• elise

Chapter 20 - Each step of the way was planned...


#spillthebeansonlove - Chapter 20 Day one of day four of our first date - officially in the books and it was so much fun. We successfully met up, had deep dish, walked along the river, took a boat ride, learned about the famous buildings and architecture and then went to a fabulous dinner at an Asian fusion restaurant. Each step of the way was planned, yet fluid; organized yet surprisingly not rigid. I was relaxed, I was joyful, but most of all, I was grateful. At the end of night one we got back to the hotel and I had a little time to reflect. Was this too good to be true? My whole life, I had heard that if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is. This time, however, I wasn’t sure. My plan remained the same - watch his actions. Be an observer, not a leader. If I lead, I would of course enjoy the date because everything would be my idea. I had to remind myself that there was immense strength in the observation role….and to enjoy it, because it’s more fun anyway. There’s an art and a beauty to being courted. So many times in my past I think my fiery, masculine energy would take over and I would hinder the courtship or unintentionally manipulate it into going a certain way. I had to make a conscious effort to set all of that aside and go with the flow like the boats which so gracefully sailed in the river. I pep talked myself - no matter what comes of this - enjoy the moment. It may be nothing, it may be everything, but wow, what an experience and what a self discovery this trip is turning into. Day 2 - The next day I awoke to a text of our itinerary. I laughed when I read it, but inside I was so dang happy. Yes…consistency. A man with a plan, AND consistency, AND follow through. This. Is. Nice. He’s an early bird, I’m…eh, a medium bird. Remember, he is Superman and barely needs sleep, so he was up and at ‘em at 6am. I am normal, I was up and at ‘em at 8:30am. He said we have brunch plans at 10am. Come hungry because it’s a fabulous buffet and it’s a several hour long event. OK, game on! I thought. I never get my moneys worth at a buffet because I can’t eat a lot at one sitting, but a little birdie (aka google, I looked up the restaurant - I’m not THAT go with the flow) told me there were bottomless mimosas and THAT could make up for the little I would eat. We arrive. It’s a cool vibe. The music is playing, a DJ is spinning, the sun was shining down on the indoor/outdoor space. The buffet was beautiful, like the kind I used to see on the cruise ship, and the mimosas were flowing. I order: “Hi, I’d like a bottomless mimosa, hold the O.J.” He laughs - I’m relieved he understands me. We brunch, we laugh, we take pics, we make friends, we call friends from home, we stay for three hours which feels like 20 minutes. All of a sudden he looks at his watch and says, ‘We have to go!’ I assume it’s because we have brunched our fair share of the day. He grabs a taxi, and we start driving in the opposite direction from our hotel. ‘Where are we going?’ I ask. He says, ‘just wait, you’re going to love this.’ I wonder why this part wasn’t sent to me this morning in the text message? I watch the road intently. I’m tempted to jump on Google Maps and see what’s nearby, but I resist. After about 15 minutes, I look up and there it is…a mini airport with several helicopters. O-M-G. I’m super scared of helicopters. I’m curious, but nervous. What are we doing here? Are you going in one? Are WE going in one? Are you jumping out of one? Do people even do that? …what’s going on? ‘Come on!’ He says. I let him lead. I slowly get out of the car. I walk up to the helicopter. The sound of the blade is loud and repetitive. I hear it whooshing over my head over and over again. I feel the need to duck, but at 5’2” 1/2 the blades are nowhere near my head. My hair was blowing all over the place. A man walks up to us and introduces himself as the pilot. I’m tempted to ask him to recite his resume and training hours, but instead I shake his hand and say, ‘I’m nervous. I didn’t really sign up for this.’ He laughs. He assures me that it'll be ok and in fact I will love it. The most beautiful man smiles and says, he’ll hold my hand during the flight. I think to myself, that the definition of liquid courage is kicking in, because if we hadn’t had bottomless mimosas, there’s absolutely no way I would be getting on this helicopter. We strap in. We put on our headphones, and we lift up into the big beautiful blue sky. It’s magical. It’s exhilarating, it’s breathtaking beyond words. I always wondered why we offered so many helicopter tours as premium excursions while on the cruise ship and now, seven years since I’ve worked on the ship, I was finally understanding the allure. From an elevated perspective the Earth’s beauty is unbeatable. It’s undeniable, it’s absolutely incredible. The pilot gave us the full tour and now I was getting to see, and embrace the beauty of Chicago from a new perspective. Was this a metaphor for my new found ability to sit back and enjoy versus control? For years I’ve done meditations where I imagine lifting above my circumstance so as to show that my current issues are merely a dot in the grand scheme of life, but for the first time ever, I’m literally seeing and experiencing what the meditation teaches. As we fly, I notice that I’m smiling. I’m in somewhat of a dream state. It’s hard to describe. Somewhere between awe, nervousness and elation. This is insane…good insane, but still, totally insane. He grabs my hand. I look at him. He’s smiling. I can tell he’s finding joy in watching me experience this moment for the first time. We descend. We land. We unbuckle. With wobbly knees, I thank the pilot about 70 times. I look at the most beautiful man and shake my head. I don’t have words. I’m not sure if I’m mad that he just made me conquer a fear; happy, proud, confused, so in lieu of words, I just shake my head. He laughs, grabs my hand and says, ‘I wanted to make sure this was the best first date you have ever had or will ever have.'

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