Tuesday, December 31

Recognition, Connection, and Meaning


This has to start with a story.

Seven years ago I applied for a job in Singapore and got it. The position was educating and speaking about a product manufactured in Singapore, and a 6 foot tall woman of 40 years with long blond hair was exactly what they were looking for. They wanted someone with a comfortable air, because speaking to groups of people was going to be the main requirement. They also needed this comfort because their product was something peculiar, and even awkward. It was a product that removed toxins from the body through the genitals -for both men and women. It was essentially a panty-liner for both sexes. A marketing challenge for sure, but one that sounded like fun for this woman who is obsessed with genuineness, communication, clarity, and comfort.

I was a month away from leaving to Singapore when the person that got me the interview (my contact) emailed and said that she quit FOR me. Apparently, what the company said they were going to pay me kept changing and going down. Eventually my contact let them know that if their offer wasn’t good enough I would not be willing to move myself all the way to Singapore if I couldn’t maintain having an apartment there, and a house back home. So with one email, my life was no longer drastically changing in a month.

What a head-spin. I had been sitting on the floor of my closet recording some writings, when I opened the email. Sitting there on the floor I suddenly no longer had any plans. What a strange sensation it is to be faced with “what now?” These are the times in life I try to shut off my thoughts and I try to listen. I call it reading the aether, but it’s also listening to the aether and beign open to what comes your way.

Oddly, what came my way was the overwhelming sense of being compelled to go and enquire if a coffee shop that had just been built near me -was hiring. As an at home coffee drinker, and never having worked in a “food industry”, to say I was hesitant is an understatement. But the loudness of the aether about this coffee shop was deafening. I avoided it for a couple hours, telling myself I had other errands to get to, and then finally as it started to get dark, I relented and went over there. Half expecting to find nothing and no one, because I’d left it so late. I thought I could placate the loudness by mostly following through and driving to the magnet the aether created.

With people inside, but the coffee shop closed, I knocked on the door. A young man came to me, stepped outside, and talked to me for about 20 minutes.

In a way, the rest is history because about a week later I had applied, been interviewed, hired, and was arriving for my first day. The aether is an all knowing force, and in hind sight, I see why it was so loud. All these years later I still work there, and it has been a life changer for me. Not with direction and purpose, income or accomplishment. It has been the opportunity to grow internally in ways I never had before. I feel like it’s a unique chance to be part of something many people attach importance to, and make part of their every day. I too, see coffee as a big deal in my life, and so I mix with kindred in the customers there.

And THIS is why I have titled this Recognition, Connection, and Meaning. One of the biggest realizations I’ve made in life, I’ve not just realized; I’ve witnessed. My witnessing has me experiencing, feeling, and believing things that I couldn’t have known without this coffee shop.. It’s a hard road, but if I died tomorrow, all the cleaning, lifting, exhausting, energy-stealing aspects of the job will not go with me. My take-away will be some of the most beautiful and special things I now hold as core beliefs.

These include:
Everyone wants to be accepted. Everyone wants to be comfortable. Everyone wants to be familiar, and validated in some form even if it’s “hello again”. Trust takes time. Nobody is perfect. Nobody needs to be perfect. Our differences are our magnificence. Do no harm. Listen to your intonation, and radiate genuineness as you speak. See the beauty in others AS IS. Give them opportunity to be all these things, and when they have no desire, move on with no ill will. Cultivate self respect while cultivating the exact amount of outward respect for others. Keep your negative words to yourself and let them live as knowledge. Connection can be short and intentional, with friendship being real and yet, acceptable -small. The world is a scary place, and you can feel shy…that doesn’t dictate your ability to do all these things.

The meaning of life is what you decide it is. You do have that much power. I pray you see the power and use it in a way conducive with how the aether is directing you to the great things this life offers. Even if the greatness is not yours, but the lesson’s.

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