Written in November of 2011...
I have attempted to write this several times, but haven’t had quite enough inspiration for a full blog. As I write this now, I am enjoying a beer at the Great Lakes Brewing Co. in the Cleveland airport (just want to give a quick shout out to the fine India Pale Ale I decided to try – delicious). I am waiting to fly home from my first solo venture as a trainer – and I must say, I am in quite the good mood. But my story doesn’t begin here…
So, I took this job – my sense of adventure and passion for aromatherapy all rolled into one package – who could ask for more, right? Back in October, I was waiting with anticipation to get my travel on again ;) – knowing that I had some exciting trips coming up. First, back to Seattle for the second time this year, then to Ft. Lauderdale, Sacramento, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and finally – Cleveland, Ohio. I jumped right in to all of the hustle and bustle of the travel planning and learning my new job. I had become one of the throngs of the business travelers – jet setting my way to this place and that. Blackberry checking, smart suitcase toting, rental car driving, making friends with hotel staff, bona fide jet setter. Fun stuff, right?
Seattle proved to be challenging – long hours and not much down time combined in a new job setting made for a trip that was less fun and more – well – work, I guess. Ah, not quite the adventure, but definitely learning more about aromatherapy. So I was happy and excited to continue. Despite the location, little down time kept me from seeing much of anything other than a series of hotel rooms. Nice – yes. Boring – certainly.
Ft. Lauderdale – for a moment, I thought I was back in Thailand – what with the tanned ladies and high, high, super high heels and balmy weather (yes, even in October). I got some time to do a thing or two – the business dinner was at an organic, vegan restaurant that made me seriously question if the food was truly vegan. My mouth was able to do a little dance and celebrate the pure goodness of healthy food. And yes, I did enjoy that chocolate cake for desert.
I had a moment in Florida, that I can never duplicate if I tried. My co-worker suggested that I take the rental car on our last day to check out the sunrise. I have seen the Atlantic before – not as much as the Pacific, but still – enough to know what the ocean looks like. I have never been so inclined to get up early to watch the sunrise (I consider myself more of a sunset kind of person), and other than the times I saw the sunrise in college (due to staying up all night) haven’t had the opportunity. So – I checked the local time for sunrise and made sure to set my alarm to get up in time.
The nearest beach was not the best beach to catch a sunrise (as I was told), so I made sure to find the right beach to check out. It took me about 15 minutes to get there, and as I drove, I could see the light growing over the horizon. I made it to the beach just in time to see the orange crescent top out over the water. I sat and let the wind blow on me and just reveled in the silence of the moment. It was beautiful. No – that is too much of an understatement… It was magnificent. I sent picture texts to three people I love very much and shared the moment with them as best I could. It was one of those times I wanted to just hang on to for as long as possible.
After a walk on the beach, I had to head back to the hotel to check out and get to the airport on time… and homeward bound I was. Fortunately, I had a new book (Mike Birbiglia’s Sleepwalk with Me – check it out, if you want some laughs) to keep me in stitches for the flight home. It even distracted me from the sneezing toddler who managed to get snot and goo all over the back of my head. Ahh, such is life.
Cleveland turned out to be the biggest surprise. I had never been to this city before, and was greeted with a lovely city on the edge of Lake Eerie. I had the opportunity to get to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. What a treat! There were moments when I was moved to tears, thinking about what was going on in the heads of Janis Joplin, Stevie Nicks and Madonna as I saw their original pages of lyrics. I was a mere couple of inches away from the glove that Michael Jackson made so famous, and the tight, tight pants that Mick Jagger wore like no other. I wanted to run out and grab my iPod to listen to the music in an entirely new way. It made my soul sing and dance, and cry a little that I had no one to share it with. I leave Cleveland with a renewed appreciation of music, a new success in my career, but a much deeper love of home.
Every return home, I find myself humbled and blessed by what I have waiting. I have learned that a smile gets me a long way on the road, but nothing beats the smile waiting for me at home. My love, my dogs, my friends and colleagues all make my life sweeter and I have this deep appreciation for comfort and connection that I can’t find anywhere but home.