perfection is serendipitous desk discovery.
Recently I had a day which was pretty freaking close to perfect.
It wasn’t any specific moment, but a coming together of experiences which consistently sparked me to think: I’m lucky.
Laughter. Creativity sessions. Coffees. New friends. Sunshine. Crappy dinner.
It was as close to a perfect day as I’d had in what felt like a lifetime.
Later this same day, after food with friends who are family, we all went on a field trip to the AT&T store.
By this hour (on my perfect day not hers) the Child was exhausted and grumpy.
She and friends explored the electronics while my friend and I investigated options for new phones.
(At one point the kid-portion of our group triggered the security alarm. Still not sure how they made *that* happen.)
Once my friend and I identified her best phone option, I joined the younger subset flopped on the couch in front of the store TV.
“We’re almost done,” I told the boisterous group. “Paperwork and we’re out of here!”
I’d sat for a only a moment when an older woman approached the couch and tapped me on the shoulder.
perfection is friends who are family.
As I turned I braced myself for criticism of our group’s noise volume.
“Yes?” I asked.
“I have to tell you something,” the woman informed me.
“When you came in the store the energy of the entire room shifted. I felt it.” She paused for a moment before she continued.
“The way you carried yourself, how you walked, everything. I’ve never seen someone hold her body the way you hold yours. I told my daughter I needed to tell you this before we left.“
People have told me this my entire life.
My energy. The way I walk. My posture. How I carry myself.
And yet? Each time the interactions happen they take me aback.
Especially in my current season of life.
“Thank you so much for making the time to share that with me,” I responded as I grabbed for the woman’s hand.
“I’m struggling right now and feel like my energy is off.”
I began to tear up as I continued.
“I’m in the middle of a divorce and I’m really, really tired,” I explained.
The woman nodded.
And, as she began to respond, I anticipated her words.
I assumed she would say, as many women have before her, I’ve been there. It will be OK.
“I get it,” the woman replied. “I am in the middle of being old.”
I walked around the couch to where she stood and asked if I could give her a hug.
She said yes I held her for a few extra seconds before releasing her.
After she left (and after I sleeve-wiped my tears) I texted a friend I knew would ‘get’ the power of the interaction.
perfection is friendship.
Someone who’d understand how right now I needed affirmation around how, even at 70%, I was able to shine.
A friend who’d feel the intensity (and message from the Universe) behind the words:
I am in the middle of being old.
I’ve mulled this encounter since it occurred.
Initially I heard it as a directive to do something! with the gifts I possess.
The more I’ve considered it, however, the more Ive framed as a message around how life is a process.
We are all *always* ‘in the middle of’ struggle.
Today, as I reread/edit before pressing publish, I hear it as a musing on grief.
I’m in the middle of grieving the loss of what I’d thought would be precisely as she’s in the middle of grieving something deeply personal about her life.
We’re both enduring and, as I’ve always contended, the notion of struggle is universal and uniting.
Alas, I’ve no Seinfeldian string to yank at the end of this post.
No snappy sentences which magically transform my musings into being applicable for all of us.
All I offer is an interaction I cannot shake, hope I’ll reclaim my missing 30, and a heightened awareness, even when that happens, I’ll discover I’m in the middle of something entirely new.
Bea saysMay 23, 2018 at 5:12 am
I love this, Carla.
I’ve read your blog for a very long time but recently started reading and rereading again. Thank you for sharing your story with us.
Wendy saysMay 23, 2018 at 5:21 am
I’m in the middle of something and I can’t get out!
And yes, I’m tired.
Lisa saysMay 23, 2018 at 5:26 am
Exhaustion IS a hard place to be.
Your friend is exactly right.
Keep her close.
Marion Selista saysMay 23, 2018 at 5:47 am
Excellent piece and brilliant words: “The way you carry yourself.. is everything”.
It is hard to believe that our middle-aging is what that occurs to us unexpectedly. But real things are that we are maybe not our 30-40, but the truth is that we are though young!
Train your body throughout your life and feed your mind.
As I think one is the most main features of a human being is a curiosity. Mankind has won evolution because of that. So, dare to find unusual in all things. I repeat in other words – reinforce your body and develop your brain. Sense of our path in the Earth is hidden within of us!
You never know what come first you. But one thing to remember is that your inner world id always is with you, everywhere!
Thanks a lot for a great post(as ever).
Maddie saysMay 23, 2018 at 5:50 am
This is the most phenomenal piece of writing you’ve shared. I was right there with you. I teared up. I believe in you.
Coco saysMay 23, 2018 at 5:58 am
I feel more like I’m in limbo than in the middle of anything.
Cate saysMay 23, 2018 at 6:34 am
“Season of life” I have been a challenging season right now, too.
I need to remember and remind myself it’s only a season it is not forever.
I’m in the middle.
jennifer saysMay 23, 2018 at 7:05 am
we are where we are, I had a coach that pounded into me the Peaceful Warrior stuff — where are you, HERE, what time is it – NOW, who are you – THIS MOMENT
Laurie saysMay 23, 2018 at 7:06 am
I’ve read your story for years and I’ve never stopped to comment. Today I am stopping. You inspire me and thank you for sharing I’m in the middle of a lot.
michelle poston combs saysMay 23, 2018 at 7:33 am
This made me tear up and I super bad want to hug you right now.
KCLAnderson saysMay 23, 2018 at 7:45 am
I’m in the middle of being old right along with you.
