I booked my flight to New York 12 hours before I left, so my seat choices were pretty limited and I ended up squashed in the last row, right next to the John.
“Awe, I hate it when I get stuck next to the lavatory,” I said to the middle-aged, white-haired man seated to my left. “Let’s hope no one has to take their morning constitutional during the duration of this flight.”
The guy started laughing and introduced himself as D. A Kentucky native, D lives a few cities away from me in a small area that he is fiercely proud of. He works for a local company and shares my dismay at how corporate America is changing. Instead of valuing employees, companies view us as a disposable commodity. Much like plastic cutlery – we can work for many years if cared for, but why bother when a new set will only cost you a few cents.
D told me that he spent his entire life never taking risks. He lived carefully, did the right thing, always made sure he was secure. He missed a lot of opportunity and what did he have to show for it today? A lukewarm job where he was grossly unfulfilled and undervalued.
Rather than wallow in these thoughts, D did what so many Americans are too fearful to try. He took a risk. Next month D will be opening a gym where he will teach Zumba and aerobics classes and share his love for fitness and wellness with the community. He dreams of this business flourishing so he can one day escape the monotony of his day job.
I listened to his story in awe. How is it that fate plops people like D right next to me at just the right time. I work for a non-profit company that assists small businesses throughout the state. D and I discussed his business plan and I offered my company’s assistance and he graciously accepted. I felt fulfilled for the first time in ages.
Our conversation turned to my history: a former journalist and editor turned marketing slave. I left an industry I loved to pursue a family and a slower kind of happiness. I’m still searching for it. D told me about his daughter who is an accomplished scientist, married to a doctor, who desired the same thing. She also dealt with infertility and with the help of IVF is now the mother to twins. Again, I marveled at fate.
Everything about this 120 minute flight was perfect, inspirational and just what I needed.
I returned from New York this week and followed up with an email to D, telling him I had passed his contact information on to the bus.iness dev.elopmen.t cen.ter in his area. This morning I received a message thanking me and saying, “I really enjoyed talking to you, Belle. Sometimes when you meet someone it’s like you’re “old souls” who have passed by one another before.”
I could not have said it more perfectly. D reminded rekindled my career dreams. He showed me that miracles do happen and that babies can come from challenging wombs. He assured me that I am not alone in my feelings towards corporate America. He reminded me that it is ok to take a risk.
Now, if only I knew what that risk was.
Today is CD 39. This mornings’ HPT was negative. Four more days of hope. Four more days till Pinot Noir.