Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Strange but True

I was selling some furniture on Craig's List that I'd bought from the people who sold my house. A really nice couple about my age without kids came to pick it up- Erica & Dave. We chatted for a while and she counted out the money and handed it over. We loaded up the furniture into Dave's pick up (he did most of the work). They drove off to their little house in SE Portland.

Later on that evening, I noticed that they had overpaid me by $20. I was on the fence about what to do- keep it, or let them know? I decided to text Erica and tell her. She said they would try to pick it up sometime when they were in the neighborhood. I figured if they were going to pick it up, they probably needed the money. I probably would have forgotten about it.

I hadn't heard back for a few days and figured they forgot about it- oh well, $20 is not that much money.

Yesterday I was doing the terrible errands that go along with buying a house- Lowe's, Target, and then Ikea. I'd just arrived at Ikea when someone said, "Sara!" It was Erica and Dave. How strange! I passed over the only twenty dollar bill I had in my wallet. And we chatted for a while. They'd just been at Home Depot, Target and Ikea. We were on the same path.

How odd is it to run into someone like that in a city of 2.3 million? It felt like it was meant to be that I returned the money. And they were such a nice couple, I almost wanted to ask them to be friends.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

"Courageous Vulnerability"

Meaning: You're scared of doing something, but you do it anyway.

For the last few days, I've had this phrase stuck in my head. People often remark to me, how amazing it was that I did all the things I did. How did I know to do what I did?

I think there's a false assumption out there that people who do things weren't scared to do them.

We're all afraid of failure, of making mistakes, of looking like an idiot.

One of my coworkers asked me if I'd lecture at a conference for opticians and optometry assistants in Newport, Oregon. I said yes. Then immediately regretted it, thinking I was going to be horrible and everyone was going to be bored at my talk. I procrastinated updating my lectures, and thought over and over how I should have backed out. I had spoken at a conference in 2007; one of the talks went well and one everyone was falling asleep. I was worried I might repeat myself, or worse, have TWO boring lectures.
The weekend of the conference came, and I went to my little room with the projector screen set against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. The time came to start, and I pushed forward. Nervous as all hell for the first fifteen minutes, but then it got better and better. The second lecture didn't even have the nervous part at the beginning. 
 It went ok. 
No one fell asleep.
A few days later, back at work, more than one of the attendees told me that they really enjoyed my talk. One said, "Everyone should hear it!" And another said, "Yours were the best all weekend because I actually learned."
 I was overjoyed to hear it. And surprised. I couldn't tell how it went. So yesterday at work, a different coworker asked if I could do a little lecture for their meeting so they could get some extra continuing education. I said, "Yes." And I felt that I could do it. 
All because I did something I was scared to do. 
 That is living life.