Its All About the Experience

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I started this post months ago and somehow got sidetracked into doing other things. I was scrolling through my post list this morning and remembered starting this but not finishing it and I decided that I’d take a quick chance to put a wrap on this one.

*Seriously – why is this post center aligned?? I cannot get it to right align for anything. I’m super OCD, so that is stressing me out something fierce…but oh well, we move on…apparently only portions will be center aligned. So help me, this is killing me.*

“Book your life choices in advance the same way you would book flights, car rentals, hotels, and excursions. Figure out early on in your career whether you intend to be financially independent or marry a rich man, join the ranks of the professional elite or be the stay-at- home type, postpone having children or find part-time employment. Then fasten your seat belt and sit tight as you watch your trajectory veer off course.” 

 Veronique VienneThe Art of Being a Woman: A Simple Guide to Everyday Love and Laughter


Basically – things in life don’t always go as planned. I could write a novel about how life doesn’t always turn out the way you expect it to, but since my life is far from done and I’m still trying to figure out where exactly it is going to go…I’ll wait on that whole riveting page-turner about how you plan one road and end up down another road completely. One day, just not yet. I can say with certainty that I chose the above quote because when I read it I had to hold back a laugh – because it is too true. My trajectory feels like it has swerved and looped when it should have just stayed in a straight line. Sheesh! All sources seem to point to the idea that even when things don’t go as planned, they can often turn out better than you’d originally thought they would. I know from experience that this is true on a smaller scale – certain moments and events have at times seemed like they were on a collision course for disaster but still somehow turned out just fine. Usually it’s things like this that; when looking back on the memories in your life, are the memories that stand out in your mind as most dear. I thought I’d just share two times that things did not quite go as planned but when I reflect back on them, I remember both times as dear memories that I’ll hold close for a long time.

Ha-ha…but really – too funny.
The great Starbucks adventure of Spring 2012. Really, I know the Pacific Northwest is cold and wet, but seriously guys – it is COLD and WET. I’m good with cold and I can be okay with wet if I need to but the two as a combo isn’t really something I’m really down with. Seattle was the last stop on Lindsey and I’s big spree across the Pacific Northwest last Spring and when we arrived in Seattle the sun was out in full force; seriously, the glint off the Duwamish River ( you better believe I googled that info; I for sure had no clue what that river was called) was blinding. We were ready for the next day so we could explore Pike’s Place Market and see some of Seattle but sadly we were in for a bit of a letdown when we woke up. It was raining. Granted, not raining buckets but still – rain. We are determined travelers though and so we bundled up, tucked our pants into our rain boots and grabbed our umbrellas see what we could see.

Pikes Place Market is amazing – no doubt about it and no matter the type of weather you are in. Almost everything is under some kind of awning or covered walkway, so even though if it is raining, you aren’t going to get wet. Not really. It was so remarkable to see the fishmongers tossing their catches through the air with the ease that most people might toss a baseball; I’m sure under those shirts and sweaters they have biceps like you wouldn’t believe. The ambiance was amazing. It is something of an assault on the five senses; but in a good way. Your eyes can hardly take in the colors in the fresh produce and flowers, your nose is busy sniffing loose leaf tea, inhaling the scent of cheese being made while you watch, breathing in the smell of a bouquet of tulips that smell as near to perfection as you could imagine and always, there is that smell of the city beyond it all – a little bit grimy, filled with the smell of hundreds of restaurants, people and places crammed into little nooks and crannies.
The best part about it was that because of the rain; the rain that we’d not wanted to see when we woke up that morning, the trip to the first Starbucks ever was that much better. Because what makes you feel even more wonderful on a cold, wet day than something warm to drink? Nothing. Yes, it was crowded – everywhere we went at Pikes Place Market was crowded though. There was that sense of camaraderie with all the people that were waiting with you – because did they really want coffee that bad? No. Did they want to be able to say that they’d gotten coffee from the first Starbucks that bad? Yes. You see – it’s an experience and that’s what people want. So maybe the rain, cold and gloom weren’t ideal. Neither were the long lines and being shoved against some random stranger every once in a while…but, even though the day wasn’t sunny and warm, it was a great day. It was a day that I think back on and tell myself, “yep, I’d do that day again – it was a good one.” Maybe at the time I wasn’t as sure about that as I am now but you know what they say; hindsight is twenty-twenty.
The first Starbucks – established in 1971. 

Get ready to wait – you might have time to memorize the menu. Ha-ha.

Lindsey got a Chai Latte! 

