.

  • Isaac Goldstein is the ambitious and demanding client, who puts Beth to the test. As the highly educated project sponsor, he seeks to influence its outcome. He becomes an assertive coach to Beth and her team. Being new to Brazil and its business culture, Beth needs his help, but can she discern genuine guidance from crafty self-interest?

Tip #2: Listen to Your Coach but Keep Control of the Ball.  Whether you are trying to make a sale, deliver a service or enter as a new hire, an ally who knows the territory can be precious. You need not cross international borders to enter foreign territory; every organization has a unique culture. A local guide, especially one with stature, can make the difference between success and failure.  

The trick is accepting support while maintaining your independence of thought and action. This applies to every coaching relationship, but is essential when a man coaches a woman. To protect your credibility, disagree and push back at the right time in the right place. Doing so skillfully may give you the reputation of “a tough professional” rather than a “bitch.”

  • Sam Cohen, a street-smart Argentine, is displeased when a woman is assigned to run the most important project of his most important client. Sam’s unorthodox methods challenge Beth and her superiors back at headquarters. Can Beth forge a partnership with someone who invents his own protocols and delights in confrontation?

Tip #3: Embrace Conflict as Coaching. By nature, I am a “smoother,” dreading confrontation and avoiding arguments. I think many women prefer to relent rather than ruffle. But, my male mentors have taught me the power of putting the issues on the table and clearing the air. It is uncomfortable when someone questions my work or disagrees with my ideas. But, if they care enough to say something, I should listen. Accepting constructive criticism or having a healthy argument is often the key to great business performance.

Harvey, Isaac and Sam represent the countless men who have helped me grow professionally and personally. To each of you, many thanks.

Someday, the idea of being a woman in a man’s world will sound quaint.  That day has not come...yet.  So when all the mentors are men, find a great one.  There are plenty out there.  


© Copyright 2013 by Bethe Lee Moulton
]]>
<![CDATA[Are You Related to the Pope?]]>Sat, 16 Mar 2013 22:12:36 GMThttp://untilbrazil.com/2/post/2013/03/are-you-related-to-the-pope.htmlHad you asked me that question a week ago, I would have answered an unequivocal “no” or prepared for a riddle.  But, today, I am related…albeit by a circuitous route. And for me, it is more than a “small world story.” 
Institutional religion has played a minor role in my life.  When young, I asked my parents, “What religion am I?” My father would reply, “Protestant with a small p.” Today, I think of myself as a humanist who is spiritual and full of awe for Nature’s miracles. In addition, I’m intrigued by comparative religion, especially by rituals and celebrations that mark important transitions, be it the arrival of spring, the birth of a child or the election of a new Pope.

So, like many around the globe, I followed the Conclave in Rome. By chance, when the white smoke appeared, I was visiting the studios of Telemundo (the entertainment network based in Hialeah, Florida, that targets the Spanish-speaking market).  Even before Pope Francis was named, the mood was electric as the network’s teams awaited important news for their viewers. It was a privilege to be immersed in their anticipation…and fun.

Soon thereafter, an Argentine was pronounced the new leader of the world’s Catholics.  News coverage since then has been providing speculation and insight about how this choice might impact the Church.  The complete surprise has been its impact on me!

My immediate reaction was an unexpected feeling of personal celebration and sense of “belonging.” Given my religious (or perhaps I should say non-religious) leanings, I attribute this to the special place Argentine holds in my psyche (as my “second” country).

Nonetheless, I was not prepared to be related to Pope Francis. My stepdaughter’s mother-in-law is the first cousin of the Pope’s sister-in-law. Furthermore, if we ignore connections by marriage and simply use “degrees of separation,” I am just two steps away due to close Argentine friends!

“Small world” stories are common in our globalized world. I am not surprised that the “degrees of separation theory” works.   Yet, this connection with someone so prominent has moved me. Since going to Brazil, many diverse streams have joined the river that is my life. Being connected to the Pope is a wonderful reminder of all the lives that have touched mine. I like to think that my celebration embraces all of them…a little like his open arms above Saint Peter’s Square.

