I met a global citizen - truly - and she made me smile. I will share her story so that you might smile at her freedom and lightness as well.
After a beautifully long day of touring southern France, my husband and I sat down at the tall tables of an outdoor cafe. It was time for cappuccino and reflection. We were engaged in deep conversation when the waitress finally showed up to take our order. She was a petite young woman with a big smile on her face. She offered us menus with a "Bonjour!" and a little French language as unsteady as my own. So she laughed a big laugh and said in very clear (yet Latin-tinted) English "Hello then, what may I get you?" We ordered coffee. She laughed again. This was a wonderfully giddy woman (although to call her a "woman" overstates her personality, as she was girl-like in every manner).
She took our menus and bounced up and down with excitement. "Where are you from?" she asked us- a question we had heard many times that day.
"The United States" we told her.
"Ahhh!" she nearly squealed. "They are ALL from the United States! Every one!" She pointed to her other tables on the pedestrian street. "THEY are from California...THEY are from Chicago...and YOU are from U.S. too!" Every word she said was punctuated with a bounce and a hint of Spanish. She giggled as she ran back into the restaurant. We had to laugh along with her- there was no choice. We were reflexive to her exhilaration.
Much time expired, as is the European fashion, before we were presented with 2 beautiful cafés from the passionate waitress. She dropped them with us and like a carefree child bounced over to her other tables to talk to her other Americans. She came back as if she knew us. "How do you like?" -an incomplete question as if she was already in the middle of our conversation.
"Very good" we reassured her. She clapped her hands.
"I made them myself. Not the bartender. Me. I made them for you." She wore a proud smile on her face.
Finally my husband ventured "Where are YOU from?" when he could get a word in between her bubbly broken Latin-tinted English.
"Me? I am from Argentina! I was 2 months in Mallorca before this and now I have been here only 15 days!" She clapped. "I am going to be here to learn French and then who knows? We will see!" A little hop. "I miss my family but I will move again and I will see them at the holidays and I will talk with you and practice my English! I like to speak English! It is my favorite!" Every word ended in an up beat, as if she was going to ask a question, but somehow each sentence was ended with spirit.
We learned from her that her family was still back in Buenos Aires and Mendoza (we had been- and so we talked about the beauty of that part of the world), that she had not yet made any friends here (although she referred to knowing people) but that soon she would know lots of people (and hoped learn French as well as we knew she spoke English). She had no money and did not seem tied to any possessions. She was uninhibited by foreign lands, languages or planning details like most of us are. She was truly a free spirit.
And so was the Argentine waitress, who made delectable cafés for us in Nice, who came via Mallorca and several other places before alighting upon our occasion of carefree contentment at a random street cafe in the heart of the French Riviera some late September afternoon.
October 5, 2010
They say it's relative.
They tell you you need to study how to manage it.
They say it flies.
Shall we look at it another way? It's a way of life- your life. It is exactly what you make of it. You control it...or rather, you control how you see yourself and choose how to spend it.
So do what's meaningful to you.
...What? No time to do what's meaningful to you? I have been there a lot. And then I realized that I'm too busy doing what I thought I had to do in order to support the things that are meaningful to me. It's all about balancing it...me. I am a Libra and therefore practice the circular balance I need in order to maintain my entity.
And now I own my time. You?