Let them eat cake!
This past Sunday, my friend Alicia, another recent NYC expat, and I had brunch in our hometown. Which was a feat in itself, given that people in “the ‘field” don’t really do brunch. We both decided it’s one of the things we miss the most about the city! So we opted for breakfast at a spot in our that was literally down the road from where we grew up. Oddly enough, it was my first time going there. See, you can even find new things to do anywhere! Sunday turned out to be a very dreary day, with a cold downpour which wasn’t conducive for fashion. I think Alicia summed it up by describing our ensembles as bag lady chic – which is the reason there is a photo of cake and not of the two of us!
Over pancakes and mimosas, we caught up on a few months’ worth of conversation, and as should not be surprising to anyone who knows the two of us, we got rather animated! Next thing we know, we hear “Excuse me girls.” and turn to see an elderly gentleman sitting in a booth across from us. Oops! We both immediately thought we were getting reprimanded for being too loud. But instead, the man told us it was his 80th Birthday, and he wanted to share the news with us! Sure enough, in front of him was a huge piece of birthday cake with a single candle. His words of wisdom were simple, but true: “It’s all about fun, girls; remember that!” It was one of those random, but meaningful encounters that sticks with you.
During my travels, I’ve had similar encounters. In Colombia, an artist was showing me his paintings in a park, when out of the blue he just looked at me and said “Don’t worry, be happy!” My reaction was to laugh because, we had just met seconds before and he clearly didn’t know anything about me! But in that moment, I probably needed that reminder. In Zambia when I was hiking around Victoria Falls, I met an older Indian-American couple from Ohio, who were hiking in the opposite direction. The husband told me that this place was “life-changing,” and to “remember every minute of it.” These are all simple words, told in passing by complete strangers, but I can’t help but feel that they are little messages from God. They seem to happening in a much higher frequency as of late – but perhaps it’s just that I’m starting to pay attention more. I look forward to meeting more of these messengers during the next part of my travels… which began this morning! Where am I off to next?? Stay tuned!