SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 112: Keep Trusting

In the game of baseball, the rule is “three strikes and you’re out.” Tonight 365 has reformatted, pulling from this sports regulation, a new decree for life. That decree, “Three strikes and you’re in.”

I’ll illustrate this in noting the route I take this evening in meeting my day 112 interviewee’s, three best friends, Alicia, Krystal and Michael, as they share a moment with me during their break from studies at Humboldt State University.

My meeting with them is not forced, but is found somewhere in the middle of chance and destination.

“Three strike’s and you’re in,” I say.

With that in mind, let me start my explanation with a short timeline.

2:30pm: Take walk. Meet interesting couple on street. They are on their way to a meeting, but are into 365. They promise to call me after their meeting, in one hour, and agree to meet on a corner near my house.

2:40pm: Much wanted nap. Phone by my head to wake me when friends call.

4:30pm: Wake, dry mouthed, tongue stuck to pillow. No call, Crud! strike one.

5:00pm: Lovely wife kicks me out of house to find 365 friends. With this sweet instruction, “Dinner is at 6:30pm and we have a meeting to go to at 7:00pm.”

5:15 to 6:25pm: Meet amazing neighbors (I’ll save name for later entries), but run out of time for photos. Plus, they also tell me, “We want to share in 365, but not tonight.” I respect that and we exchange cards. Bummer! Strike two.

7:00pm to 8:00pm: Earlier mentioned meeting, daughter by side (I see her 365 eyes turning).

8:01pm: Meeting over, my daughter says, “I have a 365 feeling that we need to go to Petco.” Not wanting to crush her, and guessing it is a con-job to buy another Hamster, I agree with one concession, “We’re not buying anything.” She reluctantly agrees. I know her well, my take, “Kid, great negotiation for an extended bedtime.”

8:15pm: Petco drive by. The store is empty. Oh well! Strike three.

8:15pm and not a 365 prospect in sight, when this idea pops into my head. Just across the street is a Starbucks, where only a few weeks ago I interviewed a father, son and nephew, see “The Motley Crew Presents A Better World”

With this, I am prompted by a question, “Who is at the same table this evening?”

“Hey, that’s different, Let’s try.”

8:20pm: Pull into Starbucks parking lot, target table is occupied. Things are looking up!

8:25pm: After fumbling in setting up my iPad and business cards, I leave my vehicular sanctuary to say hi to table number three. Wife and daughter decide to stay in-car in having their own mommy/daughter moment. And I know what that means:

“Mommy, can I have a sugar rush inducing hot chocolate? Not now, it too close to bedtime? “Mommy, can I have a sugar rush inducing hot chocolate? Not now, it too close to bedtime? “Mommy, can I have a sugar rush inducing hot chocolate? Not now, it too close to bedtime? “Mommy, can I have a sugar rush inducing hot chocolate? Not now, it too close to bedtime?… Parents, you know what I’m talking about.

Free and clear of the coco debates, I approach my possible friends and give the 365 pitch. I must be a little fatigued, because tonight it comes of as bla, bla, bla.

They are in, but I can tell by the glaze in their eyes, I may have over explained the project. Maybe, I’m feeling a little desperate after three friend finding failures this evening.

8:30sh: As I am prepping my camera in continuing my discussion with my Starbucks compadre’s, lights begin to flash, and up walks the shopping area security dude. My wife tells me later, “He pulled into the parking slip right next to her with intention and walked directly to you guys.” My guess, someone reported me as a solicitor.

First words to us by our new security friend, checking the eye-lines of us all as he says, “Soft money, or hard money?”

I instantly get his message. He thinks I am harassing innocent store patrons for something. Got to support him in his obvious mission of being sure I’m not pressing my new friends for money or worse.

I respond, “No money.”

Trying to figure out if I’m the real deal, he banters with us all for a while, and after about ten minutes, we are all buddies. Even turns out that our yellow shirted security friend has loosened us all up, and he is a really great guy! Even takes a 365 card, as I extend a 365 invite to him.

