A Couple at a Table

Tonight this couple came in and sat at a small round table at the restaurant I work. They must’ve been married 50 years and had an aura about them that radiated happiness. Because they were my last table of the night and the sweetest things I’d ever seen, I didn’t mind spending extra time at their table, lingering a bit with conversation. They told me of their travels, all the time they’d spent in Czechoslovakia when it was still Czechoslovakia. How they were there when the curtain fell and it was for the first time free. They told me how they spent their honeymoon road tripping from New York to Seattle and got caught in a tornado in North Dakota and ended up camping under a fallen tree. He’d moved her all over the world and they’d built a life of love and experience in every corner of it.

She looked at him with light in her eyes as he recalled adventures they shared together. I knew they were still very much in love as he looked for her approval after each detail, certain she was proud to call him hers.

They were mildly horrified when I told them I graduated from college three years ago and was now going on six years still bartending and serving at the same restaurant. I tried to explain I hadn’t found anything I enjoyed enough to quit, but that I had plans to make efforts to take myself out of an industry that was starting to burn me out. Every excuse I said sounded so ridiculous when I heard it out loud. It filled me with a sort of embarrassment that I have so many dreams I’m sabotaging because of fear.

She told me I needed to get out of my comfort zone, that fulfilling my potential and finding passion takes bravery. She told me to be courageous and let go of whatever is scaring me out of taking the leap and leaving this plateau.

I could have sat there and talked to them for hours. It’d been so long since somebody inspired me the way this couple did. I found myself wanting to be the person this woman thought I could be. She kept telling me Just do it! You have to just do it! Something so simple and so true, holding so much life-altering meaning.

I’m thankful for people like this—those who push, those who look at me with hope and true belief that my destiny doesn’t lie in the stagnancy of my present. I’m thankful to feel my fear shaking under my surface, ready to burst out of my soul and allow me to make changes this year especially. I need to just do it.

Beauty in Discomfort

When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.
— Paulo Coelho

Embrace what life gives you and let go when it has filled you with everything you can receive from it. When a relationship, job, place, or situation is no longer serving you, release it. Soak in every experience and learn from every mistake.

Inhale. And then exhale.

My anxiety happens worse during transition or when my body and mind is screaming for one. Embrace the challenge of change and take the risk. There is nothing more frightening than settling down. And it’s not even that I’ve experienced so much that I’m addicted to the chaos that comes with the uproot. It’s the fear that I haven’t experienced enough. That there’s so much more I want to do and want to see that the thought of stagnancy and never working towards something amazing scares the shit out of me.

I can embrace the stress and anxiety to transition into something magical, something more than I’m experiencing now. Paulo Coelho said it best: When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too. There’s nothing that gives life to inspiration like putting yourself in the discomfort of something completely new and striving to be better. Striving to be your best version.

Transition. My soul loves it, hates it, fears it, craves it, but most importantly, needs it.