Monday, February 7th marked the 3rd year birthday of my blog. It is truly an understatement to say that a lot happens in 3 years.
Here are just a few things that have been life shifting on so many levels:
-Moved 5 times
-Ended a 5 year partnership and fell in love all over again, even when I did not think it was possible.
-Changed jobs 3 times, worked for 3 different organizations
-Traveled all over the United States-Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Miami, California, and Maine :)
-Spent my 2nd Christmas away from my family
-Landed my dream job
-Participated in a walk for suicide prevention
-My brother enlisted into the Army
-My cousin and many of my good friends got engaged
-I completed a 21 day cleanse
-I continue to be crazy about reading and books
-I really found out what it means to have work/life balance
-I continue to hold yoga close to myheart as my saving grace :)
So Monday marked this huge thing for me. Let me tell you how it went:
On Sunday night, I stayed up way too late. I was energized after having a powerful conversation with one of my close friends/mentors/coaches at a brunch get together for a personal training and development program I participated in as a coach about a year ago. We all gathered at Eastlake Bar & Grill, a good solid spot in Seattle for those gatherings. Sarah and I talked and talked and it was one of the most enlivening conversations I have been part of in so long. It was energizing to come to terms with my own integrity and responsibility in all areas of my life and recognize again the whole "Power of Now" idea. All we have is right now. And right now. And right now. And we get to choose our "now." So after that conversation, I shot up to work, helping with the climbing wall and facilitated a family based healthy lifestyles program. Ahhhh...nothing beats having a job that gives you the warm fuzzies. Then, home and staying up way too late with The Man knowing had a training to attend for 9am on Monday morning.
This story is pretty predictable: Didn't set an alarm. Oh wait, I did set an alarm, but it was for 6:50PM instead of AM. My whole plan of waking up, taking the bus downtown, then meeting the man for Happy Hour seemed sabotaged. Sabotaged by yours truly. Well, after bolting out of bed at 8AM and very shortly thereafter started freaking out on so many levels, the man that I love turned over and said, "Honey, I can take you downtown." And he did. What a doll. It was one of the biggest random acts of love I have experienced. Traffic was nonexistent and I arrived early for my training.
Looking out the windows during lunch, the rain fell in sideways sheets. It was pouring outside. Of course, when you are running late, you don;t think about the weather too much. I usually take on the attitude of, "I'll survive." Well, after our training, I stepped out onto the Seattle sidewalks and it was freezing. I was wearing my black American Apparel skirt with my Danskos, sans tights, and a long sleeve shirt. No jacket. No Socks. No umbrella. Yes, call me an optimist.
I headed to the library and knew I had about 15 solid blocks of walking ahead of me to meet The Man for Happy Hour at a cute little wine bar in Belltown. So, I relished in the dry, safe haven of the library along with at least 250 homeless people.
Ever since I moved to Seattle, the hardest thing for me about living here has been seeing the homeless population suffer. It is one of the most emotionally brutal things I have experienced. When I first moved here I would drive right by the same homeless person everyday on my way to work. I cried every time I came into the office. My skin wasn't tough enough yet. My leadership team sat down with me and explained why it was such a prominent problem. (i.e. alcoholism, mental illness, drugs, etc.) I still feel a small lump in the back of my throat whenever I see homeless. And last Monday, I had a breakthrough in my thinking and feeling.
Let me first say that I love the Downtown Library. The expansiveness. The thousands of books. The silent space. It is one of my favorite places in Seattle. I love how you can take the escalator up and up and up and up and explore more, learn more, read more. That Monday, I saw how the library not only serves the purpose for others to read and expand their brains, but the Library is a safe haven for those who have no home. I remember when I was little, I would think about how cool it would be to live in a library. To have 24/ access to books, maps, magazines, and more. The homeless that scattered the chairs reading quietly, sleeping, surfing the internet, touched me deeply. The library was their solace. The respite in their survival based life. Warm, cozy, and safe. I wasn't that much different. I was cold, unprepared for the elements, and wanted some peace before I powered through the walk to Belltown. It was moving to experience the emotions. My heart opened a little wider. Compassion ran through my blood again. The lump in the back of my throat dissipated.
I left and walked north. It was windy, rainy, and super cold. I walked fast and finally arrived to where the man stood, waiting with his Outdoor Research Jacket to wrap around me. Then we walked some more. Talking and laughing and me telling him how his random act of love made my day. We got to the wine bar. And that is when it started. We sat at a table looking out the window onto the streets. The wine came. The cheese/meat plate came. And the the tears. I am not sure what happened but what I remember is The Man telling me that I am probably The One and its super scary to think that and its exciting at the same time. I was crying because I was happy. I was happy as a clam. I looked across at him and knew right then and there what we had was as real and as loving as anybody can get. I was beyond thankful/content/grateful/amazed/fill in the blank.
As this perfect moment lingered in front of us, two chocolate goat cheese truffles arrived and it was instant bliss. Love, chocolate, wine, and warmth.