 


© Copyright  2013 by Bethe Lee Moulton

]]>
<![CDATA[Valentine’s Day:  A Celebration of Inconvenience]]>Wed, 13 Feb 2013 17:21:43 GMThttp://untilbrazil.com/2/post/2013/02/valentines-day-a-celebration-of-inconvenience.htmlPicture
Credit:: Michael Dunn
The day of hearts and roses is a time to rejoice in the deep and caring relationships that complicate our lives. 

Falling in love can be very inconvenient, especially if your loved one comes from another culture.  Consider Downton Abbey, where the union of Sybil and Tom crosses the boundaries of upstairs and downstairs, England and Ireland, Catholic and Protestant. Their newborn daughter now carries a cross-cultural blend into the next generation.  

This type of personal drama plays out in more and more families, as globalization brings new faces and customs into our lives.  An Internet search of cross-cultural marriage provides caveats and coaching galore about the challenges that come with choosing a partner with different roots.  Some argue that every marriage is cross-cultural because every family has its own culture. No doubt, you have faced the inconvenience of falling in love, to one degree or another.

My own experience is less dramatic than that of the heiress and the chauffeur, yet, I find adjustments continue, despite decades of togetherness.  My learning to cook Argentine food is a hopeless cause, but I try to remember to serve bread with every meal.  I’m not ready to give up my less-than-elegant baseball caps and Capri pants, but I try to limit their use to the beach.  I believe those small, day-to-day acts help pave the way for the big trade-offs that come with multi-cultural life. 

There is no one formula for successful co-existence, but here is one that works for me and my Valentine:  a big dose of respect, lots of open dialogue, two heaping spoons of patience, and a dash of good humor.  

There is no doubt about it -- love is inconvenient. But Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to celebrate crazy, complicated love.


Happy Valentine’s Day!



© Copyright 2013 by Bethe Lee Moulton
]]>
<![CDATA[Perfectionist Meets Improv in Brazil]]>Fri, 01 Feb 2013 19:35:13 GMThttp://untilbrazil.com/2/post/2013/02/perfectionist-meets-improv-in-brazil.html“Perfect is the enemy of the good.” Despite the wisdom in that proverb, I grew up obeying the rules and avoiding mistakes. Perfectionism was my hallmark, but Brazil showed me its limitations. Maybe that lesson can help you, too.
As a young business consultant, I was sent to lead a strategy project in Brazil.  As a disciplined taskmistress, I was well-suited to deliver work on time, within budget and up to standards. Or was I? 

I learned to pronounce São Paulo and found it on the map. I got my first passport and packed my blue business suit. I ignored those who said that a woman project manager would be resisted in a Latin American country. Book learned but naïve, I embarked on an adventure that would challenge my assumptions about perfectionism…and many other things!

Ordem e Progresso arches across the Brazilian flag. However, upon arriving, I couldn’t see order or progress at immigration or in the traffic. Most business meetings were chaotic. Simultaneous conversations were common. Talk about yesterday’s soccer goals outweighed talk about tomorrow’s business goals.

The success of our project depended upon the contribution of the Brazilians. I tried in vain to control their discussions and set deadlines. When I saw nothing on paper, panic set in.

When I expressed my frustration to my Brazilian client, my customer assured me that confusion was good.  “My men (they were all men) are engaged. You have given them your guidance. Now for question and debate. We do not need a schoolteacher telling us what to do. Just let them work.”  My face flushed and I swallowed hard. I was an unwelcome disciplinarian, a schoolmarm instead of a facilitator. I stepped back and crossed my fingers.

Despite my trepidation, the outcome was happy.  From the tumultuous discussions came excellent recommendations. Going with the flow was more important that going by the book.

This is one of the many experiences that inspired my novel, Until Brazil. Set in the economic turbulence of the late 80s, the novel portrays a complex country of contradictions. At that time, Brazil had not yet become a star on the world stage. However, those chaotic meetings fostered business success. Messiness, rather than textbook neatness, was the condition for creativity. The openness to diverse ideas and mixing them into an unexpected stew created ownership and excitement.

In Brazil, I learned the limitations of the rigid and predictable methods espoused by my firm in its training manuals. I did not abandon them, but I learned to loosen the reins. I also came to appreciate jogo de cintura. Cintura means waist and jogo means game. Jogo de cintura is the talent of a soccer player to monitor the action, anticipate the competition, control the ball, and out maneuver his opponent.

