THE LANDFILL CHRONICLES
Finding Happiness In All The Wrong Places
My first-floor neighbor moved this past weekend, and I was sad to see her go. She was a sweet older woman, living alone with her two dogs. She had a wonderful Southern drawl, porcelain skin, and gorgeous white hair. We often chatted while running into each other outside. Instead of saying goodbye, she always told me to have a blessed day.
Last year she broke her hip and had been using a wheelchair and walker since then. She had been getting around fine, but the event must have resonated with her family because plans were made for her to move closer to them.
She seemed agitated on moving day. I watched her shake her head in frustration. I didn't know if she was mad at the movers or at this new less independent phase of life. I just know that the last time I saw her she was shaking her head, while her daughter was waiting in the driver's seat of her car, not even noticing her mother's frustration.
Now the apartment is empty. New carpet was put in yesterday, and painting is happening today. It's like she was never there. Apartment complexes tend to be for the less-permanent parts of life, but still it's easy to see just how quickly people can be replaced.
So wherever my former neighbor is, I hope she's having a blessed day. Meanwhile I'll be here inhaling paint fumes from her former apartment while wondering who my new neighbor will be.
My industry conference adventure is almost over. It was fun being important for a few days. Tomorrow I will go back to being a nobody again.
There's a big party tonight, but I just can't do it. I need some alone time. The week has been emotional. Inspirational. Over-stimulating. Seeing my friends one last time would be the icing on the cake. But even I know too much icing isn't a good thing.
So instead I'm going to have a quiet dinner, then go back to my hotel room and pack up my new-found conference treasures among my worn clothes. While trying to fit it all in one suitcase, I'll think about the friends I saw and all I experienced. So many people asked how I was doing. They've actually followed my life online and they care. I want to use this anti-social time to let that sink in.
So sorry to those who expected to see me tonight, but I need to be a party of one.
I just met the most incredible stranger, and I think he changed my life.
You see, I'm at a conference of the industry variety, filled with the usual things I expect in my field. However, yesterday I met a person and made a good contact. Then today, when I was hanging out with my new friend "good contact," I met "random stranger," who is delightful and energetic. Mr. Stranger is a "brand." I'll admit, it's a pretty good brand, different from the others like him. I'd totally subscribe to his message if I had young kids.
Anyway....Mr. Stranger and I were chatting at a conference mixer. I commented that I overheard his elevator speech today and I loved it and was in awe of it. That got us to talking about how he knew *this* was his thing.
The more he and I talked, the more I realized we were cut from the same cloth. We were two different people in two different fields, whose paths just happened to cross at this event.
I told him what I was doing in life, versus what my life was telling me I needed to do. He'd been there, done that. He told me what I needed to start doing, like getting a website. Bingo. And a social media presence. Bingo.
We talked and talked, until someone came up to borrow his time. That was ok. This random stranger gave me the message I needed to hear.
Just another example of being in the right place at the right time. Life has a way of putting you in the places you need to be so you can hear what you need to hear.
Thank you, Random Stranger. If I get nothing else out of this conference, my chance meeting with you was worth the trip.
And P.S. he said I should totally write the book. Totally.