Still feeling the inspiration from Friday's lunch date with a friend. And ready to travel the world. Once I get the "how" figured out...
I feel as though this should be more of a story, so I'll paint the picture for you instead of jumping right in to artist-creative-soul-wanderlust vibe of the lunch.
There he was on the corner of Jay and Willoughby. He stood in the sun wearing a fitted leather jacket and Ray Bans. I could tell he was making sure he was on the right corner from the way he kept looking at his phone then up at the street signs. I was wearing "Little Red", so I was easy to spot.
I crossed the street to him, a two-kiss greeting then we headed down Jay turned Smith Street. We were strapped for time because I was late and he had to get to work. But he made time for the lunch anyway. The saying goes, a man will make time for you if he's interested. Does that mean interested in you as a dating prospect? Only for sex? Or if you're already platonic friends? The world may never know...
He said 'yeah' when I asked if he liked Mexican so we scooted across Smith St crossed to Pacifico. As soon as we walked through the front area he was excited. He commented on the vibrant colors. I had flashbacks to my nights there drinking sangria. In the middle of the afternoon, we practically had the place to ourselves. I didn't feel like I was in Brooklyn. The decor, the topic of conversation being held with a man with a thick French accent really made me feel like I was "someplace else".
Before we even got to the restaurant I told him about the FIAF travel fair I went to earlier that week and how close I was to winning a trip to Martinique. He told me more about his time in St. Bart's and his recent return trip to the island.
You are living the life...
I lost track of how many times I said that to him throughout lunch. He showed me photos of his restaurant in London, photos from Cannes last year (he'll be there this year as well), and told me stories about his time as the French bartender who spoke no Spanish working in Mexico. It didn't hurt that I got to look at his strawberry blond hair, blue-grey-eyed, freckled face while he shared the funny stories.
I spoke in such absolute terms of where I'd live if things don't turn around for me here, or once I get the money to travel. Nigeria is on the list. Of course, Paris. Copies of my book are at Shakespeare and Company. They're waiting for me to visit so we can finalize the deal. I'm working on getting my photography into YellowKorner gallery. Can't wait to pop that bottle of Veuve Clicquot! Remind me to share the story of my first run-in with that champagne..
We connected over our "starting over". That moment of realization--I'm not the only one. It was, "This person knows exactly what I'm going through. They're going through the exact same thing." He even used the exact words and phrases I have to describe my current state. We agreed about the cycles of life and told me like the phoenix, I'll rise. We each have self-imposed deadlines. Rio's his next stop. My response, "I can totally see you in Rio! I think you'd love Brazil!" His joie de vivre was contagious! He didn't give me a pep talk nor offer advice. Just sharing stories and talking was what I needed.
What's holding me here?
So yes, lunch was very inspiring. I did a lot of active thinking this weekend. And I was proactive--making connections in other countries. I notice the visits to my website and blog and wonder how my art is perceived/received in other countries. I can only imagine what those other countries will inspire in me once I'm there. People come into your life for a reason. And when you need them. He's the same friend who insists I "will DJ at his restaurant". I hope I can help him or inspire him in some way. He's here to prime me for my travels.
When you're open to opportunities, they come to you.