During my years in Brazil, I never mastered the waist game, but I eased up on being perfect. Meanwhile, Brazil’s shares are rising – in business, in sports, in cultural contributions. If you ask me, jogo de cintura is part of their secret.


© Copyright 2013 by Bethe Lee Moulton

]]>
<![CDATA[The Hug-Shake:  Survival Skill for a Hybrid Life ]]>Sun, 20 Jan 2013 20:55:19 GMThttp://untilbrazil.com/2/post/2013/01/the-hug-shake-survival-skill-for-a-hybrid-life.htmlHave you ever stumbled during an international introduction? How do you turn awkward into opportunity? 

Yesterday, I caught myself giving a hug-shake. I invented this mixed move to deal with uneasy greetings. But, alas, I am not very original.  The hug-shake is officially defined in the Urban Dictionary!

Greetings 101 should be a requirement, not only for diplomats but for anyone with close encounters of the cross-cultural kind.  If you doubt this, just visit International Arrivals at your favorite airport. Meetings are wrapped in everything from cool composure to exuberant bear hugs. 

Respecting the physical content of introductions is as basic to cultural literacy as mastering a few foreign phrases. Brazilians, for example, find most North Americans cold and stand-offish; I was no exception. At my first business dinner, I was baffled by backslapping, bows and beijos (two or three kisses). Learning to read my counterpart and respond in kind was one of my first challenges.  

Just when I had mastered the beijo, I traveled to Argentina to discover that one beso is plenty. I expanded my repertoire. After two decades of greeting porteños (residents of Buenos Aires), a dear friend complained, “You never really kiss me. I want to feel your lips, not just your cheek. Like this,” he insisted with an illustrative smack. (As biology major, I still prefer my flawed salutation to his heyday for germs.)

Nonetheless, I have absorbed Latin American warmth and my northern family has had to pay the price. Accustomed to a simple “hello”, they have had to tolerate hugs upon my arrival and departure. By now, it is a ritual that might be missed, if I were to revert to just a wave.

Physical greetings seem to be on the upswing in North America. However, embracing embraces is not always natural.  Proof: the Urban Dictionary’s definition of hug-shake as “the awkward phenomenon that occurs when saying bye to your friends' friend who you just met and not knowing whether to go in for the hug too or just the handshake.”  

Despite relaxation in some setting, norms about physical contact and physical space still differ dramatically across cultures (and even among families). While doing things “right” often goes unnoticed, blunders can create barriers to satisfying relationships.  I have found that a little homework is a great investment in cultural sensitivity.

If you are about to engage with a foreign culture, visit sites such as Pocket Cultures to learn the ropes before you go. And, if your experience could spare another from embarrassment, please share. Fabulous faux pas are the stuff of good storytelling...after the fact!   


© Copyright  2013 by Bethe Lee Moulton

]]>
<![CDATA[My New Year’s Wish for You:  A Beautiful Mosaic]]>Wed, 02 Jan 2013 16:30:21 GMThttp://untilbrazil.com/2/post/2013/01/my-new-years-wish-for-you-a-beautiful-mosaic.htmlPicture
By Sonia King, Mosaic Artist
“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and hanging on.”  Havelock Ellis 

With mixed feelings, I take down the battered calendar for 2012 and hang the crisp new one. Even as I anticipate events penciled in for the future, I resist throwing the old pages in the trash.  The calendar is trivial, of course, but represents the daily challenge of holding and releasing.   


As we welcome 2013 and the changes it will bring, we face the continuous challenge of knowing what to hold dear and what to release to make space for the new.  Leading a multi-cultural life adds one more dimension to that balancing act.  One of the “arts” of the cross-cultural citizen is mosaic making…selecting which values and traditions to preserve and which new ones to incorporate into our lives.

My personal mosaic has several elements that come with the turning of the year (in addition to opening champagne and hanging the new calendar).  One comes from a friend of Cuban origin. On New Year’s Eve, she fills a bucket with water and throws it into the street.  All of the negative things that accumulated during the past twelve months are tossed out with the dirty water, allowing a fresh, clean start.  Another tradition comes from my Argentine family; at midnight, everyone gets up on a chair; at the strike of twelve they step off on the right foot.  I have replaced raucous noisemakers with these rituals about starting anew on a positive note.

