I had an incredible conversation with a young lady today. I was a young lady once. I hope I still am to you. But to this girl I likely fell into the ma’am category.
I get that a lot now – the ma’am reference; especially when polite gentlemen ask to carry out my groceries.
“Can I help you with that, Ma’am?”
Oh – I cringe. I’m 32 people. 32.
This young lady was 21, 22 at best. I’m not much older – it’s true. But I’ve come to know in my wise elder years – that there is a big difference between 22 and 32. I’m sure I could say the same at 42, 52 and so on.
Perspectives change as we get older, right?
But back to the chat with the young lady.
We were sitting together at a small table talking about business opportunities. Mostly, she was chatting – and I was listening. She’s still in college finishing her degree, newly engaged and a go getter. She reminded me a lot of myself in college; prior to the up all night Toga parties. Yes, those exist. No, I don’t want to talk about it.
This girl is really a stranger. Our paths crossed last fall during a business function and we didn’t meet up again until recently. She e-mailed me on a whim and asked to meet for coffee. She may have mentioned something like, “I could tell you’re a person that would be a positive role model. I want to run an idea by you.”
Those weren’t the exact words, but I was flattered. Clearly she didn’t know me during those Toga years.
We met for coffee and discussed business. I knew the moment I met this girl that she was determined, ambitious and ready to take on the world. You might know the type? As I listened though, one common theme kept coming up; she wanted to see the world and nothing or no one would stop her from this accomplishment.
I’m a fan of the globe, especially the little part that holds the United States, but traveling has never been a big priority of mine. Sure I would love to take a trip farther than the convenience store north of town and yea, I frequent Target so much I know the clerks by name – but I like it. It’s comfortable. I like comfortable. You should see my over-sized sweatshirt collection; my husband’s not a fan.
Don’t associate comfortable with stuck. I think many people in my age bracket have this problem. I did too, once. It’s one of the reasons my husband and I moved out of Nebraska as soon as we got married. We both couldn’t wait to fly to a new huge state in a large city, with opportunities as big as the moon.
We came back, not because we had to, but because we wanted to. When we moved here in 2006, I met more people in a few months than I did during an entire year in Texas. That’s saying a lot – as I knew most of the ladies’ names at the Target down the road from me in Houston.
What I wanted to tell this fabulous young lady was something many people likely wanted to tell me when I left almost 10 years ago.
It’s common to leave, and you probably should. Take this time in your life to find adventures, explore new culture and discover who you want to be. But don’t be blind to the beauty right in front of you. There is something to love about home. The very thing you want to leave behind may be the reason you come back. Comfort, tradition, family and love isn’t easy to find; the Grand Canyon is. Adventure comes in many forms not just a passport and one way ticket. If you know how to find it, you’ll never be bored.
It’s just a little advice from a young lady that’s been around long enough to earn the title of ma’am.