Life presents many opportunities. The trick is to both recognize them and to take a chance. I’m making headway in my “Keeping Promises” post from December: I had an audition for a community theater project this week (and got accepted into the troupe!), I’m actively working on the book, and most importantly, I moved to San Francisco.
On one of my first days in town, I caught a cab. Upon entering the pristine backseat, sounds of smooth jazz flooded out the windows, as we began our drive to my new abode. This cabbie was unlike any other I’ve met. I’m used to cab drivers in Boston, New York, Hangzhou, Changsha, or Beijing. I’ve met my share of friendly, happy, talkative, loud, busy, and rushed drivers, but I would never describe any of them as “calm.”
He hailed from Michigan but had been living in the city most of his life. “I’ve been spoiling myself for 40 years,” he said through a smile, nodding his head in time to the CD he had made for the car. I told him of my recent move, and he regaled my friend and I with recommendations for jazz, food, and things to do in the area. We continued chatting until my stop, and I was struck by how in tune this man was with his own rhythm and life.
As I got out of the car, I said “Happy New Year” and he smiled and said, “the same to you. Happy New Life!” Maybe it’s because I’ve been reading The Alchemist lately, but I wondered if like the boy seeking his personal legend (or avocation) in the book, this driver was a good omen, encouraging me in my choice for a new life.