Building mosaics will be one of the themes for our posts in the year ahead. I hope you will share your own experiences with “letting go and holding on.” 

In the meantime, here is my New Year’s Wish to each of you:

May you build a mosaic of vibrant colors and satisfying patterns that will bring you great happiness!


 © Copyright  2013 by Bethe Lee Moulton
]]>
<![CDATA[Finding “Home” for the Holidays: My Cross-Cultural Dilemma  ]]>Mon, 17 Dec 2012 18:10:21 GMThttp://untilbrazil.com/2/post/2012/12/finding-home-for-the-holidays-my-cross-cultural-dilemma.html“There’s No Place like Home for the Holidays.”  Perry Como crooned it and I find myself humming along. But, as the Christmas countdown enters its final week, I wonder whether the lyrics should be tweaked. By embracing the cross-cultural threads in my life, I feel grounded most of the year. However, on Christmas Day, I am adrift and wonder if others find their emotional compass spinning at Yuletide.
A multi-continental lifestyle is a privilege. I value the diverse traditions, rituals and customs that have become part of my life. One of my mottos is, “Enjoy the moment; don’t compare and don’t wish to be elsewhere.” For me, this philosophy works. But, at Christmas I pay a price for being a wanderer.

Where’s home?” A simple cocktail party question can be very hard to answer.  Happily, for Oscar and me, “home” is wherever we are together. That sounds sappy, but has brought contentment and embodies my motto of enjoying the moment, wherever I may be. But, Christmas is subversive and challenges that definition.

Childhood memories pull the family homestead to the forefront. Nostalgia sets in. “Home” becomes the scent of fresh pine, the warmth of the crackling fire, and glistening ornaments on a majestic tree. However, if I actually go to Boston, the reality is bittersweet. The treasured traditions magnify a life I left behind.  Christmas in New England distills my choices into a potent concoction that leaves me pondering instead of peaceful.  Like other globetrotters, I must accept the fact that You Can’t Go Home Again is more than just the title of a novel.

So, I often exchange a white Christmas for one in a warmer clime. Viewing fireworks at midnight in Argentina or watching the boat parade on Florida’s Intracoastal are also ways of being home for the holidays. Nonetheless, I prepare for some “unexpected turbulence” during each holiday season. When I wake up on the 25th, I will be disoriented.  No matter where I am, I will think I should be somewhere else. So, I keep my seat belt fastened and manage my malaise with a few precautions.

I reinvent rituals.  A few years ago, my husband bought a red, table-top tree for our holiday decor. At first, I thought the artificial branches were a joke, a silly substitute for fresh needles touching the ceiling. But, I pulled my memory-laden ornaments out of storage and discovered a new way to blend my north and my south. Like me, this small tree can move from one house to another and now the rebellious red “pine” has become my personal symbol of a cross-cultural Christmas.

I listen for harmony.   Christmas carols hold a special place in my holiday psyche.  As a child, we caroled door-to-door and sang around the piano.  At Cornell, I delighted in the rehearsals of the Sage Chapel Choir, preparing for the annual carol service. Music provides a Christmas “fix”… not Musak played ad nauseum, but voices raised in harmony. With a little research, I have discovered holiday concerts by singers such as The South Florida Boys Choir. Last week, I attended Seraphic Fire’s Candlelight Christmas Concert. What a joy to be immersed in their harmonies and spirit of peace.  Ironically, I learned of this chamber choir from a Brazilian!  Music is a wonderful cultural crossroads that knows no borders.

I remember the Magi. The three kings brought gold, frankincense and myrrh, setting the stage for gifting that is culturally specific. (I, for one, have never seen frankincense or myrrh; have you?) I am intrigued at the degree to which giving presents differs from one place to another, even from one family to the next.  What is appropriate? For example, having grown up exchanging books, I was shocked to learn that to some this choice is impersonal.  How should it be wrapped? Beautiful paper, bows and cards were opened with ceremony and admiration in my youth. What a contrast to the simultaneous ripping of bags at midnight in Buenos Aires.  When it comes holiday presents, I do as the Romans do, but I also remember the wise kings. They gave to a stranger of humble means. Regardless of my latitude and longitude, I seek to share the holiday spirit, by donating to charitable causes.

