4 years ago today, I was almost stupid. For a “collaboration guru” — ha! — I just about blew it.
I actually say this with a smile on my face — because I wasn’t stupid…I just almost was. It was March 13, 2010. What was significant about this day? Well, it was my first date with Patrick — the man who is now my husband but almost wasn’t.
You see, e-harmony paired us up, and we decided to make a date of it. This was our first time to meet face-to-face. Sure, we had exchanged emails and chatted on the phone, but being in-person with someone is quite different. You know how it is.
So, we agreed to meet up after the concert he was playing…uh hum, a Bluegrass concert. I arrived and saw the last 2 songs his band played (redeeming note: I meant to arrive earlier but didn’t plan my travel time very well.) We met right after the concert and decided to go have a glass of wine together; there we started getting to know each other.
What the heck?
As I sat there with him, I was having fun but also my mind was reeling: bluegrass music? cowboy hat? boots? what???? This cool guy who intrigued me came with all of these interests and passions that, well, didn’t exactly mirror … or even come close to mine. Hmmm, I wasn’t quite sure about all of this.
But, I said yes to a 2nd date. I liked this guy; I just couldn’t figure out what to do with all of these differences. On our 2nd date, we continued this ‘getting to know each other’ pursuit. I learned that he loved Bluegrass music & his pop-up camper and that he had never heard of Norah Jones nor the Nasher Sculpture Center; he also found it interesting and amusing to know that people actually paid to take cooking classes for fun.
Country meets City
Oh dear. How in the world could this Country Boy meets City Girl be a match? But, I said yes to a 3rd date. I really liked this guy, still. But our differences and “uniquely distinct” interests couldn’t be ignored. It was like being at a great outdoor garden party — lots of beautiful things all around the fun including gnats that were distracting you from the beauty. You know what I mean?
After a great 3rd date, the “liking-ness” was building but my concerns remained. In fact (with a touch of embarrassment), I remember talking to my neighbor after the 3rd date, and saying, “he has worn boots for all 3 of our dates; what if those are his only shoes?” With love and straight talk, she said, “really, do you hear yourself?” She was right.
The almost stupid part of me
At that moment, it hit me — am I really going to write-off this incredible man who has the qualities I most desire in a partner because he is coming in a package different from what I expected? Really, I mean, that would be just plain stupid.
And I’m not stupid, even though I almost, unknowingly was.
What I learned that’s changed everything
I’ve learned that our best decisions, our best partnerships (personal & business) and our best pursuits often come dressed up and looking unlike what we expect. With eyes wide open, I now look into my choices with a different level of hope and possibility. You see, Patrick and I had qualities that aligned, but our external worlds were really different. And, you know what we’ve done with that? We’ve made each other’s worlds bigger. How wonderful is that!
My 3 things for you
I share all of this for 3 reasons:
* to celebrate the significance that March 13 will always have for me: meeting a super great man who made my world bigger and is the best thing since Jesus that’s ever happened to me
* to acknowledge the life lesson I’ve learned: being open-minded and big-hearted to unexpected packages in people, places & circumstances may just make our worlds bigger, better, & brighter than we could’ve imagined
* to encourage us all to look at today and ask ourselves, “is there anywhere I’m being almost stupid right now?” and then save ourselves from it, and don’t be stupid! Be brilliant, see possibilities, and make new, big spaces to be delighted, surprised & stretched by the unexpected.