It all sounds well and good when you type it up or read similar posts, but eventually you reach that point where talk reveals its cheapness and actions are shown for their true value.
Just the other day I found myself in a situation where I was given the opportunity to break free of routine. To back track a bit, the night before this I was at the local bar catching up with friends and enjoying the auditory vibes of a pretty decent cover band.
Long story short, there had been this mystery girl I had met some months back at the same bar. The conversation was amazing, but cut short by the drunken banter of bohemian partiers clearing out of this bar to plan out their next adventure.
Of course, months later, the very night this mystery girl shows up again, I am privileged with the duties of catering to my less than sober friend who was celebrating recently acquired employment.
And so in between trying to get my friend to down a couple waters that were cleverly disguised as vodka clubs (no she did not realize – yes she was that drunk) I was able to have a momentary interaction with our mystery girl.
Now most times, an encounter that lasts under a minute is less than substantial, but a common characteristic for all rules is that they have exceptions.
Mystery girl had revealed something about her that night – the coffee shop she works at, and the days she is there.
So the next morning when I told this story, with slightly more details, to one of my good friends, his instantaneous reaction was that we had to go to this coffee shop today.
I had already woken up late, and was playing catch up trying to get everything done before work at 4pm. Reading my daily blogs, tapping into the social media network, working on projects for a company called Be Legendary, and doing my daily exercise have all become staples in my routine.
So much so, that I was willing to give up a possible third interaction with mystery girl just to put some imaginary check marks through a list of self-created items.
Admittedly my hesitation did not just stem from the fact that my day already had the impression of the stamp I frequently use on most of my weekdays, but also that I was just a tidbit nervous to go see this girl.
But I remember quite well the mental struggle that went on in my head, ”should I continue my routine or should I break free of it?”
With a little help from my friend, I was able to choose the latter and add some new experiences to my day as we got in the car with the destination of a coffee house.
Now, I have no intentions of tailoring this story to fit the perfection of scripted movie scenes and the serendipitous endings they project.
Let’s just say there was a bumpy take off. Normally I’m quite good at conversation, but when I got to the coffee house and began talking to this girl, I found myself saying things that had absolutely no point whatsoever, and then trying to redeem myself with yet another hopeless sentence.
But after I settled in things went quite well. I enjoyed being a little nervous, even messing up a bit. I sipped on coffee, had conversation, laughed, and had a genuinely good time.
Driving home I felt liberated from my routine. It was a solid reminder that I author my life. As beneficial as to-do lists can be, I almost let it intrude on the life’s purpose…experiences.
As musical master Buddy Rich said, “To come in with a set routine is something I’ve never believed in. It should depend on how you feel, because you play what you feel.”
I’ve come to find a lot of value in this. I caught myself growing numb in routine. It took a night at a bar and a day at a coffee shop to see that routines were made to me broken.
As for mystery girl well her name’s Brittany, but how I got there is a story for another time!
What are your daily habits? Do you think it would be hard to break out of them? Any mystery people of your own? How have you kept fresh experiences in your life?
I believe in challenging the status quo and thinking differently, constantly. My past has been living in the limits of a societal context, my future lies in following what I believe in, and that middle ground known as present day consists of the surreal purpose of living in the now.