Ever heard anyone say, "When you go to New York don't smile, don't look people in the eye." Well, I didn't take that advice. I smiled. I talked and people talked back. They smiled back. They held open doors and offered an umbrella when I got drenched walking ten blocks in the rain. Taxi drivers told me cute stories about their youth. They shared information to make the trip to a new city more pleasant. They made me feel welcome in the backs of their cabs.
separate planes in Chicago and into each others lives. For the next few days she'd share her hotel room, her friends and her excitement about the future of her career. She listened to me talk. She waited while I bought tons of souvenirs and steered me away from that last shop when she knew I'd "spent enough."
She shared her friend, a well-established author with an animated smile. He took us to dinner and imparted great wisdom about the road ahead of both of us. "Don't worry. It's in the bag, girl!" He encouraged every time my confidence wained. Over cider ale, I watched him, envious...he's only thirty and has been in the business for thirteen years. "God, do I wish I'd had my head wrapped around my goals at seventeen. I'd be in his shoes now. Books on the shelves, books in foreign countries, books on contract, books on deadline. My Goodness! Someday!" He is an inspiration.
I reconnected with an old friend. We met near his work and went out to a long lunch. I can't explain how great it was to see him again, listen to him talk, and watch his gentle face, to know he will always be the same sweet man I remember.
I walked out of the rain and into a store, sans umbrella. The man behind the counter said, "You look happy." I said, "I am happy. Anything else is a waste of my time."
And I meant it. I'm looking forward to the new year and the fun it will bring. I'm looking forward to another trip to New York to launch the next phase of my career. I'm looking forward..happily!