Last week Saturday
around 2 p.m., after wandering around Lyon and ending up in Croix Rousse (one of two collines in Lyon, the one where people work btw), I realized I was hungry. Just then I saw a pizza joint and decided to check it out.
Below you can see what I ordered.
What I ate.
What I enjoyed completely. : )
I sat next to the window at a high two-top where I happily chomped on my pizza while observing the world outside.
That’s when she caught my eye.
Sitting alone. Also watching. Observing. Looking like a force of nature itself. Confident. Comfortable. Curious.
Three awesome Cs of uniqueness.
A woman with a presence.
In our world, youth and vitality is most often idolized. The absence of wrinkles. The presence of chic clothing. An air of not caring. And yet, in my experience, that very persona revolves around caring so very much what others think. Caring so very much that their very presence mirrors everyone else.
But here she sat with her hat and fluorescent sun glasses, looking like she didn’t have a care in the world. And looking like no one else. Uniquely herself.
When I left the restaurant, I started to walk past where she sat when something inside me called me to stop. To turn around. Approach her. And say hello.
In much less time than it takes to spill ones coffee and then clean it up, I was sitting with her at her table having a lively conversation.
Was she confident? Curious? Comfortable?
She seemed to be. She certainly wanted to know all about me and why I was in Lyon.
Each one of us is so very important. To ourselves. To our families. To our friends. But mostly, to the world.
Because each of us creates a ripple in the world. Whether we realize it or not. Whether we want to or not. We do.
Last week Saturday, Josephine sent a ripple my way. A tap on my heart to stop and say hello. To listen. To simply be present with someone who an hour before I didn’t even know existed.
She reminded me of the protagonist in The Elegance of the Hedgehog (L’élégance du hérisson) by Muriel Barbary. Someone who’s enigmatic. Not at all as they appear. Someone who is completely oneself.
And yet, isn’t that who each of us really is? At our core? Uniquely ourself?
I think the answer to these rhetorical questions is a resounding, “Yes.”
And so for perhaps the millionth time, I feel the need to throw out the call to BE YOURself. In whatever way feels right to you. For no one but you can possibly know how it feels to be you.
So please, wear it proudly, that skin of yours. And if not for YOU, then for the rest of the world.
We need you.
Exactly as you are.
✫ Sj ✫