One of my favourite weekends of 2015 was spent at a small, volunteer-run music festival on a patch of land just north of Sharbot Lake, Ontario.
A friend from childhood that I had reconnected with a few years back (with much nudging from our respective mothers — good job, ladies!) invited me, and the experience could not have come at a better moment.
Leading up to the festival I had been waiting to hear back about a job that I was sure was all but mine, only to get a call on our way out of city letting me know that they had decided not to staff the position.
I was heart broken.
And slightly panicked.
I knew the job I was in at the time was no longer the right place for me.
The job I was certain I was perfect for had decided they didn’t want me.
A weekend of camping, art and wellness workshops, limit pushing jumps from highway bridges towering 10 (maybe even 15?) meters above rivers of unknown depths — not to mention some fantastic music — was the exact right context for this music-loving, nature grrl to process this cross roads.
The kind of place where I could dive so deeply into being just so completely me, that any worry around what was to follow seemed pointless. I am living my truth, I reflected. I am ready to embrace uncertainty.
Not to mention that it was, quite plainly, a damn fun weekend.
Especially the last night . . .
It had been pouring rain off and on all evening.
Somewhere between the first and second performer, I found myself in line for pizza at the cook house.
As we inched slowly towards the warm cheesy goodness, I passed time by chatting with the folks around me. Huddled in our rain coats, hungry, and highly attuned to how quickly the pizza supply seemed to be shrinking as those ahead of us walked away with 2, 3 and 4 slices per person, we entertained ourselves with the usual line chatter of how much longer the wait would be, and whether we should offer to pay premium to one of the lucky ones already in possession of their piece of the pie.
One guy in my impromptu line posse stood out in particular. At the risk of sounding ridiculous to those less into good conversation as a sign of chemistry . . . he gave good banter. A small business owner from Ottawa, he had the right mix of authenticity and sarcasm to make me listen and laugh at the same time.
Later, as we walked back towards the stage, shaking our heads over the misfortune of having ended up next in line as they sold the last slice, he asked me where I was sitting. The left side, close to the stage, I replied. You? He was hanging with some friends on the right.
Well, maybe I’ll see you out there dancing, I said, knowing full well the prospect of bumping into each other once darkness decended was small.
Later, after the rain had again started falling, and my friend and I were in that zone you get into when you’re at a music festival and you’re already so wet that you don’t care about getting more wet and so you just dance, estatically, in puddles, he was suddenly next to me.
We kept chatting. We danced. He shared his zambuca with me. Later, when we kissed, his lips tasted like black licorice.
Seven months later, I can’t really recall this man’s name. What I can recall is the feeling this encounter gave me. That slow smile of recognition between two people who just . . . connect. Who can talk through a twenty minute line up without getting stuck on the weather, or whether or not we had any friends in common given I once lived in the same city as him.
This is not a missed connections post.
I do not think licorice lips is my one true love, and I am not asking your help to find him.
What this is, is a wish list.
A month from now I’m turning 36. And while I don’t normally ask for much for my birthday (gifts aren’t really one of my love languages), this year I’ve decided to put out a request to the universe.
Lately I’ve noticed that when I do this, when I set an intention and put it out into the universe, more often than not I get back an answer. Maybe not exactly the result I was trying to manifest, but often pretty damn close, or even better.
Like the new job I started last November. It doesn’t match exactly what I put out into the universe (i.e. my network) as what I was seeking after I exited the job that was not longer right for me about a month after the festival, but it definitely feels like the right place for me right now.
So, goddess universe, here is my current aspiration.
It’s been a few too many months since I’ve had any seriously good banter in my life. The kind of conversation that makes you want to keep talking while at the same time thinking about other things you could be doing with your lips.
If I could get a little of that somewhere in and around my B-day, well, that’d make for some pretty sweet icing on the cake that is my life right now.