Two weekends ago I spent the time celebrating with childhood friends. And I had the time of my life doing so: dancing, catching up on childhood memories and laughing till the tears flowed.
My husband and I traveled to Atlanta to attend my life long friend’s birthday anniversary party which was based on the seventies Soul Train theme. The music, decorations, and disco lights took us back to a special place in time and the nostalgia was pure magic. Winning the [Party Shop] Soul Train trophy along with a life- long friend was as thrilling as winning a coveted writing award. As I reminisce and savor the memories, I recognize how important it is to take ownership of my deepest yearnings; those seemingly small elemental desires that shape our mood and often deeply impact our demeanor. The disagreements, the tug of war over where to go, what to see, and what & where to eat were all part of the circle of events of a weekend that we aimed to make the most of. In as much as we disagreed, we also had moments of celebration and sheer delights which have left me thinking. I cannot, should not, assign responsibility for my feelings to my husband, my friends, my family, or my children. There were several times over the weekend as we arranged to go site-seeing, prepared for the party or even while at the party that I was tempted to give in to the moment when something posed a challenge; when the moment wasn’t quite what I desired or expected. When my husband or someone in the group disappointed me, I was tempted to give in to my emotions and cast blame, holding someone else responsible for my feelings. I soon found however, that when I stepped outside of the box and refocused there was a special delight in the moment. Several plans didn’t work out the way we [I] intended: my husband refused to go site-seeing on day one. On day two my BFF’s partner refused to come on board while this time, my husband joined us. [Lesson learned-Men are as temperamental as women are.]
In the midst of it all, we negotiated and made space for possibilities. On the long train ride to down town Atlanta, my friend and I recalled childhood memories that had us laughing like middle school girls. Once we recognized that we had missed our way and wouldn’t get to the Aquarium as we had planned, we detoured and stopped for dinner at the first restaurant we saw. It turned out to be one of the most scrumptious meals I ever had. Worried that we might get back late for the party, we chose an expensive cab ride back to the hotel. At the party, we danced, posed for photographs and bonded with friends. The next day, we toured the King Center and were poignantly reminded of the wondrous possibilities that dreaming presents. The graphic imagery of the portraits of Dr. King and his gorgeous wife, the walk along the freedom boulevard, hearing Dr. King’s words at Ebeneezer Baptist Church stirred something deep in our soul that pushed us to let go of petty preoccupations and simply enjoy the day and all the possibilities it presented.