Thursday, May 30

firsts, triumphs, mistakes, and being out of my comfort zone in one day

I learned my lesson. Never start the day thinking to yourself, "Well, today is just going to be an average day. What a bummer."

I don't even know where to start with this day. Where do I even begin!? It was a day of firsts, lasts, mistakes, triumphs, mostly being out of my comfort zone the entire time, emotions, and a whole lot of paper folding and running. By the end of it, I felt like I needed a splash of reality to reaffirm that my day was real and that it was over.

So let's recap what exactly happened on May 30, 2013:

I realized around 2pm once my stomach grumbled that I had forgotten to eat lunch. Not only that, but as I reached under my desk and fished around the best purchase I ever made (a large leather purse) mid conversation with an owner of a restaurant who I was inquiring to find out who to contact about making charitable donations, I realized I forgot my lunch on the countertop at home. The sudden opportunity gleamed its headlights: HERE'S YOUR CHANCE TO CONQUER BUCKET LIST ITEM #310: EAT A MEAL IN A SIT DOWN RESTAURANT ALONE! Is it just me? Am I the only one who hasn't ever secretly wanted to go to a restaurant completely alone surrounded by couples, groups, and people there with other people only? I didn't allow myself a second of hesitation before running out the door with my phone held in my hand in front of me so that Google Maps could direct me to the right Italian panini specialty hole-in-the-wall shop. I ended up 0.7 miles in the wrong direction and once I realized I'd gone the wrong direction completely, wound up in Pike's place. I thought, well, this blows. I don't want to eat here where everything will be overpriced and flooded with oh my gosh, TOURISTS.

And then I turned around. I headed in the opposite direction that the crowds were walking and ended up in a smaller section of Post Alley where my stomach called out that it must be fed now and conveniently I looked up, glassesless no less, to see a sign reading Pizza & Pasta bar. Done. I wanted Italian, anyways! Waited fifteen minutes, paid all of $6.02 for an iced tea and slice of pizza bigger than my head, and then sat by myself outside in the alley. It wasn't technically a "sit down restaurant  but once I was outside, I was surrounded by people in groups. And there I was... eating alone. Surrounded by people in Pike's Place where almost every person was there with another person for some reason or another. And it was great. I think I'm kind of the best lunch date that ever was, come to think of it.

I then turned back around and headed inside to leave a tip because it was easily the best piece of pizza I've ever had (a touch of garlic in the sauce, perfectly crunchy bottomed crust, cheese evenly dispersed and so tasty) and talked for fifteen minutes with the owner who works there from open to close every day and didn't once break his smile. I kind of wanted him to kiss me on the cheek by the end. 

Never really walking alone downtown before aside from the above stated pizza eating experience, I managed to run errands for the work party we had later this evening around without getting lost. I made it to the addresses written on post it notes in my hands! Huzzah!

Now, I am not prejudiced or entirely unfamiliar with people that are homeless. I respect them and their right to hang out on the streets. Soon, I want to buy one a meal like I've seen people in my building do and bring it to them personally. However, I ended up in an interesting part of town where I realized I was the only female Caucasian and person with a home on the street. New experience. Not all together terrifying because buses were passing by, but at one point a woman pushing a rolling suitcase in front of her down the middle of the suitcase screamed at me, "GET THE F*** OUT OF MY WAY!" causing everyone to turn around and part down the middle of the street for her. Okay, so I was slightly terrified at this moment and I immediately darted out of her way after her suitcase hit my feet.

Finding and contacting a few people who are interested in donating their products for a big event coming up at work. Talking on the phone and reaching out to people is exciting. I feel honored to work for who I do.

Sometime before leaving to do errands and after getting back from the most glorious lunch of my life, I got a text from my mom with a picture of a letter from my landlord in Montana saying that there were stains on our apartment carpet and we had 24 hours to be rid of them or else we'd lose our security deposit and we'd be charged with damage. We're talking like, $1000 lost in total. Down the drain. Panicked, I called the office, my roommate, friends still in Montana who could go clean it for me for a $50 an hour promise- all while navigating downtown Seattle running errands. Admittedly, I didn't read my contact well enough last summer. Because that was standard and due to their restrictions on what carpet cleaner you are allowed to use, you aren't allowed to actually use anything that would remove simple stains a professional vacuum cleaner would take out. Doh! Unnecessary anxiety that rubbed off on my mom and roommate. And myself.

Out of my comfort zone:
We had our building office party this evening. Every floor of the building opens its doors and people go from floor to floor learning about the office and their work and enjoy food and games. It ended up being fantastic and I met a lot of fascinating people on the few floors I had time to visit. People from all over the West Coast and even other Interns that are *gasp* my age! 

Then, of course  there was finishing the day and sprinting 1.1 miles to the ferry in under 8 minutes and making it onto my boat. There was the boy in the elevator. There was realizing no minute was the same as the next one after it all day long and I had abou a million things to handle and I did it all. I survived what I would have cried imagining over two weeks ago (!!!! just two weeks ago!?) and this is it. This is a full day. And I loved every second, even the panicked and uncomfortable ones. 

This is the best thing I've ever done for myself- getting myself here, working to make it happen for months, and hoping for it until it worked out at the last second.

At the end of my day, when I crossed Puget Sound and rode my bus and finally drove home, I took myself on a twenty minute walk through the *rain forest*. This is all real, this is all real.
photo (28) photo (29)


carly said...

holy moly. that is one DAY. but uh, you completely conquered it!
two other random thoughts:
1) the snappy homeless story. the waterfront is probably the most populated area of interesting people who, more often than not, live in a tent under the viaduct. 'interesting' can be amusing (like the guy who tried to sell my brother a bag lunch once- no doubt some generous Seattleite gave him the lunch to eat, but he wanted to sell it for money to use other things that probably aren't exactly food) and 'interesting' can be just plan scary. careful!
2) YOUR. BAG. love! and that pizza slice! i've had giant cookies from around the pike place area, but that pizza! i'm drooling!

two weeks in, and i'd say you're more local in the city than this suburb girl over here ;)

Ellie said...

I feel like you're reading my mind. I moved to Berlin three weeks ago and am having the exact same revelations. AWESOME.

Shawnee said...

this makes my heart smile! and i LOVE your bag. i'm on the search for that perfect leather one too.

what a grand learning adventure! ps eating alone is so empowering. xoxo

Napkin Love Notes said...

Can I ask where you got that bag?? I have been on the hunt for something like that. It looks like perfection!

kylee said...

that paragraph about you eating alone makes it sound far less terrifying and somehow dreamy. all of a sudden i want to eat alone. i want that pizza. now.

Natalie said...

I'm pretty sure you did more in one day than I did in the entire time period between you writing this post and me writing this comment.

I LOVE YOUR LIFE. And that monstrous pizza slice sounds great.

Also, I've eaten alone in a sit down restaurant in the airport multiple times before if that counts? I feel like there are a lot of people alone there though, so it's not quite the same.

Rebekah Bradford said...

I eat alone a lot, but I haven't in a sit-down restaurant. I'd really like to sometime though. #310 though? How long is your bucket list? Wow! (or was that just a made up number!) And your scary moment with the homeless woman and the suitcase was...well a little scary. Yikes!