Yesterday, using wardrobe as an entry point, I posited that in order for Shane to embrace her full capacity as a postal detective, she needed to be able to embrace all aspects of herself - including the painful pieces of her past - for use in service of her professional goals. To prove this required a better understanding of the state of Shane’s professional and personal life in relationship to one another.
In an ideal world, the connection between the professional and personal aspects of Shane’s life, and everything contained therein, was seamless and continuous, the personal able to draw on the professional, and the professional able to draw on the personal:
By contrast, the personal side of the diagram left something to be desired. Her personal life contained an element that lacked continuity---her sister, Alex Brighton--an element which, through the “dinging phone,” connected Alex indirectly to Rita, Oliver and Norman, in a way Shane could not prevent:
Interestingly, even as she adopted casual attire for their presumed return to Denver, Shane continued to operate in a leadership position where the case was concerned. It began with her identifying the setting of Danny’s last photo at the Lodge, and continued as she beat Oliver to questioning Carl about his memory of Rachel and her son. The combination of casual attire and professional execution were evidence of the fact that the personal and professional aspects of her life were beginning to interact with each other in new and different ways.
At Minnie’s Diner, Shane’s personal experience and the realities of their professional pursuit collided in a poignant and profound way:
Shane also made herself particularly vulnerable in presenting her unprocessed pain in front of Oliver, given the fact she didn’t know how he would respond to such a revelation. This tells us that Shane offered it primarily for Rachel’s benefit, perhaps with little regard for the consequences in her own life. In that moment, her sole focus was to deliver hope and healing to Rachel, and she drew upon everything---even herself---to complete that task.
Shane also identified parallels between their situations, which led to a personal promise in the course of a professional pursuit, committing to “reach out to [her] sister” if Rachel reached out to her husband. For the first time, Shane tied divine delivery theory in a personal context when she reflected there must be “a reason [they] met each other [that day]…to help each other,” acutely aware the events of their journeys conspired specifically to bring them together in that moment. Initially intending to help Rachel, Shane recognized in real time the necessity of facing Alex, how to take that step in the process, and committed in faith to doing so, perhaps believing something Greater was at work for them both.
Though a professional entry point, their encounter opened a long overdue personal dialogue for Shane where the pain surrounding her sister was finally articulated. Though she had yet to explicitly connect it to Alex, Shane’s commitment to Rachel to reach out to her sister made that connection, and the integration that followed, inevitable.
Giving Up The Ghost
While Shane’s interaction with Rachel helped her determine that she needed to reach out to Alex, there was still a question of what the nature or purpose of that interaction would be. Through Shane and Oliver’s interaction outside the diner, this question was answered:
When Shane finally connected Alex to the personal aspect of her life, it yielded gains in both the professional and personal sphere. Her sharp shift in wardrobe, combined with her continued vigilance professionally, was the first hint that the professional and personal aspects of her life had begun to interact in new and different ways as a result of this new connection.
On a core level, however, was where the real work of this new connection took place. When Shane chose to draw upon her unprocessed pain surrounding Alex to deliver healing to Rachel, she began her own healing process, which progressively created greater context for Alex until Shane was ready to own Alex both for herself and to those around her. In the process, she leveled up professionally, and paved a path to level up personally as well.
A Call Answered
Later that evening, Shane also assumed another important title from someone close to her. At Bistro Ramon, Rita reflected on how Shane was “the sister she never had,” and that she couldn’t “imagine getting married, being married, or raising children without [Shane].” It was a bond that stood independent of whether or not she had a real sister, allowing Shane’s bond with Rita to coexist alongside her sisterly bond with Alex without consequence. With this perspective, Shane could move past the immediate present to envision a future for herself in a way she had not been able to do previously. With two of the most important relationships in her life still intact, and even stronger in some ways than before, her process map finally achieved the ideal balance, with both the professional and personal connected seamlessly and completely:
Outwardly, Shane’s solid, navy blue fit and flare dress projected a clear purpose in the professional space, tempered only by the tweed cream and black blazer which hinted at emerging personal discord. Operationally, Shane had acquired a significant amount of responsibility and discretion to operate within the professional sphere by The Road Less Traveled, not the least of which included setting the course for the POstables latest professional pursuit. At the same time, that professional pursuit placed Shane on the path to confront the “unattached [person]” in her personal life, with significant implications for both her professional and personal development overall. This development, and the process required to achieve it, unfolded as the POstables set out to find Danny.
Dressed for professional success, the deep continuity between Shane’s practical execution of the case, coupled with her evolved perspective of her calling, were the definition of integration in the professional sphere. But there was another level she could access professionally if Shane could bring all aspects of her personal life into alignment, a reality which Shane’s actions, for a time, actively opposed. Shane’s attempt to deny the reality of Alex by her own volition exposed an area of her personal life which, without proper context only she could provide, created ambiguity within her relationships with varying consequences. From lying to Rita, to an argument with Oliver, Shane was on a crash course with confronting that which she actively tried to avoid, even as it became known to those around her. It was this confrontation, however, facilitated the opportunity for Shane to begin owning Alex as part of her narrative, with profound implications for her encounter with Rachel the next day, and for the professional and personal aspects of her life as a whole.
When Shane finally connected Alex to the personal aspect of her life, it yielded gains in both the professional and personal sphere. Her sharp shift towards casual attire, combined with her continued professional vigilance, was the first hint that the professional and personal aspects of her life had begun to interact in new and different ways as a result of that new connection.
On a core level, however, was where the real work of that new connection took place. When Shane chose to draw upon her unprocessed pain surrounding Alex to deliver healing to Rachel, she began her own healing process, which progressively created greater context for Alex until Shane was ready to own Alex both for herself and to those around her. In the process, she leveled up professionally through her selfless handling of the situation with Rachel, and paved a path to level up personally as well.
Shane's Road Less Traveled Wardrobe: Family Ties | Balanced Scorecard, Part I | Balanced Scorecard, Part II