Did that really just happen?
My ordinary life took an extraordinary turn this week!
I can hear your skepticism now: “You mean OTHER than quitting your full-time job, packing all your earthly possessions into boxes (that remain only half unpacked), establishing residence in a dungeon-esque basement replete with warrior arachnid foes, and pursuing the world of network marketing in all it’s crazy chaos while sharpening your customer service skills in the hospitality industry?”
Ok. Touche. Life has been rather extraordinary in general lately–but engaging day by day in all of life’s mini routines and practical monotonies, it’s easy to lose sight of just how amazing life has been– how amazing life IS– how much opportunity lies ahead, and how many open doors are waiting to be walked through! It’s easy to trap myself in my own mental cages with my own lack of belief in the potential for wonder that each day holds.
Until a stranger messages me to remark that he enjoys when I pop up in his newsfeed.
[And not just ANY stranger, but a stranger who is the closest thing to a celebrity I’ve ever encountered! ^_^]
MICK LUNZER (AKA “Bald Guy”) of THE DANGER COMMITTEE sent ME a message!!!
(If you’ve never been to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, The Danger Committee is one of the best reasons why you should go this year! ^_^ Pick a weekend in September, drive to Shakopee, and catch as many of their performances at the Bakery Stage as possible–or just catch a performance at the Brave New Workshop.)
I’ve been a Danger Committee
facebook stalker fan since I saw one of their shows at the Ren Fair in 2013, but always with the acknowledgment that I was merely one of thousands who had clicked the little thumbs-up button on their fan page. Actual interaction was not even on the radar, much less HOPED for. Mick and I became Facebook friends when I posted a video to Facebook of a super cool flaming knife stunt, and he requested the ability to share it. But that was it– Permission to share video–you know, legal stuff. I never expected anything further. I mean, come on, in what universe would a well-known performer have any reason to take interest in anything I post about, much less message ME? (And we all know from my days of online dating that I am NOT the type to send the first message.)
But message me he DID (for reasons I still can’t fathom), and a compliment turned into a randomly fun conversation which became plans to meet for coffee when I came home to visit my family for Mother’s Day.
Yeah–that REALLY happened.
Never underestimate the potential for extraordinary things to occur.
I’ve always assumed that I wouldn’t like spending time with an entertainer after having formed any kind of attachment to the character they represent. After all, if the guy who stirred my heart as an adolescent with a soulful rendition of “Santa Fe” is reported to be a jerk and a horrible person to work with, what point is there in shattering the illusion? Isn’t it easier to continue enjoying great performances if you don’t have to acknowledge that the person who projects that persona may not be even half as awesome as the character being played?
Don’t get me wrong, Mick was perfectly charming in the online dialogue we exchanged preceding our meeting. But online dating teaches a gal pretty quickly that the ability to write a charming chat message doesn’t always equate with adequate social skills.
Thankfully, the world isn’t always as disappointing as I might expect it to be. It even occasionally surprises me with awesomeness. And though “Bald Guy” is a fun persona, Mick Lunzer was even better as a three-dimensional human. (Seriously, y’all, If you ever have the opportunity to meet up with him for coffee–DO IT.)
The whole scenario was just completely –I don’t even know–Had you told me a week ago that this would happen, I would have scoffed.
I mean, come on–An invitation to go dancing fell through while I was visiting home because my would-be dance partner didn’t consider my company worth a 13-minute drive to pick me up; but I’m supposed to believe that a guy with thousands of fans considers meeting ME for coffee significant enough that he’s willing to plan a place along my route home to make it more convenient for ME to meet with HIM? Inconceivable. But it happened. And the whole scenario challenged me to re-evaluate the mental framework I had created regarding value in the first place.
There are few things as crushing to one’s vanity as feeling undervalued, few things as soothing to one’s ego as being made to feel significant by someone you admire, and few things as liberating as realizing at the end of it all that your own value is determined neither by the man who didn’t find your company worth the inconvenience of a short drive NOR by the man who made a conscientious effort to work you into his busy schedule. I’ve always placed an inordinate amount of weight on OTHER people’s perspective; and let me just tell you, it’s an exhausting way to live–constantly walking on the egg-shells of imagined perception and the endless quest for affirmation.
But there comes a point where someone remarks, “Why would I give someone else that kind of power over me?” And though the comment is made in a context addressing anger, a dim light bulb flares to life and illuminates a host of self-constructed mental cages.
Our coffee chat was an experience of inspiration that provided a new friend (I knew I had found a kindred spirit when in answer to one of my questions, he drew a Venn diagram ^_^), a fresh perspective of possibilities, and a host of ideas for growth and personal development. Landmark Forum, Fish philosophy, the difference between what happens and the story we construct about what happens– it was a fascinating conversation that ended far too quickly since we both had other things to get to.
I am now back to the chaos of the normal. The mundane. The day – to – day. But I bring to it a fresh perspective of possibility and renewed awareness that the extraordinary lurks in unexpected places, disguised as ordinary doors just waiting to be opened.
May you find a few of your own to walk through.