Friday, May 20, 2011

Cappuccino Thoughts

Today I enjoyed lunch and coffee with a old close friend of mine. It had been a while since we'd sat alone and talked, and the small buzzing Italian restaurant we selected made the perfect setting. Food, caffeine, energy, lots to talk about, lots to say to one another. We settled in, ordered quickly and got right to it.

It's such a natural thing, falling back into conversation with an old friend. No over-involved explanations needed, no drawn out ramble about who you are and where you come from: we already know. It's the Who/What/Where/When of now that we're not so familiar with it. It's a nice reward for being friends for over 15 years, you don't always have to start at the beginning.

Long overdue for a catch-up, we sat there, two mid-20-somethings, carefully plucking out the words to describe just "how things are going." Just what life looks like, how it feels now, what's been on our minds. Colorful, hazy, bright, dreary, good, relaxing, exhausting, scary, exciting, unnerving, confusing, politics, marriage, religion, friends, relationships, parents, education, money, travel, the job market, the golden road ahead. It didn't take long at all for that spark to ignite, either. That hopeful, wishful spark of ambition, of wide eyes turned upward, wondering and waiting for the next big thing, wanting more—the hint of promise in the air that tells us something better is out there. And we are hungry for it.

I am constantly told "you're so young, you have so much time to worry about things like that." But I don't subscribe to that way of life, and neither does my bright-eyed friend. No. We want more, and we don't necessarily want it all right now, but we can see it/smell it/taste it, and we want to do what it takes now, to have it then. We want to plot each step, to guess and check, guess and check, fall down, get back up, reassess, plot and plan, take deep breaths and start over again.

It's not just about money, success or wisdom, but a coveted balance of life. A level in which, even when the world is spinning around you, you have a constant foothold. You have a safety net that cannot be explained in dollars and cents, but instead by a thick web weaved of communications, faith, emotions, relationships, triumphs and failures, loved ones, memories, bits of knowledge, a personal truth.

A balance, like in nature, we tell each other, nodding in acceptance. It's about that push/pull, it's the give and take, the two-way street, the bottom of the food chain providing sustenance to the top, the small giving in to the big, the unsure, the wobbly cub growing into the strongest member of the pack. That's "it." That's what we want. A reflection of that inverse fairness, that "it's just right"-ness that cannot be explained, only felt. Only believed in with every fiber of your being.

We will never be the perfect ones, we know this. We may never find the perfect thing, but we will find what is right. The blessing of our shared faith—a faith that raised us from infancy—is that, while we maybe be seeking, questioning, misstepping, getting turned around, moving, bending, getting mixed up: we are never lost. There is always a ladder hidden somewhere in the depths of the proverbial well. And when the timing is right, maybe when the sun hits it in just the right way, we will begin our upward climb, closer and closer to that light we've been searching for.

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