So, do you agree with Perry Como? Is there no place like home for the holidays? Or, do you struggle, like me, to find “home” at this time of year?  Do you have any pointers for navigating past the holiday hazards?  Please share them…as your gift to your companions in this cross-cultural café.

And remember, these challenges reflect our rich and stimulating lives. What wonderful problems to have! I wish you very joyous holidays, where ever you may be.


© Copyright 2012 by Bethe Lee Moulton

]]>
<![CDATA[Does a GPS Guide Your Personality?]]>Sat, 08 Dec 2012 03:34:21 GMThttp://untilbrazil.com/2/post/2012/12/does-a-gps-guide-your-personality.htmlLatitudes and Attitudes.    Are you ever surprised when a side of yourself surfaces in an unexpected way in an unexpected place?    Convinced that I am stable and predictable, I still get a jolt each time the power of place shapes my personality. 
After decades of moving between North and South America, I feel kinship with Jimmy Buffet when he sings, “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes.” It seems that my sub-conscious reprograms my behavior to blend into my surroundings. Three anecdotes will illustrate.

1.     “You’re different in Boston.”  Thus claims my husband born in Argentina.  At first, my rebuttal was, “What do you mean? I’m not different!”  However, after 25 years, I think Oscar is right. When I arrive in New England, self-reliance and independence take control of my days and my ways. Social interactions are framed by organized schedules and mutual expectations. My productive demeanor dispels idle camaraderie, just as wintery winds discourage seaside strolls. Except for shivering when the mercury falls to zero, I resume northern habits without noticing. And yet, someone who lives with me in a different locale can clearly see that I have donned puritanical practices, along with my winter coat.

2.     “Do I look OK?” When in Buenos Aires, I examine myself with a critical eye before going out on the street. My fashion sense ratchets up in a city where cosmetic surgery is a booming business. I don’t buy Botox or silicone implants, but I do upgrade my packaging. My faded jeans and flannel shirt, worn without hesitation in the States, are replaced with tailored slacks and a crisp white blouse. I dye my hair, apply make-up and wear size 10 instead of 12.  I emulate the dress code of my southern friends and understand the peer pressure that produces look-alike teens at the local mall. In the mirror, I see a woman who enjoys her more glamorous look. And yet, when I transport my fashionable wardrobe back to Boca, it gathers dust in the closet! 

3.     Momentary Morph. Recently, I was visiting my mother in Massachusetts when her cable box was being replaced. Detecting a Brazilian accent beneath the installer’s professional English, I spoke to him in rusty Portuguese. We chatted while he finished connecting the wires, with Mother looking on.  After he left, Mother declared, “I have a new box and a new daughter!” Seeing my puzzlement, she described my bantering with the Brazilian…my gestures, facial expressions, rhythm of speech and laughter. “You became a different person right here in my living room.” Although my mother had read my novel, Until Brazil, and heard about my many business trips to São Paulo, neither of us knew that I had a Brazilian persona. My metamorphosis, triggered by language rather than latitude, was invisible to me and a shock to the woman who knows me best.

These stories make me feel like the teenager who is moody with her parents, but charming with her friends. Having different personalities surface in different contexts shouldn’t surprise me. But it does. When my spontaneous behavior mimics the people around me, I realize I am not so stable and predictable after all. Those diverse cultures within me are determined to express themselves. And my internal GPS knows exactly where to find them!

What is your latitude/attitude story?  

I would love to hear it as comment (or reply) below.


© Copyright   2012  by Bethe Lee Moulton
Photo credit: PNetzer / Photocase.com 


Please join the conversation by clicking on "Add Comment" below this post; add your thoughts after the last comment posted.

Bethe Lee Moulton
Author of Until Brazil 
Blog Hostess at The Cultures Within Cafe

To receive alerts to future posts, please subscribe with the box to the right.  Thanks for your interest.
]]>