“Maybe later, I’ve got a few other issues I have to deal with,” he says. I hope he calls me, a very funny and articulate guy, I’m sure it would be an awesome interview.

All in all, the security visit is a wonderful icebreaker for us all, and we are a little reminiscent that he will not be joining us in our interview and photos. So security man, thanks for breaking bread with us.

Alicia, Krystal and Michael are meant to be, in stepping to the 365 plate tonight. I keep saying, “I have no idea of where 365 is taking us.” But for whatever reason, it’s always the right place at the right time.

“Three strikes and you’re in.” If it were not for my earlier rejections, I would not be with these three remarkable friends tonight. Even my daughter’s promptings have been active in brining us together for tonight experience.

We’ve spoken often of life in 365, with many friends prescribing to “The only living it once” theory.

There have been discussions of the pace of life and the stresses we all bear in this mortal existence.

Living life to the fullest, being good to your neighbors, environment and self have also been big topics, but what is revealed tonight strengthens many of these point of discussion with the introduction a yet another key virtue, trust.

From Krystal:
“People need to live listening to their emotions, and not get desensitized in giving up on their dreams.” In this, she is saying, trust yourself and have the courage and tenacity to, in her words, “Do something unconventional.”

From Michael:
“There is so much anxiety in the world. We don’t talk about things. We need to trust each other and work together, as a community, and not on our own.”

From Alicia:
“We have to trust…But we need to be smart.”

I’m loving their combined council: Trust Yourself, Trust Others, but listen to your emotional self in how you discern your choices. And from what I’ve learned in my life is this, “The first impression you receive about a person, or decision, is usually the right choice. We just need to learn to identify with, and trust, our instinctual self. And practice makes perfect.”

Alicia, Krystal and Michael unanimously make this claim; “People need to work together more as a community, face to face, and not in the virtual world.” Sort of a contrast to even this blog, but I get it. Even though 365’s findings are housed in a virtual vault, it’s works happen on the streets, face to face with people, all joining in the growth a community.

The question then lies within this context, what do we all do every day in our lives? As Michael states, “We need to trust each other and work together, as a community, and not on our own.”

Alicia kicks in, “We have to love ourselves for who we are, telling ourselves, we deserve it and have permission to take it.”

Love, for ourselves, love for our neighbors, love for the planet, I keep hearing this over and over again, and it is becoming music to my ears. An affirmation to us all that is OK to live by the simple premise of love. It is not sign of weakness and does not need to be expressed in words. I realize it is a very vulnerable self-resource. But it links so eloquently with the power of trust, doesn’t it?

I agree with the topic of desensitization that Krystal has brought to the surface. In this, she has given us permission to say hello to a stranger, pick up the phone in hearing a voice to replace our overly used text lingo, or to click to the off button on the 60inch Plasma screen in dawning a pair of hiking shoe for a day’s outing in real sunlight.

Sunlight, that is a challenge in itself. Sans Alicia, “I remember being a kid, I was never in the house. I’d use every excuse for a bike ride or trip to the park, not like the kids today, all who addicted to video games.”

Alicia’s thought sobers me. Yes, we don’t have a video game console in our home, and I think we don’t text too often. But I do see my daughter becoming alarmingly addicted to the TV remote.

Alicia is college age and she remembers the wonder of playing outdoors. I’ve got a nine-year old, and am seeing a generation that is at risk of losing one of the greatest health benefits, the outdoors. Scares me a little to see how in literally ten years, technology, although a great tool, has also pulled so many away from each other. My plea, use it responsibly.

In this, we can close with words from Michael, “We need to do our part on protecting the environment. Learn about and contribute to anything that promotes sustainable agriculture and evolutions of actual green.”

In retrospect, I am grateful for tonight’s prior set of three rejections and failures, for without them, I would not have had the opportunity to commune with three more great young adults.

Like I said, “Three strike and you’re in!”

Following in the footsteps of my new Starbucks friends, I’ll continue to trust the voice that is guiding me in 365. For without listening to it, I’m sure 365 would be in a very different place.

Alicia, Krystal, Michael, keep trusting, the world needs you.

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