I have a great excuse, though. Saturday morning we had to see a matinee of Iron Man 3, and then it was home to get ready so I could be a friend's plus one at a reunion party she was going to. Although I was a wee bit apprehensive as I only knew two other people attending said party, I promised I'd go and figured it would be a nice Saturday night out with some lady friends (and it was!) However, I spent a good portion of the evening chatting up a gentleman who holds some pretty interesting jobs, and when I came home, that was all I could talk about.
I've always been fascinated by people's life stories. I suppose you could trace it back to when I was in the 3rd grade, and we had a new classmate, a boy from Florida, and I asked him if he had ever seen snow. (He had, which I was a little disappointed about - I mean, I didn't know a single person who had never seen snow!) Ask anyone I used to work with - when I was making phone calls to recruit volunteers, which generally should have only taken about 10-15 minutes, I sometimes would spend up to 45 minutes on the phone, learning so many things about the persons story. I think part of it is because we generally don't think our own lives are that cool/amazing/interesting/incredible. Recently, I posted a photo on my instagram of me straddling a small crocodile, which I had totally forgotten about. A few days later, a friend asked me about it; how old I was, where I did it, how cool that must have been. See? Something I completely forgot about ended up being really cool to someone else. (Okay, I will admit that when I did it, I did think it was really cool, which is why I have a framed photo of the whole event.)
Sunday, we headed off to Ojai for a night away from Los Angeles. Ojai is only about an hour and 45 minutes away, but it feels like an entirely different world. It's settled in a valley surrounded by gorgeous mountains and has an adorable downtown area that has street parking without meters(!) and it's wonderful.
|Pretty, even in the rain, right?|
I walked out of that room feeling like total amazing jelly, and since Charlie's massage was right after mine, I had an hour to kill.
I was in that post-massage haze where you are struggling to walk because your legs are jello/your feet are still greasy from the oil, and thought a little retail therapy would help. The boutiques in Ojai are adorable, but a little out of my price range, so I wandered in and out, probably looking like a lost puppy. The last boutique I wandered into had an amazing collection of funky jewelry that I was fawning over, and I complimented the lone woman working there on her display case.
Next thing I knew, I was handed a coconut and chocolate macaroon, a bottle of water, and having a discussion about asking the Universe for help and receiving it. I chatted with this woman for the entire hour, finding out that she once lived two towns away from my hometown. She has a daughter close to my age. She's a clairvoyant. She wants to write a book.
I suddenly realized how much time had passed and I had to meet Charlie after his massage. She gave me her business card, a tiny piece of general info about my "future" and some spiritual advice, and a hug.
Many times in my life, the universe has pushed me towards a place, or a person, or an event, for a purpose. For the last few months, I had been feeling cabin fever-ish, muddled and distracted, wanting a night away but never mentioned anything... and Charlie planned it without me even suggesting it. I had desperately needed a massage (its been two years since my last one!) but couldn't afford it.. and I had an incredible massage for the price I could afford. I had been feeling a little down, like I was spinning my wheels, and the conversation with the woman in the boutique gave me a little bit of renewed faith in what I am doing and, more importantly, in myself.
Even though it was just an hour conversation with a total stranger, it brought me a little bit of insight and some much needed reflection. It's a nice reminder that sometimes someone's life story can just be cool and awe-inspiring, and sometimes it can do a whole lot more.