I’m downtown in my new city. I had an extra 45 minutes on the parking meter and it’s rush hour, so instead of fighting the traffic home, I strolled down the unfamiliar streets. There are vintage stores everywhere, which I find a little funny because it’s really just quadruple marked up Goodwill items, but that’s not the point. This place is funky and I like it.
I walked past the Creperie Bouchon. The scent caught my attention and as I was reading the menu, Bananas Foster Crepe caught my eye. I checked the time and realized it was only 5:30. I probably shouldn’t treat myself to dessert before dinner, but what the hell? That’s all it took to change my mind.
I’m alone at a romantic table for two on a patio. In the background is some sort of French folk music. Seems appropriate. It’s 62 degrees outside. The colors around me are earthy, but bright, a kind of vibrant dullness, if that makes any sense. Vines are crawling up almost every building and it’s just breezy enough to make me pull my sweater over my shoulder.
A few minutes go by and just like that, it’s golden hour. The sun is hitting the trees and buildings in exactly the right way. I can see the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance and I can’t help but gawk. It’s so different here. The roads are winding and full of elevation, not a single palm tree in sight. It’s easier for me to appreciate it because it’s all so new. I wish I valued every day the way I am in this moment.
As I watch the world around me spin, I wonder if anyone else is appreciating the gold blanketing the streets like a fresh coat of paint. I take my first bite and realize brown butter caramel is exactly what I needed.
Life moves so fast. Isn’t that the point? We move quickly to maintain quotas and accomplish goals. We try to constantly think ahead and stay on our toes. It seems we’re always in a time crunch with too many things to do and not enough hours in the day. One blink and 10 years have come and gone and we forgot to stop and appreciate a late afternoon dessert during golden hour.
What will I remember when I look back on my twenties? Probably not how quickly I accomplished what I was supposed to do or how often I failed to do so. I should remember the life in between the resume lines. Because taking 45 minutes out of my day to walk a little slower and enjoy an extra few calories is always worth it.
Appreciate the change and hold on to the feeling of something new. It’s that feeling that makes me stop and open up. And it shouldn’t take 500 miles and an abrupt life change to look around and just enjoy breathing in this life.