Thursday, August 6, 2009

Adventure Day 17 - #18 Go out for coffee with some one I work with

#18 was definitely one of those items on my list that I had (in the back of my mind) already considered done. Not actually done yet but I had an idea of who I would be going for coffee with we just hadn’t yet set a date. With these items (the ones I’ve already considered doing) on my list I sort of feel like I’m cheating, because ‘it was going to happen anyway’, yet I’m quickly learning that you cannot always predict how things are going to turn out (hmmmm… sounds a lot like life).

Since I started my job 3 months ago I have gotten to know many of the people I work with. Some through actually working with them, others through tormenting (mutually of course), and then a few just through going to training together. The person I had intended to complete #18 with I had met through the latter. She’s a great girl with one of those personalities that make you feel cared about and listed to from the minute you begin sharing with her. We immediately decided that a ‘get together’ was in order. I was very excited because she was super nice (is super nice), level headed and very caring – Yay a new friend! However she is also a mommy of a beautiful little guy who’s just over a year old. Needless to say she’s a busy (and I’ll guess tired – since she does a 30 hour sleep contract without getting much sleep) chick. All this to say: she did not turn out to be my #18 (however we are in the process of making a date that I look forward to).

Who’s my #18? Well, another girl I work with, Sista, one of my new family members. How did this date come to occur? Well Sista invited me to go on a girls weekend away this coming weekend (which I won’t say too much about now because I’m sure it is full post worthy later on), and we had plans to catch up on it after work but got disconnected on the way. Anyways, Sista gave a call to ‘touch base’ afterwards and fill me in on some details when she asked if I just wanted to do coffee – impromptu, I love it. I had been at work for 10 hours and hadn’t seen Wally much since Sunday so I figured it might be wise to pass this time, after telling him about it after I got off the phone he encouraged me to go. I was very excited, because even more than connecting time, I love impromptu connecting time, it just seems so much more natural and uncontrived – it’s real. I love real (even though sometimes I hate real too).

Off we went to a Starbucks (the ‘city people’s’ coffee place) and I guzzled my Tall (which is actually small – strange) Double Chocolate Chip Frapaccino (sp?) (it’s liquid crack), and leapt ‘off the wagon’ with my extra huge Double Chocolate Chunk Cookie (my first in a while – I need to do some more confessing later). It was good … oh yeah and we talked. It was one of those conversations that you wonder how and where it got started, you end up bunny trailing into places you have to retract from for now and remind each other you will HAVE to revisit later, and you find yourself pouring and pouring out your story. Now, Sista and I had had a couple of these conversations before during ends or overlapping shifts (we never actually work together on the same day – weird). Since working together we have found out that we know waaaaaay too many of the same people and had similar experiences with them (which has been great confirmation for me, but that’s another story), it’s been interesting to say the least. We’ve shared parts of our stories but never like really filled in the gaps.

I have to say in the past several months I feel like when I’ve met people a lot of the talk has surrounded my story, hopefully less because I’m a narcissist and more because people hear mine and Wally’s current situation and they want to know more (about why we went back to school, sold our house and moved to the city). I have to admit, it feels good to share, to know that someone could possibly be interested in ‘our story’, as simple as it is. This time it was different, I still shared parts of my life and experiences and stuff, but I got to hear someone else’s story and it was eye opening.

Sista had told me general parts of her story before, big general parts, enough for me to feel ‘in on it’ a bit. But last night I got to really hear the emotions behind her experiences and the incredibleness of God through it. I won’t share what I learned but let me just say ‘Wow!’ - that’s what I said several times during the visit. My ‘Wow!’ wasn’t ‘God’s so cool, isn’t that great, I bet you’re glad He allowed you that experience’ kind of ‘Wow!’ Rather, it was more like ‘Wow! I can’t believe you went through that, lived through that, came through on the other side, that’s so personal, life altering, heartbreaking, humiliating, I want to cry for you, but girl you lived to tell, you’re going to be ok, fought through the bitterness, truly are better and I still can’t believe you went through that’ kind of ‘Wow!’

Though I don’t wish on anyone tragic life experiences, I have to say I love hearing and relating to people that have lived to tell their own. It grounds me, humbles me, takes me with them through their pain, gives me hope, and reminds me that I’m a survivor of my own story too. Have you ever gone a long, long time before hearing a ‘big’ story? I think we begin to float into a false world of security and disconnect. I think we become less feeling and human because ‘it didn’t happen to me’. By listening to each other and digging deeper with people we learn more about our humanity, about the fact that we are not that different from one another after all and we indeed NEED to keep connected through sharing these experiences. I say that realizing though that unfortunately not everyone wants to listen so when doing this you do need to use wisdom and discretion for sure. That actually came up in our conversation – just how sometimes people don’t want to know our hurts because they don’t want to ‘go there’ with us – I’m guessing they don’t want to feel the pain too.

I hate trying to end a post like this; admittedly I don’t often know how to do it. I like perfectly tied shoelaces, but just don’t always want to perfectly tie them. Let me try though…

Completely #18 on my list has taught me a few things…
It’s great to write a list and try to complete it, but it’s even better if you just let it happen.
We need to keep listening to each other – we ALL have a story worth telling.
The only things you really need to ‘connect’ are two willing people.
Sharing is healing - God is the Healer
There are certain acts of betrayal after which I don’t know if I could ever learn how to trust again – I’m not talking infidelity
I’m human and I love meeting other humans
I don’t think I will ever get tired of hearing the heart of someone’s story
I am still in love with Double Chocolate Chip Frapaccinos, seriously …

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