i walked into a coffee shop in Grand Rapids, MI, content to know no one. to sip a delectable latte and study for a couple hours. in town for work, i had nowhere to be and no one to demand my time until 3p.
within just a few minutes of finding a spot to settle in, i heard my name from a voice behind me. i turned, not sure who could know me in this city, only to find an old friend from college days. he was actually a friend i knew through an ex-boyfriend, and he had transferred to another school after our freshman year. we saw each other off and on over the next few years, as our paths crossed in various ways, but that would have to have been nearly 8 years ago.
of course, the natural questions came forth and i quickly learned that he doesn’t live here either, but is fundraising to move his family to Spain for mission work. i always find in these situations that i have so many questions and an eager desire to know what the other person is up to, that i don’t share much about myself. even when asked. so i briefly mentioned that i was in the city for work, but at the coffee shop to study. then i went back to asking about him.
but he persisted, and i found my pulse quickening and my eyes brightening as i explained my desire to study naturopathy and natural healing options, as well as go through yoga teacher training, and my hope to combine the two.
and then i said something i wish i could recapture and put in a bottle, to carry around with me at all times.
i said, “it’s one of those things that just makes me feel alive and excited every time i think about it. i think we need to pay attention to that, because that’s how we know what we’re supposed to offer to world.” he nodded emphatically, and smiled, and got excited with me.
as a young person, i thought passion about life was a given, and i watched older people with quick judgment about the dutiful lives they seemed to live, committed and busy, but without much true passion. i took that passion for granted, as i went to school and bought cars and bounced from one idea to another.
but somewhere along the way, slowly but surely, my overabundance of passion began to dim. and now here i sit, feeling slightly jaded about life, wondering if anything could ever feel “new” again, could make my blood race with excitement and passion. dramatic perhaps, but these have been the honest workings of my mind lately.
then an old friend pops up in a coffee shop in a strange city, and asks what i’m up to.
the thing about “distance learning” is that i could legitimately go through my entire study without talking about it. i could slink about with my textbook and highlighter, and do my thing in the corner where no one could see. where no one could ask what it is i’m studying, or why. they could never hear my heart for the subject, and worse, neither could i.
so, a friend walks into my world, and asks that simple question, and without thought i spew off a stream of thoughts about what i’d really like to be doing, how i’d really like my life to look, and feel that passion bubbling up under the surface just as in days of old. and i feel a ray of sunshine peep through gray snow-filled clouds, as if to say that Spring is on it’s way, and keep going because all this is a sign that you’re on the right path.
afterall, we are all created to offer something beautiful to the world, to awaken others to live their lives wholly and fully. but we can only know that by finding that thing that makes us feel awake and alive, and chasing it with all we have.