I started to write last week at my AirBNB, slightly jet-lagged and mostly surprised at how easy it is to get to the other side of the world. Even if it takes a long time, time is kind of magic and just disappears and the next thing you’re there. Here’s what I started….
I sit and look out at the trees on a crazy San Francisco hillside. It’s summer here and the day looks glorious. There’s a ridiculously serious power line and cable system going on out there too but I’m trying to look past it. I’m waiting for my friend to pick me up for a tour of San Francisco. I met her last time I was here in San Jose and we are going out together in the world for while today.
We went out in the world. We spent most of our time stuck in traffic on the way to the Golden Gate Bridge, but we had a lot to talk about, so we didn’t mind. The views were amazing with the fog rolling in. I wore more clothes in summer here than I wear at home in winter. We ate Italian food for dinner. I got back to my hotel solidly exhausted and then couldn’t sleep. Hardly a wink. Time. So strange.
The thing is though, that when you “make it” to one place or level or height or moment then there’s always the next one (place or level or height or moment) to get to. And I didn’t realise that I wasn’t really stopping to pause in the interim – in the space between – to bow down to the magnificence of it and be gracious and grateful to how it came to be. My experience of the last few years have been that I’ve been ‘coasting’, so you may assume I’ve been pausing in the space. But I mustn’t have paused truly because it didn’t feel good, it felt unfinished and like a bus stop or a waiting room. That something could come or along or happen or complete at any moment, but you could also just have to wait a long time and that would be completely out of your control. It’s been tempered with an anxiety, not the full anxiety I used to do but a toned-down version – like the fan in the fridge when it’s really hot and it’s struggling more than usual.
This version is not the workaholic version, always trying to achieve or reach new levels of business success. This version is the “have it all” version. Superwoman. Wife, mother, housekeeper, business owner, woman, everything. A more distilled version. Slightly more pure and edgy but still not ready (or willing) to stop. I’m not sure I know what the other version looks like. The one who is on her knees in the space in between and worshipping everything that got her there. Her determination. Her love. Him. Them. Home. The way the suns warms the veranda and lights the garden. The work. God. The magnificent humans that surround her daily. Her town. Her country. Her world.
And she might have to travel to the other side of the world, out of the bubble of her existence to find enough space, surrounded by strangers who are not unknown to her and look into the eyes of a man who would tell her that the only way to get ‘there’ is to first be right here.
I made it to San Francisco. In summer. Fully funded by my business. My husband and our kid collection are at home in his good care plus our support team. Everything is as it should be. We worked for three days on our businesses and our souls and looking into the eyes of the other light workers in the rooms. We found our teams and our inspiration. And on the last afternoon I sat in a circle in a room of people no longer strangers and listened to the sound of a woman drumming and singing like an angel and I wondered for a moment if any of it was even real.
And then I ate and hung out with another new friend who is my roommate and we shared stories about our lives and all the years before now when we didn’t ‘know’ each other. We slept in (finally I slept) and caught an Uber into Fisherman’s Wharf and the driver (an older woman from Zimbabwe) took us the scenic route so we could see the sights and she told us how there are 7000 homeless people in the city and they have a $300M budget for homelessness. And the architecture is so different to home, and I can’t work out how they even drive here. We walked the Piers and shopped and looked at Alcatraz and ate clam chowder in a cute wine bar with the most delicious garden.
Now I’m drinking spearmint tea and eating grilled haloumi in a Tea House in the airport with fancy travel luggage that I had to buy at the airport because my suitcase burst. And because I can. I can. I am. I’m right here. I didn’t need to come all this way to be told to stop trying so hard, but I did come all this way because I’ve created something magnificent and I can.
And now I’m coming home.