Certainly, I also miss my family, friends and … air conditioning but there are days when the longing that is deepest within me is for … me.
The me I am when I’m sure of my language choice and know that the story I’m telling will resonate with my audience, especially when the punchline (or insight or whatever) is timed just right.
The me I am when leaving the theater/gallery/etc. , knowing that the next hour or so will be spent around a table consuming perfect bites of deliciousness to go with cold white wine and conversations that will dissect each aspect of the presentation and tie its themes to any number of real life scenarios.
The me that collects the stories of others and then plans the kind of gathering that with a simple question placed at just the right spot will create a domino effect of connections and revelations.
The me that not so confidently walks into a gathering but soon finds my footing and discovers that the person at the the bar might be a great person for the person at the buffet line to get to know.
At times I feel like a facsimile of me — closer even to a caricature that doesn’t even have the depth of 3D.
And then I get a reminder weekend …
And I “perform” the readers theater piece I drafted that includes Langston Hughes’ “Mother to Son” and talk of how “life for me ain’t been no crystal stair” and I put on my best Southern drawl and have volunteers play the game of what does a Southerner really mean when she says …
And I buy a pizza from the place in town that does crust with olive oil tinged crispiness for the volunteer who lives among the indigenous folks and only speaks English when she’s teaching or talking to her counterpart because she can’t even get good cell service to call out. And we sip the still not cold and still not great wine and savor each bite and suddenly “perfect bite” seems somewhere within my palate’s reach.
And I ask a friend who knows the owner of a restaurant to get the ok for a crowd of volunteers to sit on its patio for a couple of hours as we attempt to complete a complicated report due next week.
And I join those same friends on a walk to discover a new restaurant — The Crepery and we actually get real crepes and some icy basil and lemonade concoction that is the cure for the steamy rain that is falling.
And I make my way to a salon I haven’t been to before, and I stumble through an introduction, and I chat with the 10 year old who doesn’t seem to mind that my Spanish doesn’t allow me to understand him easily and I laugh as he entertains me with his toy top and makes sure I have the wifi password.
And I take a couple of hours to listen to a volunteer who will depart in a few months and coach him through questions regarding his vision, his mental models, those things he wants to measure success by and more.
And then I remember …
Oh yeah … this … is … me.