I’ve long been confused by the saying that people come into one’s life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. To me, it actually makes more sense to say that every single person comes into one’s life for a reason, yet some of those people hang around for a season and others for a lifetime.
Sometimes people roll into your life with a whirlwind of emotion and then leave with a bang before you can even begin to process what happened. In this case it may be difficult to figure out what purpose they served by even making an appearance. Other times the reason is crystal clear, such as when someone helps you make a decision, or forever changes the way you look at a situation. Yet other times people are but a blip on the radar, even though their actions stay with you for years. For instance, over 8 years ago I parallel parked in Venice Beach and when I got out of my car a woman in a white SUV was screaming at me for taking her spot. I hadn’t seen her waiting, so I apologized profusely and started to get into my car to give her the spot when she started hurling obscenities at me while flipping me the bird as she screeched off. She actually left black skid marks on the road. I still think about this incident and cringe – I have no idea what I did wrong. Why did this happen? What was the lesson?
A lesson. That’s it. I believe that is the reason every single person comes into one’s life. It may take years to figure out what that lesson is, but it is always there. In fact, sometimes it seems the more painful the experience is, the more valuable the lesson. So whether an experience with someone is happy, loving, hateful, painful or confusing, I really believe in the importance of carrying gratitude in my heart for that person making an appearance in the life of Kee Kee. I’m not always successful with this practice, but I try my best.
I think the cussing, angry, middle-finger flipping SUV woman came into my life to teach me patience, or to teach me to be more aware of my surroundings. A more recent lesson involves THAT Guy. We broke up, and it was messy. But already I can see the reason he came into my life. THAT Guy is a creative, passionate artist who lives his life outside of the box, something I’ve been trying to do more of. Because of him, I took a wild leap of faith and moved 1,600 miles across the country. For the first time in my life I took a chance on love without first over analyzing it. I didn’t follow the rules, and instead I followed an adventure. Although the relationship was not meant to be a forever-relationship, I do not have one single regret for acting out of the box and moving to Houston to explore it. He taught me that life should always be an adventure.
Houston never felt like home to me, and without THAT Guy I really had no reason to stay. And although I’m drawn back to Santa Monica, my home of 15 years, I don’t quite feel ready to be back there. So, like any fiercely independent, grown adult woman, I needed my parents to help me make my next big decision. My dad flew to Houston, climbed in Princess, and took a road trip with me and Yoda back home to see my mom in Wisconsin. It was the second road trip my dad and I have taken alone, the first was over 15 years ago when he helped me move to Los Angeles. Just like the first time around, it was a special experience. He listened to my fears as I lamely tried to express them through choked back tears. We had evening cocktails in plastic glasses in our hotel rooms each night. And we spent hours upon hours in the car together, sometimes in silence lost in our own thoughts, and other times jabbering on about things that only a father and a daughter could possibly deem important.
Wisconsin and time with my parents did was it was supposed to do. My heart began to heal and I began to find clarity. I realized I didn’t yet want to move back to LA, I wanted to move to Austin. Austin is the only city in Texas that has screamed “home” to me. It is outdoorsy, liberal, hippie-loving, artsy, with a fabulous cost of living. Upon hearing my seemingly random decision, my parents encouraged me, and were even excited for me. They didn’t judge, they just supported me, just as they have during the past 10 months when I first started seeking change in my life through the U.S. highways. The Universe gave me my parents for a reason, and the lessons they’ve taught me continue to make me the woman I am today.
I moved to Austin 6 days ago. I’m not even unpacked. I sit here writing this at the kitchen table of my adorable little rented bungalow. I’m looking out at Yoda chasing squirrels in our crazy big oak tree-ridden backyard while I snack on sweet juicy tomatoes from the organic vegetable garden I inherited from the previous tenant. It’s a magical place, one that is perfect to live in while I continue my journey of transition in life. I don’t know how long I’ll stay here or when I’ll find that sense of peace for which I’ve been searching, but I’m sure there will be many Austinites who will cross my path and leave me with the lessons I need to learn in order to make it through this confusing time in my life.
Wouldn’t the world be a more beautiful place if we would carry gratitude towards all people for the lessons they bring into our lives? If we took time to find the reason behind each person we encounter, there would be so much less hostility, anger and resentment on the planet. So, to THAT Guy, to my parents, to the angry woman in the SUV, and to all the other people who have touched my life in one way or another, I thank you. You’ve enriched my life and I will forever carry with me the lessons you’ve sent my way.
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