One of the questions I like to ask the people of 923 Oak is “what advice would you give your 14-year-old self?”
The advice I would give my 14-year old self is this:
Here’s me at 16:
You can see why “relax” might be wise words for this Laura Ashley-clad VIP-wanna-be.
To be fair, I fully expected to be President of the United States. I had aspirations to be the first woman president.
Shortly after this photo was taken, I sang “One Moment in Time,” the Whitney Houston/ Olympic Games classic during half time to kick off football homecoming. (Apologies to all present.) I could have exploited this opportunity to get a fabulous new sparkly dress to coordinate with the homecoming court girls. Instead, I wore a full navy midi-skirt, navy turtleneck and yellow & navy argyle sweater. The latter of which was borrowed.
From my best friend’s mom.
I guess if I were my mom, I wouldn’t have staged an intervention either. Better that your daughter sought to look 40 at 17 than beg to party in Panama City for Spring Break with almost everyone else in her class.
So “relax” has been a familiar mantra to me, but has curiously become more frequent since I quit my job to focus on this project.
I typically know exactly what I’m doing, when it will happen and where I’ll be. Control freak, Type A, whatever. I get sh*t done, people. But this is not that kind of trip. And I get it: this is something to embrace. Good things happen when you’re outside your comfort zone.
So here I am. GOOD THINGS! HERE I AM!
I had a plan for the first two weeks of this trip. And now I do not. And I’m feeling a bit distraught as I try to sort out the logistics of where to go when, with a somewhat efficient itinerary that doesn’t involve me Family-Circling my way all over the USA. There are considerations to complicate matters: a family in Pennsylvania can really only meet on the weekends. A woman in Florida has family in town through mid-March. The musician I’m meeting in Tennessee is in the recording studio and then going out of town late next week. I need to get to northern Iowa and down to Texas. And I’d love to squeeze in a couple days with my parents in Arizona and play a round of golf with my dad. I need to be back in San Francisco for a very special party for my dear friend Timmy at the end of March. And then there’s that whole JOB thing that I need to find sooner than later.
So I’m getting an earful from my internal voice right now. The same one that patiently repeats “relax” multiple times a day.
Theory vs. reality. It was easy to accept that this trip was going to be an exercise in going with the flow. Before I actually had to practice it.
I know that everything will work out. I know that not every 923 Oak will want to talk with me. I know that I can make more trips. I know that this is just the beginning. I know that this a journey, and everything is happening as it’s supposed to.
I think my inner voice just typed that paragraph.
And I can always use the gift my friend Timmy gave me before I left. “If you’re ever lost or don’t know where to go, this will send you the right way.”
Everything will be okay.
See how relaxed I am?