Thank you for writing all of this out in your inimitable Carla way.
Rita saysMay 23, 2018 at 8:03 am
I’ve read this three times and wondered who I would text after the interaction.
You are charismatic and you draw people to you. I also thought I wish we were friends and you texted me 🙂
Donna saysMay 23, 2018 at 9:10 am
OH, I could toss you a bag of cliches:
I’m right there with ya/When the pupil is ready, the master will appear/Serendipity ain’t no accident/I put on my readers to read this …
But let’s just leave it at this – you are discovering/rediscovering what has been there all along. We stuff it down and put it away because it’s inconvenient to others we’re trying to please. So glad to see you’re allowing yourself to embrace each aspect of this journey, happy and not so happy, and to understand that you’re going to keep going. Some days it’ll be hard, and some days it’ll be less hard, and some days you’ll break out in adolescent boy chuckles over the fact that I said it’ll be hard. But you’ll keep going. Because that’s what you do. XO
Lori saysMay 23, 2018 at 9:16 am
Approaching 50 next month and I’m right there with you in the middle of being old. Doesn’t define us, though!
Myra saysMay 23, 2018 at 9:43 am
So I’m sitting at my desk at school and not supposed to be on my phone. I come upon this and totally feel giant tears roll out of my eyes. I am in the middle of getting old too! I have to compose myself because I’m a teacher and I have students. But I wish you were here because I would hold you a second longer too
Vonnie saysMay 23, 2018 at 9:48 am
This is my favorite post of yours ever.
I’m honored to virtually know you.
I wish we connected offline.
Haralee saysMay 23, 2018 at 10:11 am
I love her attraction to you was so positive and you to her! Yes we are all in the middle of something.
Adela saysMay 23, 2018 at 11:07 am
Over the weekend I listened to a Salutatorian at a high school graduation explain a mathematical paradox. The crux of the speech is that there are an infinite number of half-way points in our life and the sum of all the half-way points is two. In other words, between life and death we each are at some half-way point. Half-way to where we will someday be.
Andrea Eisen Bates saysMay 23, 2018 at 11:48 am
I love every word of this.
I hope someday our energies are in the same room again!! xo
Dawn saysMay 23, 2018 at 1:04 pm
I too was one of the ones that had tears roll down my face reading this. It’s funny what others see in us that we can’t always see in ourselves right in that moment when we are “in the middle of something” but I’m glad that woman took the time to tell you that you still “shine” for the world 🙂 Sending you a great big HUG 🙂 I know I’ve been missing forever from the blog world but I love getting your posts in my email 🙂
Candi Randolph saysMay 23, 2018 at 2:08 pm
It is really awesome that in the midst of your life’s turmoil you still exude the strength that is within you, to the point that a person you’d never met stopped to tell you about it. Love it.
Alana saysMay 23, 2018 at 5:50 pm
I don’t know what percentage of old I am but, some days, I wish I wasn’t that percentage. I look at my 90 year old mother in law, who officially is in skilled nursing as of today – once so active, so vibrant, now lost in what will be a fatal condition – and I want to yell “stop stop stop these coming attractions – let me out of this horrible movie house!” But it is what it is (one of my favorite expressions). Anyway, I loved this post, even if it resulted in a B&M (bitch and moan) from me. It’s one of the best blog posts I’ve ever read.
messymimi saysMay 23, 2018 at 6:47 pm
We are always in the middle of something, and middles are hard because they are not the end. It’s why we should be gentle with each other’s souls.
Denise saysMay 23, 2018 at 8:24 pm
How do you always have the right words at the right time to feel like they are exactly meant for me? You make me cry and my heart swell with thankfulness and you give me the feeling of being recognized. Right when I feel unseen. And to actually make me think that I too have people.
Geosomin saysMay 23, 2018 at 9:01 pm
People feel genuineness…”muchness” as Alice (in Wonderland) called it. I believe that even if you lose some of that muchness it’s not gone…what remains shines to guide the new muchness back to you when you are ready for it. It gives others hope too when we least expect it.
Shine on you crazy diamond. 🙂
As I read this I thought of the message you send me during treatment and the care and concern you offered me even though we’ve never met in person. We are all in the middle of something…and if we all stick together we’ll get there…wherever that is!
Cathy saysMay 24, 2018 at 4:36 am
Feeling all the feelings. That is all.
emmaclaire saysMay 24, 2018 at 12:02 pm
Two things struck me as I read this story: I want to be more like the woman who spoke to you – I want to be better at taking the time to say out loud what I see and admire in others. And I want to be more like you – I want to allow myself to be open and vulnerable enough to let others’ words really touch me and I want to take the time to get off the couch and hug a fellow traveler. Carla at 70% is pretty damn awesome, that’s what I’m sayin’
Angela Geis saysMay 24, 2018 at 2:51 pm
I just stumbled upon your site and read this article…I’m still sitting in wonder. Thank you for such a wonderfully inspired piece of writing. I felt like I watched the whole thing as you described it. What a neat exchange that must have been! You’ve gained a new fan!
Leska saysMay 24, 2018 at 9:22 pm
almost fifty is fucking T.I.R.E.D.
and we are ALL in the middle of some shit.
Jennifer saysJune 1, 2018 at 8:34 am
Thank you for such an honest post. I love how you remind me that you can find gratitude and even “perfection” within challenging times too.