The Unexpected Exceeds Expectations

January 30, 2006  

I have been on the road for 3 weeks and am now back in Boston for 10 days before hitting the road again. The tour has been great fun so far! I want to share with you a recent experience from my travels.

On the morning of Friday, January 20th, I drove 9 hours from Virginia to Hilton Head, SC. Getting there was a 4 hour diversion from my original Washington DC to Atlanta travel plans. But my PR firm arranged for a 30 minute television interview with the local independent station there. The opportunity seemed to justify the extra travel. After the long drive, I arrived at the studios at 4:45PM; 15 minutes before the scheduled start. The studios were pitch black. No one was there. Did I have the wrong date? The wrong time? After a few phone calls, I discovered that the studio messed up. Although they could not pull together a camera crew before I had to leave the next day, they said that would try to pull something together after my Atlanta gigs – on my way back to Boston.

Instead of getting upset about the mix up, I chose to accept it as an opportunity for something new to show up.

For dinner that evening, I chose a restaurant where I might be able to meet some locals. I sat at the bar — a nice open space. I started speaking with the woman sitting next to me, Kerrie. We hit it off and went for a drink afterwards. We agreed to get together and paint the town red when (if) I returned for the TV shoot. Now I had a reason to return; I was glad for the mix-up with the TV studio.

Fast forward to Wednesday, the day I drove back to Hilton Head from Atlanta. As I made the 4 hour drive, I got a call from Kerrie. She needed to leave town unexpectedly; she became an aunt a month earlier than anticipated. We would not have a chance to get together.

Again, instead of getting upset, I decided to find other opportunity.

Kerrie & I talked about going to a piano bar that just opened up the month before. I decided to go there on my own. I had an amazing time. Scott, the piano play is incredibly talented. The people in the bar were so much fun. I hung out there until 2AM having the best time. As the bar was closing, Scott asked if I would be interested in golfing the next day. I was, and so we did. It was a spectacular day on an Arnold Palmer designed golf course, which we had to ourselves. Heavenly. That evening I returned to the piano bar to listen to wonderful music and hang out with my new friends.

If I were in Hilton Head solely for the goal of doing the TV show, I might have been disappointed (we did tape the show upon my return). Or, if I gone back with the expectation of getting together with Kerrie, I certainly would have been disappointed – we never did meet up. However, in spite of all of that, it turned out to be the most fun I have had in a long time! New opportunities appear when we are not too attached to our original goals.

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2 Responses to “The Unexpected Exceeds Expectations”

  1. Smarky on January 31st, 2006 8:08 am

    Heh quite the party person eh? :P

  2. Rosario on February 1st, 2006 4:13 pm

    You sound very happy with all the fun that happened spontaneously, and it felt contagious!. Like you found what you need it, perhaps not what you wanted. Although not what you had previously expected, you moved with fluidity and enjoyed a lot!. How envious of the piano party!!. In my case, I have experienced for a long time the particular challenge of discriminating between expectation and hope. At certain point they can feel like relatives, but not, they are not, that’s the cheating bandit appearance. Especially, in relationships matters,I could recall several embarrasing experiences of high expectations that I created on my own, inflating perceptions up to the point of hollywood fantasy. And, I lament time gone in such an useless and unproductive way. Well, of course, trusting that I am never lost, and that everything is a learning experience, then, I can take all experiences as positive and, just move on…and maybe, even capitalise on it and create a master degree in fantasy for people suffering from boredom. The last bubble, however, has been so instructive in its long elusiveness, that has brought attached the bonus of great awakening and decision to just say enough of this limitation, and now, I want the real thing!. In October 2004 I took an international six hour flight to NY for work reasons, where I met a man and had an spontenous great three hour conversation that seemed so natural, warm, and comfortable. He contacted me later through e-mail expressing a mixture of acknowledgment and attraction, and the wish to meet again whenever I would go back. I responded with appreciation, gratitude, and also acknowledgement. In December I travelled again to NY, and although I justified it for work reasons, I really did not need to go, so I uncovered the underlying desire to carry on with more conversations with that man, and did not hesitate to take another six hour flight -although the illusion was that it felt like goal free-. We managed to meet up again over more coffee a couple of times, and also other day for dinner. It was great, although i had “sensed” that this time it took a while to agree on a meeting because he seemed to have many difficulties and excuses to find time. We talked about everything, very fluidly and joyfully, and even tapped into some confidentiality. But after that occasion, silence and no e-mail was the response. And I could not understand well. After a few months and some of my willingness to follow up communication, he revealed he was in a relationship and felt bad about the attraction. That annoyed me, why to hide such thing?. His relationship seemed to not exist during those long shared conversations. Why to keep it occult?. That annoyed me, but accepted it, and persisted in offering a friendship. After several months of spare communications, he confessed a month ago that he has a wife. The thing is that I had already realised I had been keeping expectations thinking that he might have a girlfriend, no committed relationship -in other words, I did not want to see-. But he had a wife!!. How he could hide a wife under a rut??. Was she a phantom??. Well, she has been for twelve months, until he decided to make her alive. It made me realise the importance of clarity and honesty in communication, from the very beginning. Assuming responsibility not just for what you ask, but also for what you don’t ask, for being honest and express truth as to decide boundaries, and avoid any misleading confusion. Someone once told me that when French actor and singer Maurice Chevalier -the latin lover but in French version- met his great love, she went right through his big ego of successful lover and said very calmly: “You don’t need to flatter me. Just tell me what is in your heart”. So, I think that I succumbed to flattery, and because I have learned the lesson and gained a healthy dosis of mature eskepticism will be very prevented to flattery as opposed to communicating from the heart. Especially, because I have honestly looked at how I did not want myself to create heart-based relationships. Oh!, well, I said quite the contrary with my full mouth, but not with my full heart -simply, it was not true. I was scared of risking to be known, of intimacy, and prefered to fantasize in a bubble of flattery, because there is not risk at all in it. Now, it is very beautiful and unbelivable to realise that still the heart wants to remain vulnerable and open no matter what, that finds a way to wait until its longing is heard and embraced. That chooses faithfully to hope instead of to expect. That has infinite resilience, patience, and total faith in its capacity to believe, and to love, if given an opportunity. It is such a child!!. So, in that childlike quality of the heart is that I imagine that we have to tap if we want to be able to catch the soft knocks of opportunity that exists around. Because they may be subtle as compared to the louder flattering noise. There is no way I can make sense of all the turns, ups, downs, deviations, confusions, bends, stops, traffic jams, fogs, that can happen on the way to befriend and trust the heart. And better to not try to understand it, such a mystery!. As the Inuit say: “Every day there is your agenda, and there is the Mystery’s agenda”. But also Van Morrison tells the way beautifully in his song:

    THE MYSTERY

    Let go into the mystery
    let yourself go.
    You’ve got to open up your heart
    That’s all I know.
    Trust what I say and do what
    You’re told
    Baby and all your dirt will turn
    into gold.

    Let go into the mystery
    let yourself go.
    When you open up your heart
    You get everything you need.
    Baby there’s a way and a mystic road.
    You’ve got to have some faith
    To carry on…

    It goes on, but too long… It’s track 2 in “Poetic Champions Compose” album, following the introductory “Spanish steps” melody. It’s a great wonderful incredible album. Could be listening to it for hours and days. My heart loves it.