Yep. I have found and am eating at the only Non-Chinese restaurant in Melbourne’s Chinatown district. Well, to be fair, it is the only Non-Chinese, Non-American establishment within 2 blocks of my hotel in the Melbourne Chinatown district. And its a Sunday night, and there isn’t much open on a Sunday night.
I find this choice much like the choices I’ve made while on my life’s journey – against the grain. I have opted to NOT eat at the 1000 Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, noodle houses, etc. near me. I’ve picked the one Indian restaurant around – Jaisalmer Palace. The food – delicious. I would definitely come here again, what a find! But the bigger question – Why do I pick the one place that isn’t “normal”? Whatever causes this type of thinking, I was born with it. But enough about me, let’s talk about me! Just kidding (sort of). Let’s talk about my day/weekend.
- First, I am in fucking Melbourne Australia! Yes, that’s right, Melbourne. Only one of the best cities on this planet. It’s San Francisco, but better (nicer people, generally happier people, less ego driven, more relaxed, etc..). It’s like Italy, but better (it actually has a sustainable and growing economy).. would I move here? In a heart beat!
- And one of my very dearest, best friends lives here. Lets call her Smiles from now on, because she has one of the best smiles ever. Its taken me 10+ years to get back to Melbourne and be in her presence. Seeing her for the first time, again, it was like no time had passed, It’s like we haven’t skipped a beat. Catching up with her, our lives, and visiting with her family makes me feel truly alive and lucky. Last time I was in Australia, I visited with Smiles and her immediate family (mum, dad, sisters, etc) and had more fun than any one person should have in a lifetime, let alone 2+ weeks. 10 years later, we are both in very different places, and we are still as connected. She shared her life openly. We were swinging singles back then (not really, single yes, swinging, no). She now shares her life with a handsome Aussie and 2 kids.. Spending the day with her and her family made me feel so lucky – I’ve done something right because someone I love to the end of this earth just shared a day in her life with me without reservation. How lucky am I??
- AND (I know, it gets even better!!) one of my newest besties is ALSO living in Melbourne. I got to catch up with her, introduce her and her hubby to Smiles, and who knows… maybe another connection made.
This weekend, for me, is what life is what MY life is all about. Connecting with people who I love dearly. I know I don’t have kids, and I will not carry on the typical “legacy”, but that is o.k.. I live, I love, and I feel loved. And being in this space, where I love openly, where I feel loved, isn’t that what life is about? Taking care of those we cherish? Knowing who to cherish and why? I spent what felt like a lifetime in a marriage with someone who didn’t love me – didn’t truly love my quirkiness… and it took its toll on me. I bring it up now only because it’s taken me 5+ years to close this insecurity. I have fewer and fewer why didn’t it work” moments (not just with the Ex but with My Mr. Big, Mr. Showtime, and the like, which you can catch up on by reading The Roster (which I will update soon enough)) and more and more “here we go” hands-up-in-the-air roller coaster moments.
So, while trying not to be philosophical, life has been a roller coaster and I’ve often felt out-of-place. But today, this weekend, while sitting in this Indian restaurant 15000 mile away in a city I love because its near a bestie, I realize, I’m in exactly the right place for me. Which is the path that 99% of the people would NOT take. I get that, and I’m learning to be o.k. with it. And more and more I’m better than o.k. with it, I’m LUCKY to have had this path. Definitely not what I pictured for myself, but truly lucky to have experienced it thus far.
O.k. now I need to leave this restaurant, go back to the hotel, and get ready for work tomorrow. There are a few other things I want to write about – such as saving a super drunk girl from herself last night (my first night with an Aussie wink wink was not what you would ever guess/think), the Melbourne lights night that was super crowded, to meeting strangers at the Exec Lounges (and I love it!!). So many stories, so little time!