Eight years ago, I’d drunkenly raised a wine glass to the sky and had asked the Universe when I would finally have the lifestyle to which I’d like to become accustomed.  I just wanted to travel and write.

The Universe had responded by laying me off work the very next day.  I’d responded by going into a puddle of melt down until the reinforcements came charging in, formed of my girlfriends and my mom with wine and chocolate.  Collectively they’d jump started me into going into business for myself.  Which had allowed me the chance to travel and write, a trip I was now about to embark upon.

Leaving Chicago was difficult, my nest of warm friends and comfortable cafes. I’d enjoyed a final Friday night of karaoke with some of my besties and a final Saturday with my main squeeze biking along the Fox River.

Sunday was for goodbye and as Mark helped me pack up my car, kissed my tears, and murmured reassurances that all would be fine, I wondered if I were doing the right thing.  I almost couldn’t see the road for those tears as I drove away but then something caught my eye.  A wine cork with a spiral metal piece that connected it to the disco balls which dangled from my mirror.

Curiosity stifled the tears and at a stoplight, I grabbed the cork, spinning it around to read, “In the next five years…LG & MD.”  And I realized why he wouldn’t let me throw out that bottle from the wine we’d shared.  The bottle I’d bought for myself five years prior and had packed away with a time capsule letter from my 40 year old self to my 45 year old self.  A note that had contained all of my wishes for my future self, all of which were now in the process of being realized.  We’d opened the bottle and I’d shared my letter with him.

I was incredibly moved by his gift.  It was a symbol of our connection, a statement that this connection was a lasting one, and a reminder of my wishes for myself and that he was completely behind them.

As I drove down Lakeshore Drive, I felt calmer.  The lake was a peaceful blue to my left and the city a towering force to my right.  I felt super charged and ready for anything.

That’s precisely when the overly large pickup truck came barreling up next to me honking his horn and waiving maniacally.  I was angry at first and worried that he was about to ram into me.  Then I realized he was trying to be helpful and so I turned down my radio and could clearly hear the dragging behind my car.  I gave him a thumbs up as he drove off in a cloud of black smoke and I pulled off the highway and into a Target parking lot.  There I saw the bar from my second empty bike rack had dropped down, dragging both it and my now non functional security lock behind it.

Thinking briefly this might be a symbol and I should turn around and head back to Mark’s, I looked back up at the cork and instead headed into Target to buy some duct tape.  I also picked up other roadside auto repair items just in case because I knew from past experience that the Universe doesn’t give growth easily or pain free.

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  1. My heart and my gut warmed as I read this. Beautiful. I love that you are embarking on this journey. I feel grateful that I get to have glimpses as you go along.

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