I had a good laugh to myself while driving in my car last night. I often have conversations with myself in my car, but this was more a laugh with God and the conspiring forces that brought me to that exact moment in time. Like an “Oh You! Always one step ahead of me!” kind of moment when you can’t stop yourself from grinning and feeling, at least for a moment, like everything in the world might just be alright in the end (and all those typically “Robyn” melodramatic moments of despair were, as per usual, completely unnecessary…).
It started, sort of, with a craving for oysters. Now, this is a pretty common issue with me, but when I arrived home from one of those dreadfully slow days at work to an empty apartment and about six rejection texts from friends to join me for a bevvie, I said, “To heck with it, I am an independent woman! I can go to a restaurant by myself and not feel amiss!” So off I went by myself, to feel surrounded by people. Perry, the “slightly unhinged” owner and host-extraordinaire of Rest (where Kahlin, my croommate[cousin+roommate], works) greeted me with a kiss, but a glance around the tiny, bustling, darkly-lit and all-consumingly enchanting dining room told me that there was not a single seat where I could sit. No matter! Perry told me to hang around behind the bar and mingle. Fortunately (or unfortunately?) I was dressed in black and looked like I could have been employed to stand awkwardly behind the bar, instagramming and imbibing bubbly whilst on the job. I quickly felt compelled to make myself useful and began polishing glassware until a spot at the bar opened up. When it did, I first finished the tray of glasses and started a new load in the washer before joining one of their “preferred guests” at the bar for the rest of the evening.
John, an anarchist in his earlier life, was an entire bottle of wine in in his present, and a pretty cool 63-year old in general. We had a lovely chat and he shared his frites with me. He told me that, being much older than me, he had learned something fundamental in his many years of living: life is too short to judge people; instead, we should embrace everyone as they are, flawed and complex. After all, most judgements we bestow on people are simply because they’re actually mirrors. It was an interesting follow up to a small revelation I had just earlier that day. A regular member had come in to the Credit Union, a bit of an odd duck at the best of times but very friendly, and I found out that he had recently shaved his entire head, eyebrows included, for no reason at all. My first inclination was to think, “Oh heavens boy, you are just SO weird…” but this thought was suddenly replaced with a slightly bemused, “What the hell, why not?”
Conformity is more than just unoriginal and boring, it’s easy. Too easy. Trite, even. This is the last thing I ever want used as a description of me and, much more importantly, it is the last state that could possibly effect lasting and fatally necessary change in our world. I’m not saying anarchy is the answer (though it might be part of it), but there have been too many signs in my life lately, too many indicators that tell me that life is too short to walk with trepidation, to plan to follow my real dreams when I retire and finally have the money to do so. Not only this, but I’m learning not to treat the times when I feel like I am not living my dreams or accomplishing something tangibly meaningful as a waste of time. This requires a perspective change, one which I am working on even as I type this.