Thursday, May 17, 2012

A birthday gift.... to myself

I am going to Russia, boarding a train, and riding it through Mongolia and to Beijing. This is my 30th birthday gift to myself, and I am going solo.

If I told you that whenever I think of this trip I get chills, would you believe me? If I told you that I was smiling like a goon walking from the metro stop to my front door today, would you believe it?

Well, so it is. I always imagined myself with wee babes at this age, a toddler on my hip and a baby in my arms. But if, when I turn 30, I have not children on my hip but adventure in my heart, then I shall still consider myself lucky.

Maybe things really do happen for a reason. I am so ready to get on that train by myself and greet the other side of the world. "Hello world!!!" I almost want to scream. None of this would be happening if life went according to my initial plan.

And how thankful I am, that things are unfolding not according to my plan, but to Yours.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Locked Doors

I owe you a really long post. A catch-up. An explanation of an absence.

Oh I really, really do.

In the last month, I have moved to DC, started a new job, uprooted my life, said goodbye, said hello, made new friends, tried new things, breathed new air, been thankful for the newness at every corner. I have been very very sad, and then very very happy, barely any time to experience the emotions in between.

And really, trying to sum all of that up is daunting. The new apartment, my new {huge!} patio/garden, my failed/successful attempts at vermicomposting...... so many things to say.

But I shall start with this:

Locked doors are really not so bad after all. It is a way of meeting neighbors, seeing people when they are vulnerable, helping someone in need.

Story Number One
On Saturday, I went outside to walk Barley - barefoot; no cell phone, keys or wallet. It was a happy-go-lucky, tra-la-la type of evening. We were outside for less than two minutes, and when we came back I realized that the door was locked. There is no worse feeling than staring at your front door and realizing that you cannot get in. Especially when you are barefoot, don't know anyone nearby, and have no means of contacting help. For a while, until it all sinks in, you must just stand and look at your front door, willing it to open. {Tell me I'm not the only one to do this.}

A moment of light {hallelujah, angels, all that jazz} came upon me when I realized that I had left the back door to my patio open. {I live in a townhouse-style building, so my backyard is bordered by both my neighbor's backyards, and there is a gate between all the patios.} Cautiously, quite reluctantly, I rang the bell of my next-door neighbor. Oh-so-thankfully, he was at home (woo hoo!). But I certainly did get the raised eyebrow when I asked to walk through his house and through his patio to get to mine. He apologized profusely for his messy house (it was immaculately clean), and was kind about letting me (and my dog) barge right in. How Neighborly!!!

As it turns out, he was about to go out for the evening and invited me along. We had a grand time exploring the neighborhood, and he showed me all the best spots to grab a beer on a Saturday night (friend #1!!).

Story Number Two
Tonight, I went outside to walk Barley (is this sounding quite familiar yet?). I very obsessively checked three times to make sure I had my keys, and after I got outside met a woman - about my age - who had locked herself out of her apartment. She was standing in the courtyard with her dog (a much more well-behaved dog than mine, might I add), and was visibly upset. She had no cell phone, money, or means of contacting anyone. Of course I invited her inside my house to use my phone/internet and to contact a locksmith. And just before the locksmith arrived to let her inside, we agreed that we would have to meet again in a less disaster-like scenario (friend #2!!).

I'm not going to wax poetic about why "when one door closes another one opens" (<-- hardy har), but the situation is quite ironic. I am meeting my neighbors - one by one - by one of us locking ourselves out of our apartment and being forced to meet the other.

It is so very easy to pass by our neighbors with a cursory nod. It is easy to feign indifference and chat on our cell phones and text away as we pass people on the sidewalk. But when we find ourselves without cell phones and keys and accessible homes, we really must turn to our neighbors for help. I am so intrigued by these people that live only a foot from me, separated by drywall and a few layers of paint. I hope to meet more of my neighbors - really talk to them and get to know them.

Though, I do hope that we can keep locked doors and locksmiths out of the relationship from here on. We've learned our lesson, thankyouverymuch. We'll make proper acquaintances from here on by ourselves.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...