I’ve been back in New York for the first time in 18 months.
Coming “home” has been an unsettling experience.
I lived in New York for forty years. Driving through the quaint towns of the Hudson Valley, returning to my old yoga studio, visiting with friends over the Fourth of July, everything feels so familiar.
And yet, this isn’t my home. Not anymore.
Some things have changed. This restaurant closed down. One of my friends has a newborn baby.The park across the street from my house where I played fetch the donut with Peeky no longer allows dogs.
I’m wondering about how I’ve changed and how it might appear to others.
Who am I? What am I?
I reconnected with my ex-boyfriend from high school who I haven’t seen in over twenty-two years.
The last time we met I returned the St. Christopher’s necklace his grandfather had given him — the one he left with me and refused to take when we broke up.
We had dinner and lively conversation. The entertaining banter was still there.
There are lines at the corners of his eyes. His hair is turning white.
He’s more confident, more worldly.
And he still drives me nuts.
When we watched movies as teens (yes, we actually watched them) he’d call out what was going to happen next. “I wrote this script,” he’d say.
He was almost always right, and it was infuriating.
At dinner, as I caught him up on this or that development in my life, he’d say, “That doesn’t surprise me,” or “Yep. Sounds like you.”
It was really, really irritating.
So I asked him, “Is there nothing about me that you find surprising in twenty-two years?”
The only thing he found even slightly surprising was that I wore my hair down.
At first, I was disheartened. Am I really that predictable?
Then I considered that he’s probably spent a lifetime predicting outcomes and noticing where things go just as expected.
He’s NOT looking for surprise. He’s not asking for it.
What if he asked — what if we ask — “Universe, show me something surprising and delightful?”
How many times are we seeing only what we expect to see, and missing the amazing unexpected pleasures life has in store?
Even as I type this, I look up to see a wild turkey followed by her six babies make their way across the lawn. (More about my fascination with turkeys here.)
What am I missing because I’ve been thinking, looking and asking for the “same” instead of something different?
Would I have seen the turkey parade in my backyard if I hadn’t asked the question just moments earlier?
I’m not knocking my ex for seeking the proof that his predictions are right. Hey, our brains are wired for that.
I’m just wondering…
What question could you ask today that would invite what you’re looking for?
Yours in creative play,
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