It really has been nice to meet up like this more lately… I have to admit that it can be a bit awkward at times though – more like a first date. I’ll stay up at night and think about how it might go and what I might say… Get cleaned up and put on my cutest dress… And then I’ll walk into a room and give it everything I’ve got – try to impress you while I share stories of times past and mix it up with some photos of my latest food adventures. Because every not-quite-millennial has to admit to taking photos of their food, right?
(Side note: What exactly do we plan on doing with all those food photos on our phone once we post them on Instagram???)
But back to the date analogy… I’m admittedly a bit out of practice, but that’s what it’s felt like as I’ve written here more lately – like I’m dating again after a long hiatus. Only, before, I knew exactly what I was looking for. I had all the criteria for what my “ideal type” was and if they didn’t meet every check box then it would just never work. You know the list we all (not-so-secretly) have had, ladies… Mine was “Six feet tall, dark hair, patient beyond belief, great with kids, superior fish identification skills, must love magnets and be named Chris.” Obviously.
Now, I’m a little bit older and have learned that the best relationships in life are built upon a foundation of honesty and trust. And laughter. Lots of laughter. The characteristics of the perfect friend or mate aren’t going to be bounded by a simple checklist – they’re going to be exposed as you learn to relax, hang on tight to your values, share about what really fires you up and admit that “Hey, I totally don’t have my act together. Not even in the slightest. But life sure is a lot more fun when we put our masks down and open ourselves to new adventures. Let’s adventure together!”
If this were a date, I would go home and tell my girlfriends how incredibly impressed I am by you. By the fact you’ve listened to me ramble on about the things on my heart and decided to join the journey. You decided to step out of the awkward silence and meet me. You pulled me aside as you noticed me from across the parking lot and said “Hey, thank you for sharing your story. I know we’re both in a huge hurry to race off to our next commitment, but let me tell you something that I have on my heart.” And guess what? Your words ended up comforting me in the most unlikely moment. Funny how that works.
We don’t have to decide right now if this is a forever thing… No need to get so serious so fast. But I’d like if we could continue to get to know one another. I’ll allow myself to be vulnerable and make lots of awkward jokes if you can respect me and my heart. And don’t worry, we can also talk about light things too – because we really should work together to figure out what to do with all those food photos.