Sheridan de Kruiff, the 206th person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers, has admirers in high places.

As we were preparing to say goodbye, we bumped into a very senior lawyer Sheridan knows, who proceeded to tell me how smart and wonderful Sheridan was.

I wasn’t the least bit surprised, because I’d already formed that impression myself.

Sheridan is also a lawyer. She works with the ACCC, Australia’s competition regulator and national consumer law champion, in a senior leadership position.

But Sheridan is anything but stuffy. She’s friendly, outgoing and a good conversationalist.

Sheridan describes herself as a country girl at heart, after growing up in the regional city of Albury. That said, she cherishes the cosmopolitanism and diversity of Sydney.

As we were chatting about the various places we’ve lived and worked, it struck me how those choices not only reflect our values but also shape them.

When we’re in the wrong place, we feel like a square peg in a round hole, because we’re being asked to live inauthentically. At the same time, we might unconsciously alter our personality and our actions, as a way of fitting in.

Thankfully, Sheridan loves both her job and Sydney. So she’s definitely in the right place.

P.S. As a scrupulous regulator, Sheridan notified me before the lunch that each party would have to pay for themselves, as per public service guidelines around gifts and hospitality!