I am not what I expected.
– Anne Sexton
Two years ago, serendipity introduced me to this man at a Canes vs. Maple Leafs game in Raleigh. We are both Leafs fans in the middle of North Carolina. Not what you’d expect, right? We chatted the entire game, cheering our Leafs to victory, and in a completely out of character move I asked to take a selfie with him to commemorate the night. Not what I would normally expect of myself.
I sent him the photo and a happy birthday wish, as that was why he was attending the game, and had no expectation of ever seeing or hearing from him again. The universe had entirely other plans.
During our conversation we talked about our kids and families and I explained that I was in the middle of a difficult divorce. We didn’t talk about either of our work lives, as the conversation flowed naturally to much more important things. A few days later, I received a text response from him, explaining that he was a counselor and life coach and he felt compelled to help me find someone in my area to help me and my kids through the tough times we were having. As it turned out, he was just the person I needed.
He has been the best guide and helper along my path and has seen me through some of the darkest days of my life. Who would have imagined that this sweet Canadian grandfatherly gentleman would have such a profound influence on my life, when we met under such unremarkable circumstances?
Every time we talk we inevitably discuss two things: the Maple Leafs, of course, and how unexpected but wonderful it has been to have met one another. Knowing him has given me a continuous feeling of gratitude for the unexpected.
Truthfully, I am not what I expected of myself. I never really had a frame of reference or someone I looked up to or aspired to be like; and so I’ve just let myself grow, and tried to stay conscious of when I was letting my emotions overly pollute my perception of reality so that when the opportunities to expand or to rest were there, I could see them. I was never so compassionate to myself before and I never expected to get to this place of comfort with my Self. It is a nice place to be, in the unexpected.