While at work at my “day job” today, I had a brief, random encounter that left a large impression on me. I had stopped to sign out at the security desk from a location I frequent occasionally for work, when the “security officer/ receptionist” on duty, a woman I’ve only spoken to once or twice in the past 5 years or so (and even then only to exchange pleasantries), stopped me and asked if she could talk to me for a minute. I said sure and braced myself for her to ask me a complex work related question, but instead she asked me, with eyes filled with curiosity and love, “what is your passion?”
Confused, I asked her to elaborate. “What would you do for a living if money were no object? What do you love to do,” she asked. I paused, apparently for too long, because she said (sounding quite worried), “you don’t know?!?”
I replied that I did know. I would write. I love writing. I told her that writing is the one thing that I can lose myself in. That it’s an activity where I can lose track of time in complete enjoyment. She smiled and then asked why I don’t focus entirely on writing if I love it so much. I paused and smiled and explained the situation with my student loans and need for secure income. She nodded in understanding.
When I asked her why she randomly stopped me to ask this, she told me that she had been thinking about this issue of pursuing ones passion a lot lately. She had done theater for years and loved singing and acting. When she said this, I could totally see it. Despite her security uniform, I could see her on stage, singing and dancing and acting. I noticed that she had eyes that sparkled and were full of mischief. That she had a voice that seemed straight out of a fairy tale – soft yet high pitched, like a fairy from a magical land. I had briefly interacted with this woman in the past, but never noticed these beautiful qualities that I saw today when she shared her passion with me.
I told her that I could see her acting and singing on stage and hoped that she would again soon. The phone at her front desk rang and she had to take the call. I waved goodbye and walked away. As I was almost to the front door, she held the phone away from her face for a minute and yelled out “I hope you start writing again. Even if it’s just in a journal.” I waved and called out that I would.
And so, here I am, just a few hours after that encounter, sitting at a counter of a favorite cafe writing a blog post, after devouring a spring salad that (strangely?) never tasted better.
I hear you, Universe.