And guess what – I remember what Lindsey got, but not what I got. I’m sure it was great though!

Another experience that didn’t really go as planned? The Panic! At the Disco concert that David and I went to way back when. Can I just tell you that we thought we were so hardcore into this music and we were so certain that we would always love Fall Out Boy, Panic! At the Disco (yes, you have to write the name that way) and all these other bands that to be honest I cannot remember the name of now. Obviously, we were committed, right? I discovered that Panic! was coming to Atlanta during the summer and we decided to get in on that immediately. I coerced my Dad into taking us to Atlanta for the night to go to the concert – he always gets weaseled into these things; he’s a champ like that. The first sign that things might not go exactly as splendidly as I’d planned in my mind? We looked like such posers when my Dad dropped us off in front of the concert. Seriously – we only thought we were emo (and my spell check really wants that word to be Elmo – we probably were more Elmo than Emo, but oh well). We were really two goofy little white kids that had no clue what we were getting into but as we stood in line, we began to get some idea of it.

We were a little out of our league – these people had tattoos, serious eye make-up and the clothes. Just…wow. Here I was in my jeans and black fancy little top – I’m sure everyone around us thought we were hilarious. Oh well, despite coming to the realization that we were with a totally different breed of people, once the doors opened we rushed, pushed and pulled our way to the perfect spot as close to the stage as we could get. We stayed there for quite a while too – until it became evident about 1/3 of the way into the show that we were not cut out for the mosh pit. When I felt my entire body get lifted off the floor as the whole crowd surged forward, we decided that maybe we’d better move. We fought our way out of the mass of people and found a space on the second floor that overlooked the action – we were much safer and much less sweaty. When I tell you I have never been so nasty in all my life; even years later I can still say that. I was so sweaty when we got out of that pit that someone else’s sweaty long hair was wrapped around my arm and slowly relinquished it’s hold as David pulled me out of the mass of people in the mosh pit. Can you say gross? One of our favorite things to remember about that night is as we climbed into the car, David asked my Dad if we smelled bad. His response? He said “there’s an odor about you.” Which caused us to dissolve into hysterics.

So – was it the wild concert experience we thought it would be? Yes and no. I’m sure we didn’t figure it would be quite as crazy as it was or we somehow figured that we were more hardcore than we actually were. It is probably some combination of the two. Another interesting part of the trip? Once we got back to the hotel, the pullout bed that David was supposed to sleep on was defective; the whole bottom half just sagged towards the floor – I have a picture of David laying on it all crookedly but I’m quite certain he’d kill me if I posted that for all the world to see, so I won’t. No matter though – it may not have been everything we thought it would be, but it was a night to remember. There were times we thought we were going to die, whether by being crushed under the weight of total strangers in the mosh pit or when I tried to stand in a chair and stepped too far back, almost crashing into the floor. I’m pretty sure we also didn’t expect to be able to smell ourselves so strongly; not just ourselves but probably the sweat of the other people we’d been crushed against all night. No matter that it didn’t really turn out the way we thought it would – it still turned out pretty awesome and when we discuss it now, we always get cracked up thinking about how great it was.

The moral of the story? Just because something isn’t going quite the way you planned or imagined it should go doesn’t mean it isn’t still going to be awesome. Trust me – I have to remind myself this quite often and sometimes little stories like this; stories from when things actually turned out better than I could have planned, they help drive that point home. Hope y’all have a good Friday!

A picture from around the time we went to the concert – Lordy but we were young then.

The Tabernacle – where the concert was held.

Pretty awesome venue, if I do say so myself.

Panic! At the Disco – I used to be able to tell you all their names but now I have no clue. He’s Ryan maybe? I know he had on more eye make-up than I’ve ever worn in my life.

Concert! At one point we were in the midst of this! I’m amazed we didn’t die.

The lead singer – I do remember his name is Brendan Urie. And the band is from Summerlin, Nevada. For real.

The moral of the story? Just because something isn’t going quite the way you planned or imagined it should go doesn’t mean it isn’t still going to be awesome. Trust me – I have to remind myself this quite often and sometimes little stories like this; stories from when things actually turned out better than I could have planned, they help drive that point home. Hope y’all have a good Friday!

*And here we go with the center-alignment again! AAAHHH – y’all, it’s killing my little OCD heart. Oh well. Sigh – see things don’t always turn out as planned.*

2 thoughts on “Its All About the Experience

  1. ummm i'm agreeing with your mom – you have talent my dear! you should be a contributing writer for the newspaper or local magazines and then go from there!!

    Like

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