"Most of us give ourselves a way out, and that's why we don't have what we want." @TonyRobbins
I made the mistake of rushing to my favorite cafe at lunch hour. Not only had they run out of the chili I'd set my heart on, but there were no seats left upstairs. I headed back down to the front counter and asked for a refund. "There's nowhere to sit upstairs anyway," I explained, as my stomach growled in annoyance. "You can come and sit next to me if you like," said a voice behind me—a woman in her 50s with white, braided hair and a face that looked as though it had seen a hundred happy summers. "I'll just be reading my book. It's no bother." For the next hour, she didn't read her book. Instead, we compared notes on the local town where she was visiting with her family. She told me how she liked to go and meditate at an old cemetery tucked out the way in between century-old trees. At other times, she'd take her great nephew there and let him ride loudly round on his tricycle. "I figure when I'm dead and buried, I wouldn't mind hearing the sound of a kid on a tricycle once in a while, so why not?" She explained. And we talked about deeper matters of the heart, too. How she's living the life of a 20-something year old—unmarried, and flitting between jobs to pay the bills—but how she's happy, and that's the main thing. And how both our mothers feared we'd wind up as "spinsters", which we both envisioned as someone who never left the house and only ever talked to her cats. "My mother worried about me right into her grave," she admitted. As I finished up the last of my soup and pulled on my coat, I asked for her name. "Sarah," she replied, her face cracking open with a warm brown smile, showing off perfectly white teeth. "And you?" "Nikki," I smiled. I thanked her for her hospitality and for allowing me to share her table and, with that, I headed for the stairs. After the first couple of steps, I looked back up and our eyes met above the heads of the other patrons one last time. And I couldn't help but think that our mentors come in all shapes and sizes and ages and places. And sometimes, they only come into our lives for an hour. Other times, they stay for five years or ten. But the truth of the matter is, they ALL have something to teach us—if we'll only listen.
"Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center, of meaningful human experiences." — Brené Brown